Since graduating from college in the spring, this month was filled with a lot of good things, it was just different. It’s an empty, strange, bitter-sweet type feeling when for the first time in your life September no longer means going back to school. On days like today when the weather is just right, it brings back thoughts distinctly reminiscent of the start of school year. After three months of fun in the sun, anticipation and dread swirl around as you are given the opportunity to a fresh start: new clothes, new workload, new notebooks, new people, and new opportunities.
|One of the first leaves|
I've spotted turning in my yard.
Now that I have officially experienced the mind-set of fall, time to move on to some fall food. The cover model of this month’s Cooking Light magazine is a sexy loaf of banana bread—peanut butter banana bread to be exact. I looked at my magazine, then to the rapidly ripening bananas on the counter, and I knew right then what I was making. The magazine features several different recipes for healthy-delicious banana bread; I was drawn to the Bananas Foster variety with rum and brown sugar. Just for fun, I made mini muffin-sized breads instead of a loaf.
Bananas Foster reminds me of working front of the house at CIA’s French restaurant Escoffier, where we would have to prepare the dessert and make it flambé tableside. It also reminds me of the “cooking show” that I produced for my TV 101 class at NYIT where I had a chef demonstrate how to make it. Made up of rum, butter, brown sugar, and bananas over vanilla ice cream, this famous New Orleans dish is hard to resist.
The flavors of Bananas Foster mixed with the spices of the banana bread make a sweet pair. As described in the magazine by Cooking Light’s Kitchen Director, Vanessa Pruett, “it feels decadent enough to be a dessert.” The bread also comes out very moist (from what I’ve read a lot of people don’t like when the term “moist” is used to describe food, but--that’s what it is), and is finished with a glaze that has just the amount of liquor to make you lick your lips.
As I often do with Cooking Light recipes, I seem to go against their intentions and alter the healthy recipe to make it unhealthy. My bad! I’m giving you the original recipe as it was written.
Bananas Foster Bread:
Cooking Light, October 2010
Yield: 16 servings
- 1 ½ cup mashed rip banana
- 1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoon butter, melted and divided
- ¼ cup cognac or dark run, divided
- 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 6.75 oz all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Combine banana, ½ cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons cognac in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.
• Weight or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat until just blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.
• Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.