I announced Monday that two signed copies of Splendour in my Kitchen by Marina Castle are up for auction until Thursday night, to help raise a little extra money for Suzie’s gallbladder surgery. (Click here for more details about half way down-there’s only one bidder so far, so you might get yourself a bargain while helping a good cause.) This blue-ribbon banana bread (Marina has won many blue ribbons for it, actually) is just one of the many fabulous recipes found within the cookbook. Though I’ve had the cookbook for a couple years, I just started making this recipe back in August and have been making it several times a month ever since, and lately in triple batches. This is what I think of as a classic banana bread, but with a few twists that make it extra-special and a real treat.
The best thing about this bread is its texture. I have never had a better texture in a recipe for banana bread-it is so soft and smooth, it’s almost silky. It is not too heavy or dense as some banana breads can be, but not fluffy as a cake either. As Goldilocks would say, it’s juuuuust right. It has a great banana flavor, scented with cinnamon, and the combination of nuts, sugar & butter on top give it dessert-quality decadence.
This recipe is also apparently indestructible. I’ve been tripling the recipe and baking it up up in mini aluminum pans to sell in my sister’s shop and at the bake sale at work, and I’ve once miscalculated the amounts, and another time completely left the eggs out, and both times it was still good. Not silky smooth, but really good despite the errors. Hey, I can get down with a forgiving recipe because I’ve had a lot of spazzy kitchen moments lately. LOL! Anyway, if you’d like to bake up a ton of mini pans for holiday gifts, I’ve included a link for a large batch recipe so you (hopefully) won’t make my mistakes.
Virginia Street Banana Nut Bread
1 ½ cups (13 oz peeled) mashed ripe bananas
1 tablespoon melted butter, divided
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 oz) granulated sugar plus 1-2 teaspoons, divided
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, divided
Preheat oven to 325F and grease a large 9×5 loaf pan; set aside.
Mix bananas, 1 teaspoon of the melted butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl until well mixed. Blend flour, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and add to banana mixture. Stir until mostly mixed, then add nuts, reserving some for the top, and pour mixture into a large 9” x 5″ greased loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts & sugar over top of loaf, then drizzle remaining melted butter over. Bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes. Remove and finish cooling on wire rack until completely cooled. Wrap well with plastic wrap. Loaf is the better next day.
Makes 1 loaf.
Recipe source: rewritten from Splendour in my Kitchen by Marina Castle