One of the cakes that is most popular in my home is also one of the easiest to make-- banana nut bread.
While I love making this delicious bread which my hubby craves more often than he'll admit, I also like to make little changes to the recipe to make the experience of both cooking and eating it even more fun.
Now I love cornbread, and when I picked up two overripe bananas from my pantry last week to get ready to bake, I thought- why not?
For this bread (which really isn't a cornbread as we know cornbread to be) I mixed a small amount of stone-ground corn, which is very nutritious and fiber-rich, with whole-wheat pastry flour, my preferred flour for almost any kind of baking.
The result was gorgeous to look at- the corn meal flecked the bread with tiny golden dots, and gave the crust a hearty crunch.
I used about 1/3 cup of applesauce in this nut bread which gave it an intense sweetness and dense moistness that I loved, but if you'd prefer to have a cakier nut bread, you could scale the applesauce back to just 2 tbsp or even skip it altogether.
One problem with the applesauce was it caused the bread to sink slightly in the center once it had come out of the oven- too much moisture, perhaps? One way to fight this might be to leave it in the oven for an extra five minutes.
So here it is, my banana "cornbread." Enjoy!
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup stone-ground yellow corn meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
5 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses (can reduce to 1 tbsp or leave out altogether for a less sweet bread. I love the richness and also the beautiful color that the molasses contributes.)
Place the wet ingredients in a bowl and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well incorporated.
Add to it:
2 tbsp flax seed powder mixed with 4 tbsp water.
1/3 cup applesauce
2 small ripe bananas, mashed well
Beat until incorporated
Add the flour mixture gradually, stirring until it is well mixed in.
Add 1/2 cup pecans, toasted lightly
Pour into an oiled loaf pan and bake about 55 minutes at 250 degrees until the top is a rich brown.
Remove to a rack and cool.
I have made a change - or rather addition- to this recipe that I forgot to put in when I posted it yesterday. Cardamom. I love this wonderful spice that's a feature in many Indian sweets, and I must say it really punched up the taste factor.