Tuesday, December 9, 2008

76. Coconut and Macadamia Nut Banana Bread (p. 599)

Like a lot of home cooks, when I find myself with a bunch of overripe bananas, I automatically think of one thing ... banana bread. But after a while, the old standby banana bread recipe gets a little tired, and you're ready for something new. This recipe* takes banana bread back to its tropical roots by including macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.

The first thing I did was to toast some sweetened, flaked coconut. OK, that was the second thing I did. The first thing I did was to scorch some sweetend, flaked coconut. Note to self, coconut cooks very fast. I scraped the burned coconut off the pan, fanned the acrid smoke out of the kitchen, and started over again. It worked out much better the second time.

The rest of the recipe is pretty straightforward. I sifted together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). I creamed the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then added the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, mashed bananas and sour cream until well combined. Then I added the flour mixture. Finally, I folded in the chopped macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.

Like a lot of the other quick bread recipes in The Book, this recipe makes two loaves. Because I only have one loaf pan, when I made the Pumpkin Apple Bread, I cut the recipe in half and made one loaf. This time, I got a bit smarter, and even though I still only have one loaf pan, I poured half of the batter into my loaf pan, and put the rest in the refrigerator while the first loaf cooked. Once it was baked and cooled enough to remove from the pan, I took it out, washed the pan, and cooked the second loaf.

I liked this bread a lot. The addition of the coconut and macadamia nuts gives the bread a nice tropical flair ... this is the banana bread that Jimmy Buffet would make. The lemon zest and sour cream gave the bread a brightness and zip that your usual banana bread lacks. I'd make this again if I didn't already have a loaf stashed in the freezer.

Date Cooked: October 26, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: B+

*The recipe on epicurious.com is the same as the one in The Book, except it makes five mini-loaves, The Book's recipe makes two regular-sized loaves.

No comments: