Banana-coconut bread

I love banana bread.

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For various reasons:
1: Bananas
2: It´s called bread, but it´s actually a cake in disguise.
3: You can play around with it and add whatever, and it usually works!

Which means, to sum it up: you can make it as bread-like, or cake-like as you want, use different kinds of flour, wheat, spelt – whole grain or not, adding nuts chocolate or other things, even make it sugar free – and the banana bread can handle it!

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Banana bread is therefore very forgiving to work with, which is perfect for me as I have a hard time following a recipe to the point. I usually end up adapting it, intentionally or not, usually because I don´t have the exact ingredients on hand, and I´m too lazy to go out get it once my mind is set on baking.

This time however, I planned on following the recipe, as I found the pictures and description of the cake very intriguing. As all other recipes on this blog. Check it out! What made this different from other banana breads, was the caramelization of the bananas. Anything caramelized is just… better!
So that would be unchanged, that was for sure.
But somehow I ended up making my own version of the recipe, as I had some almond flour I wanted to use. And I usually try to make cakes more whole grain when I can, as I know I will be the one eating it sooner or later, the same thing about sugar: I often reduce the amount (so I can eat more 😉 and besides, for banana cake, a lot of sugar is usually not needed as the bananas themselves add alot of sweetnesss. Especially if you use brown bananas. The browner – the sweeter – the better!

I had a good amount of frozen brown bananas put aside for this cake, which finally could come togehter on a rainy sunday! I was a litte curious about the result, but even if the cake became somewhat diffrent then the original recipe, I thought it was delicious and a perfect afternoon treat! The banana-coconut flavour was a lovely combination even without the chocolate! I´m sure added chocolate would be lovely too, but without, you could always add some nutella or other chocolate spread if you get the cravings!

I allowed myself a decent slice with butter on top, because there no such thing as butter on freshly baked goods. Next time, I can try chocolate. But the cake on it´s own is perfectly good too! And actually quite healthy, after I twisted the recipe a litte around! Enjoy, one way or another, I´m sure it´ll be delicious either way!

Roasted banana and coconut cake – my way!
(Adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:
4-5 browned bananas
175 g flour/ 1 1/4 cups –
(I used about 75 g almound flour and all purpose/whole wheat flour)
50 grams/ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
75 grams/ 1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 dl/ 1/3 cup canned coconut milk (may swap butter milk or greek yogurt)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (or swap canola oil – which I did)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams / 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Peel the bananas and lay them flat on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar. Roast them for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the bananas are very golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, mash the bananas and set aside. Reduce the oven temp to 175 C / 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9×5 loaf pan thoroughly with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the different flours, baking soda and salt, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add in coconut milk and canola oil, whisking until combined. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla until mixed. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the toasted coconut. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining unsweetened coconut flakes.

Place loaf pan on a baking sheet and set in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until center is set. If the top begins to brown, tent the bread with aluminum foil. Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Bread will keep (covered) for 3-5 days.

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Super moist bananabread with pecans!

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First things first: Is it banana bread? Or is it banana cake? To me, it´s cake. I mean, when I can choose between cake and bread – well, the answer it pretty much given… And another thing, why would one call it bread, by any means? It contains lots of sugar, butter, fruits and no yeast – unlike any bread. But you do, usually, bake it in a bread-like-pan…. So I guess that´s why it´s got it´s bread-name. Anyway, who cares, as long as it tastes like cake! And when you can present it as bread, though in reality it is a cake, everyone´s concience is clean: The baker´s and the eater´s. (Or mine, as it would be called in my case…)

I had some very overripe bananas lying around – and so starts every story of a banana bread. (cake)
Actually, I had kind of let them overripe on purpose, so I could have an excuse to bake with them! But only partly…My mother bought all kinds of food, and pretty much filled my fridge and freezer before she left, so it was inevitable that something would – not go to waste – but, end up in baked goods. Maybe that was her plan all along. Ahh, she knows me too well!

