ONLINE EXTRA: Go bananas!
Chocolate Banana Bread 1 pound (3 small or 2 large) over-ripe bananas, peeled 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) sugar 1 pound (4 cups) sifted high-gluten flour 1/4 ounce (1 1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt 3/4 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) baking soda 1 1/2 ounces ( 1/2 c...
Chocolate Banana Bread
1 pound (3 small or 2 large) over-ripe bananas, peeled
1 pound (2¼ cups) sugar
1 pound (4 cups) sifted high-gluten flour
¼ ounce (1 1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
¾ ounce (4½ teaspoons) baking soda
1½ ounces (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
5 ounces (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk
4 ounces (½ cup) canola oil
1 pound semisweet chocolate chunks)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans.
Place bananas and sugar in large bowl of an electric mixer; beat on medium speed until well mixed, about 3 minutes. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, baking soda and cocoa. Slowly beat dry ingredients into banana mixture.
Add eggs and beat on low speed to combine. Beat milk with oil and mix into batter on low speed. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Bread is best at room temperature.
Yield: 2 loaves, 8 to 10 slices each.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: slice: 538 calories, 40 percent of calories from fat, 23.8 grams fat (5.3 grams saturated, 3.5 grams monounsaturated), 128 milligrams cholesterol, 42 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 2.7 grams fiber, 642 milligrams sodium.
Banana Carrot Loaf
1 cup light raisins (steamed)
1 cup (packed) grated carrots
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon each baking soda and cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 large bananas (1 cup)
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan (8-cup capacity) and dust with bread crumbs.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs just to mix. Beat in sugar and oil. Coarsely chop bananas and add to egg mixtures along with raisins and carrots. Then on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients and beat, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula, until thoroughly mixed. Turn mixture into prepared pan. Bake for one hour, 10 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf, all the way to the bottom, comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 to 15minutes before removing from the pan.
Yield: 1 9-inch loaf.
Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread
1 cup each sifted all-purpose and whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ stick unsalted butter
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 to 3 large bananas (1 cup)
1½ cups pecan halves, toasted
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 8-by-4-by-2-inch pans and dust with wheat germ or dry bread crumbs.
Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until softened. Add peanut butter and beat to mix. Beat in sugar, then the eggs, one at a time. Coarsely mash bananas and add to the bowl. Then, on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients and beat only until incorporated. Pour half of the batter into each pan and smooth tops. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before turning out.
Yield: 2 small loaves
Cuban Banana Bread
1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup bran cereal (not flakes, such as Kellogg's All-Bran)
3 to 4 medium size bananas (1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons water
½ cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-3-by-3-inch loaf pan and dust with dry bread crumbs. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add vanilla, then the sugar, and beat until well-mixed. Add egg and beat until pale in color. Add bran cereal and beat just to mix. Coarsely mash bananas. Add water to bananas and stir into bran mixture. Add the raisins and nuts and beat only to mix. Then, on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Do not overbeat. Turn mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for one hour or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool, refrigerate for one or two hours before slicing.
Yield: 1 10-inch loaf.
Banana Black Cake
3 cups walnuts
1½ cups pitted dates
2¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup unsifted whole-wheat flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon each nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
½ teaspoon each salt, ground cloves and ginger
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup each granulated sugar and light brown sugar
1½ cups seedless blackberry jam
5 medium bananas (2 cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup dark raisins
Adjust 2 racks, the first one-third up from the bottom and the second on the lowest rack. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 10-by-4-inch (20-cup capacity) tube pan. Line with parchment paper and butter the paper. Chop 2/3 cup of the walnuts finely and turn into the buttered and papered pan to coat the pan evenly. Distribute loose nuts evenly on the bottom of the pan.
Chop remaining nuts less fine. Cut dates into medium-size pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Sift together the flours, cocoa, spices and salt, then set aside. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Beat in vanilla and both sugars. Beat eggs one at a time, then beat in the blackberry jam. Coarsely mash bananas and beat into batter. Stir baking soda into the buttermilk until baking soda dissolves. Add to batter. Scrape sides of bowl. On low speed, gradually add the sifted ingredients, beating until incorporated. With a wooden spoon, stir in nuts, dates and raisins.
Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth top. Cover the top with aluminum foil and place the covered pan in the oven. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest rack (to keep steam in the oven). Bake for 1 hour, remove the aluminum foil and bake for 1½ more hours, or until a cake tester inserted gently all the way to the bottom comes out clean. Let cake stand for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Chill and cut into thin slices.
Yield: Serves 25.
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1½ cups milk, scalded
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 large, ripe but firm bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Whisk the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Add yolks and cream, and beat until smooth. Very gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook over medium-low, stirring, until mixture is thick and beginning to bubble in the middle, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon into a glass container, seal with plastic wrap pressed on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate.
To assemble: When pudding is cold, slice the bananas about ¼-inch thick and toss with the lemon juice. In a large bowl or trifle dish, arrange a layer of wafers, then banana slices, then pudding, repeating 3 or more times depending upon the container. End with pudding spread to the edges to seal bananas. Cover again with plastic wrap pressed to the surface.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 2 days so flavors meld and wafers soften. Just before serving, whip cream until soft, add sugar and vanilla, and whip until stiff. Serve pudding topped with whipped cream.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 487 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat), 25.6 grams fat (13.5 grams saturated, 6.4 grams monounsaturated), 203 milligrams cholesterol, 4.9 grams protein, 60.5 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 259 milligrams sodium.
Gluten-Free Banana and Coconut Cashew-Cream Tart
1½ cups whole raw pecans
Pinch of coarse salt
1½ cups pitted dates
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup (divided use)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and thoroughly drained
½ cup water
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped (reserve pod for another use)
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 or 4 ripe, firm bananas
To make the crust, pulse pecans and salt in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped. Add dates; pulse until thoroughly combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Add 2 teaspoons maple syrup; pulse just until combined and mixture sticks together. Press nut mixture firmly and evenly into a 9-inch pie plate, wetting your fingers as needed.
To make the filling, grind drained cashews to a coarse paste in a blender. Add the water, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and vanilla seeds; blend until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. Mixture should reach the consistency of thick pancake batter. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the coconut; add the rest to the blender, and process to combine. Pour into shell, spreading evenly.
Thinly slice bananas on the diagonal; beginning at outer edge, arrange slices in slightly overlapping rows, working toward the center. Sprinkle evenly with reserved coconut; serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 8 (1 9-inch tart).
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 454 calories, 51 percent of calories from fat, 27 grams fat (7 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 24 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber, 52 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein.
Fillets de Yellowtail Aux Bananas
1 pound yellowtail fillets, skinned and boned
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ripe banana
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
¼ cup vermouth (or rum)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Season fish with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Place in a small buttered baking dish. Peel banana and cut in half or quarters. Place banana on top of each fillet. Mix butter with vermouth and pour over all. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, basting often with pan juices, until fish flakes when tested.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 411 calories, 64 percent of calories from fat, 29 grams fat (16 grams saturated, 8.2 grams monounsaturated), 123.4 milligrams cholesterol, 26.8 grams protein, 29 milligrams carbohydrates, 0.7 grams fiber, 209 milligrams sodium.
Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Cheese Frosting
1¼ cups sifted cake flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup pureed bananas
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons corn syrup
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 ounce unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt; set aside. Mix vanilla and buttermilk; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and continue beating on high until creamy, 1 minute. Scrape down bowl sides. Add the sugar slowly and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the egg and beat well. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, in three additions. Fold in the banana.
Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a rack to cool completely.
For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and corn syrup to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute then slowly stir to blend. Let cool to about 70 degrees or until firm enough to pipe or spread.
Frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes on high speed, until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides, and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar.
Pour the chocolate into a pastry bag with a 1/4-inch metal tip; insert tip into the top of each cupcake. Squeeze the bag until you feel a slight pressure, which should put 1 to 1½ teaspoons of chocolate in each cupcake. Frost the tops with the cream cheese icing.
Yield: 12 cupcakes.
Peanut Butter, Honey and Banana
2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 slices white whole wheat bread
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1 banana, thinly sliced
Spread peanut butter on 1 slice of bread, honey on the other. Cover the honeyed slice with thinly sliced banana and then top with peanut-buttered slice.
Yield: 1 sandwich.