A slice supple enough to appease the desire for Starbucks;
A slice brimming with the just ideal dose of caramel-like sweetness;
A slice embodying the very essence of ripe-and-nearly-decaying-into-organic-matter-but-not-yet bananas; and
A slice to pair with a morning pour-over or frothy latte, while in practice of Social Distancing.
(Recipe inspired by and adapted from smitten kitchen)
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 40 ml olive oil
- 40 g unsalted butter, melted
- 60 g brown sugar
- 60 ml maple syrup *
- 1 tsp vanilla extract *
- 180 g all-purpose flour
- 5 g baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice *
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts *
1) Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2) Using a potato masher, or the less ergonomic alternative of a fork, mash the bananas in a large bowl until chunky bits remain. There is no need to completely pulverize, as the banana bits will continue to disintegrate as the other ingredients are incorporated.
3) Whisk in olive oil and butter, then egg and vanilla extract. Lastly, add in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Mix well.
4) Sift in dry ingredients and proceed to fold in gently. It is crucial that the batter not be over-mixed: the fate of the loaf hinges on this step!
5) When the mixture is 80% incorporated, add in walnuts and fold once more. If desired, save some to top the loaf.
6) Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Check for doneness using a skewer at the 45-minute mark, and replace into the oven for a maximum of five additional minutes (50 minutes in total) if some stickiness remains.
7) Let cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
8) Serve warm and enjoy!
- Millet was omitted from this recipe, with a generous handful of roughly chopped walnuts stepping up in its place instead. Based on familial feedback, grains reminiscent of quinoa commonly result in digestive issues, though nuts did not pose such concerns. Personally known to not be the biggest lover of nuts ("healthy fats"), walnuts were a quintessential ingredient that could not be foregoed for enhanced texture.
- The amount of maple syrup and brown sugar can be adjusted to your desired sweetness, though I found these amounts to be ideal given the ripeness of the bananas on hand. Be mindful of the state of your bananas, as they contribute natural sugars to the batter.
- More often than not, I tend to eyeball the amount of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and synthetic enhancers. The quantity of these ingredients is entirely up to one's preference and normally be substituted to whatever similar entity is present in the pantry - just as long as ratio of dry-to-wet remains consistent, of course.
- Smitten Kitchen's original recipe called for a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. However, pumpkin pie spice was utilized instead, as the latter spices are not regular occupants of my pantry.
- Finally, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of just incorporating the dry ingredients. Overmixing the batter will result in a rigid, dry loaf with the consistency of stale bread, stripping the cake of flavour and moistness. A few sparse pockets of flour are acceptable and can be smoothed out whilst pouring into the pan prior to baking.