Our most recent apartment dwelling is a bit of a lemon. Thank goodness we haven’t dived into the owners club quite yet because the quality of what we have dubbed “New Whalley” is a bit under par. Yesterday our “fireplace” which provides the heat for our living room area kicked the bucket. Beautiful fake flames light up but no heat comes out. In the middle of January this isn’t an ideal situation. While we are still waiting to hear back from our property managers we’ll have to think outside the box to keep warm and cozy.
I woke up thinking about banana bread. I might have been dreaming about it but that sounds a bit creepy. I thought to myself what better way to warm our home with an oven on and some banana bread in the oven. I love when my hubby comes home from work and the first thing he says is, “smells good in here!”
I had enough frozen bananas to make a triple batch so I figured why not make it 3 different ways? It’s one of the easiest things you can make into different varieties. Just separate the batter into 3 parts in 3 separate bowls and mix in whatever flavourings you like. You can use peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit, fresh berries, chocolate chips, oats, coconut…yada yada yada. I made raspberry & chocolate banana loaf, hazelnut mini loaves and upside down pear banana muffins.
Start with the basic banana batter…
I tweaked my ma’s recipe that she has been making for years. I have no idea where she got it from but it’s a classic.
*** note: I made triple what the original recipe makes. Just cut this recipe down accordingly for your own needs.***
Yield 1 large loaf, 3 mini loaves and 11 upside down muffins.
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
7 ripe bananas
½ cup sour cream
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick, 1 clove & 5 allspice seeds finely grinded
Preheat the oven to 325. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix well. In a separate bowl mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and spices. In great big bowl (this is for a triple batch remember) mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. If you want you can mix in coco powder at this point for chocolate banana bread.
Mix the egg mixture with the banana mixture. Make sure to scrape the sides of your bowl. Then pour it all into the dry mixture (sacrilege I know but trust me! It turned out just fine.). Mix just until the flour starts to disappear. Stop mixing prematurely because when you stir in the other ingredients it will be more than enough.
At this point it is perfectly acceptable to throw it in the oven but why do that when you can make it a little bit more special. Now if you like you can separate the batter into 3 equal parts in 3 separate bowls.
Hazelnut Banana Mini Loaves
Mix batter with 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts. Coat the inside of 3 mini loaf pans with non-stick spray and fill 2/3 up with batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes depending on your oven.
Raspberry Chocolate Banana Bread
Mix batter with 2/3 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup frozen raspberries. Coat the inside of a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray and fill with the batter. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
Upside Down Pear Banana Muffins
Smudge a pinch of butter into the bottom of a muffin tin and layer a pinch of brown sugar, sliced pears, and another pinch of brown sugar, then fill with the classic batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and run a knife or off-set spatula around the edge of each muffin. Put a baking sheet upside down onto the tops of the muffins and flip both pans over so that the baking sheet is on the bottom with the muffins upside down on it.
When making any kind of banana bread check the centers with a tooth pick. If it comes out clean its down, if it has batter on it then bake for a little bit longer and check again.