Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BAHnana-walnut-chocolate-buckwheat bread

I can imagine there are a few cocked up eyebrows around regarding the title of this post. It's a joke that came about when E was buying banana bread from a cafe. The French pronounce the letter "a" as "ah", so naturally it came out something like "Can I have some Bah-nana bread please?"

The lady behind the counter started cracking up so hard and handed him the slice, repeating "Bah-nana bread Bah-nana bread". The joke has stuck ever since. It's been some time now since that incident, but everytime we meet up with the gang, someone still repeats "BAh-nana bread" to him. lol.

Having been busy during the weekends which is usually my baking day, and after a wonderful long weekend away eating, drinking and making merry at Hunter Valley (we're now very happy owners of 5 bottles of boutique wines), I'm feeling more than ready to get back in the kitchen again. NQN is hosting a Banana Bake-off, and I've just been waiting for those bananas to brown nicely.

I haven't met someone who doesn't enjoy banana bread yet. Early mornings in uni usually means a detour to the Architecture cafe for some banana bread. I especially love mine toasted as it causes the crust to crunch up and caramelize nicely - it's my favourite part! E usually has the task of finishing whatever I can't, and he wasn't too impressed when I handed him a brown bag once, revealing a slice of banana bread with the edges nibbled away neatly. Oops.

I've baked my banana breads into muffin-sized ones which are perfect for brekkie on the go (also helps in my portion control! heh) The addition of buckwheat flour gives a pleasant, grainy nuttiness which I adore and the few dark chocolate chunks are quite the treat. And as usual, I've mooshed in more bananas and toasted walnuts than the original recipe calls for, but reduced the amount of sugar which the natural sweetness in the bananas nicely compensated for. Yummy!

Bahnana-walnut-chocolate-buckwheat bread (makes 6)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 ripe large bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a handful of dark chocolate chunks
Garnish: (Optional)
1 large banana, sliced or dried banana chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Line muffin trays with paper cupcake holders.

Lightly roast the nuts in a frying pan over medium heat, taking care not to let it burn. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan and place the slices of banana on top of the batter for garnish. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.

adapted from Joy of Baking


giz said...

I don't think I've ever seen an interpretation of banana bread ... oh sorry...bah nana bread quite this interesting. I actually read the ingredient list twice. Very cool.

Hallie Fae said...

I totally agree that everyone loves banana bread. I just made my favorite recipe into muffins for portion control too. Love this take on banana muffins.

Cynthia said...

giz: yeah isn't it cute when you have a story behind something? :)

hallie fae: yes I can't agree more! give me a loaf and i'll scoff it all down in a day! heh

Y said...

I like crunchy edges too :) Your banana bread sounds really good - I like that you've used buckwheat flour.