Friday, August 28, 2009

Glaze optional

If you were to flip back to the page of July 29th of my day planner, you would see the words "BAKE MORE" scrawled across the page in large letters. I don’t know what exactly I was thinking, but it seems like sound advice. So I’m going to bake more.

Today is the second time I’ve baked the best banana bread in the world. I’m telling you this in all seriousness. Do not take it lightly. I’m going to share with you the BEST banana bread recipe known to man.

I guess it’s not a big secret, given that the recipe comes straight out the pages of Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant. But if no one has told you where to look, how would you know?

This is why I’m sharing this secret with you now. And you’ll love it. It’s banana bread, with so much banana, it’s a wonder it bakes into such a solid loaf of bread. There’s coconut, lime and ginger. And rum. Did I mention rum?

It’s tangy and bright, unlike any banana bread I’ve had before. The glaze is sticky, zingy, and most importantly, boozy.

I know, the picture doesn’t look like much. I am acquainting myself with Andrew’s camera, but it might also just be the bread itself. In fact, when I left the bread to cool on the counter, my roommates didn’t eat it until they realized the loaf was topped with coconut, not cheese. Which makes me wonder: Do they think I’m crazy?

In any case, don’t be fooled by the photo. This bread is really good. My roommates will confirm this.

Yellowman’s Banana Lime Bread
From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Yields one loaf

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (or about 3 bananas)
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt (milk will do too)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted (see note)
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon rum
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a bread loaf pan.
For the batter, cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the other wet ingredients: eggs, bananas, yoghurt, and lime juice. Also add the salt, ginger, and coconut. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan and bake for an hour or so, or until an inserted tooth-pick comes out dry. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

While the bread cools, prepare the glaze. Combine the brown sugar, butter, rum and lime juice in a saucepan. Bring it to a low boil, stirring constantly, until it becomes a light syrup. Pour it over theloaf, spreading it, and then sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut.