Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Bread is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

After a few days of rain, and a month of summer weather hanging on for as long as it could, I walked outside today to feel for one of the first times this year, pure and perfect September. Sun shining, the air remains still with the last bit of warmth revered in the months prior, only to break occasionally with a few cool autumn breezes. September, you’ve passed me by so quickly.

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.
From making friends on the playground in elementary school to saying goodbye to your parents after being dropped off at college, September is a month of milestones. First day of school memories often resurface at this time of year to haunt me or to bring a smile. Like on day two of high school when every nightmare my newbie mind could have fathomed seemed to unravel at once. After stomping home with anger bubbling through my veins, I stepping through the gates of my backyard to my mom asking, “how was your day?” and that was it. Red in the face and shaking with frustration, I ripped my heavy backpack from my shoulders, heaved it over my head, and like a pro wrestler, slammed it to the ground as hard as I could. “It sucked!” That one always makes me LOL.

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 flambĂ© 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.


Magic of Spice said...

They look and sound amazing...I don't think I have tried that flavor combination, but I like the sound of it :)


What a great idea! I bet it would taste wonderful warm with ice cream on top...just saying!

~Lisa~ said...

I agree when you're fresh out of school, Fall reminds you of both the bad and good moments of school. Soon they will be a different reminder for you. Those mini banana bread looks moist and delicious!

roxan said...

This banana bread looks delicious! I love those all the surprise ingredients that are in there. I'm actually thinking of making some banana bread tonight if I have time... there are three super ripe bananas on my counter!

Koci said...

LOL! Your backpack story had me laughing out loud--I can so picture the backpack body slam. :D

Just plain old banana bread is already delicious, so I can't even imagine how great it must be Bananas Foster style! Yum!

Adelina said...

I think that's why I don't order Cooking Light... I am thinking I might lose the flavors in my recipes. lol. My daughter would love this recipe. She loves Peanut butter sandwich with banana slices. I should try your version though. lol.

Lazaro Cooks! said...


I wish I could wax poetic about the coming of fall, or see some leaves turn. The only difference for us in Miami is that instead of being 98 F in July, it's 93 in October.

I've always liked banana bread. My grandma used to make it. Your recipe is unique, I would love to try it. I like the "unhealthy" touches, I add loads of those to my cuisine.

Thank you for joining in on the conversation yesterday. And for your continued support.

Evan @swEEts said...

Can you believe its almost October!? crazy!! This bread on the other hand?! FAB.

Emily Malloy said...

Ridiculously creative.

Isn't the fall intoxicating?!

Joy said...

Genius....that is utterly amazing.

Karen said...

Oh goodness! These sound SO good. Bananas Foster as a muffin??? Yum! I love the drizzle too. There would be great for a brunch!

Angie's Recipes said...

They look super moist! And I would love them with creme fraiche (maybe some mint ice cream?)!

The Mom Chef said...

I don't drink very much but for some reason I'm drawn to food that uses alcohol. I love the idea of the bananas and rum in here. It's pure genius.

Foodessa said...

When it comes to banana cake, I always think nothing can beat my Mom's really fattening and delicious version. After many years of trying...I finally reduced the calories and reached a great result. Now, Marisa...your adding of the Rum might just put me over the top...great touch!
BTW...I find nothing wrong with using the word 'Moist' ;o)

Ciao for now,

MaryMoh said...

Just came from Lazaro's blog. Thanks very much for your beautiful guest post. I'm not only an onion lover but also a banana lover....both are healthy right? :) Love your banana bread.....would be so good with a cup of milk...mmm. Thanks very much for sharing.