So, Sunday came, the bananas were brown as ever, and I had cake-cravings! Off to the bookshelf to find a nice recipe. I do have a couple of winner banana-bread recipes, that are just amazingly good, but I´m kind of in this getting-to-use-my-cookbooks-flow for the moment, so I grabbed three candidates and started the search. I almost turned to Dorie, again, but then it would be a bundt, and not a loaf. I wanted a loaf. And I feel with her, I shouldn´t change the recipe too much, I have a feeling it´s best to leave it to her. And I wanted to use some yoghurt and nuts, cause that´s good stuff in a banana bread. So, finally, I picked the banana pecan bread, from Leila Lindholm´s Piece of Cake. The picture of that bread was one of the first things that got stuck on my mind from that book, along came many other things… And one of the reasons I got the book! Besides, it´s so pretty! But, I haven´t really baked anything from it yet besides a bread, so it was about time I started the serious business – on to the cakes!

I adapted the recipe slightly, substituting some of the butter with yoghurt, powdered sugar with sugar, and some of the flour with whole wheat, but the original recipe goes like this. And I only had 3 bananas… But I don´t have the measurements I used, so I present to you the original recipe!

Pecan-banana bread

150 g butter
1 dl sugar
2 dl powdered sugar
4 ripe bananas
2 eggs
3 dl flour
1 ts baking powder
pinch of salt
75 g pecan nuts

Stir the sugars and butter light and creamy.
Mash the bananas (keeping a few chunks if you like – I know I do!) and stir them into the batter. Add the eggs. Mix the dry ingredients and pecans, and gently fold them into the batter. Pour into a buttered loaf-pan, and bake the cake for about 30 minutes in the center of the oven. (Mine needed longer) A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Allow to slightly cool, and dig in!

This cake can be served pretty much any way you like: Warm or cold, with our without butter, nutella, ice cream….you get the picture. I thought it was really good straight from the oven, warm and nice, so that the butter I added just melted into the cake. But on the other hand, it´s also really good the second, or third day, when it has had time to set – then you really get the moistness of this cake… Yummy either way!

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Caramelized banana cake

I never buy bananas for eating. Quite logically, since I don’t like them. But what I do like, is anything banana flavoured, exept bananas. Weird, I know. Banana bread, banana ice cream, banana fudge, banana milkshake, banana cake – you get the picture. It just transforms into something way better. So I never end up with overripe bananas by accident, “forcing” me to make banana cake, because I don’t buy them in the first place. Which is kind of sad, because I love banana cake, and you’re excused to make it when your bananas turn black. But when life doesn’t give you overripe bananas – go out and get and get them! So when I spotted a big bag of brown-turning-black bananas at the supermarket for a give-away-price, I immediately visiualized this banana cake, and bought them. This was my sign! The supermarket aka life gave me over ripe bananas for this purpose. I’m sure. Well, not a moment too soon. I bookmarked this recipe a long time ago, but for the lack of bananas in my life, making it just never happened. The recipe is from J’s Kitchen – a beautiful blog with just as beautiful photos and mouthwatering food. She made 3 versions of this banana cake, I decided on the last attempt which she said was the best. Although they all look good to me. She also said it wasn’t very sweet, but I thought it was more than sweet enough. At least for breakfast. The perfect monday morning breakfast. I actuallt skipped the gym this morning and replaced it with banana cake, quality butter and cinnamon coffee. It was the right thing to do.

Caramelised Banana Cake

70 + 10 gr butter
40 + 40 gr caster sugar
2 bananas thinly sliced
2 eggs
180 gr plain flour
20 gr cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
80 ml milk

Preheat oven at 180C and prepare baking pan.
Caramelise the bananas: in a nonstick frying pan, heat 40 gr sugar and 1 tablespoon water until it starts to caramelise. Add 10 gr butter. Let the butter fully melt, then add sliced banana. Cook until softens – mash while cooking. Cool.
In a bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
Beat 70 gr butter and 40 gr caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add cooled caramelised banana.
Fold in flour mixture alternating with the milk in 3 additions, starting and ending with flour mixture.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (depending on pan size).

(The original recipe says makes 4 mini loafs. I made one regular loaf instead, and baked it for 40 minutes. It could probably have baked a little longer, but I was hungry and I like slightly gooey cakes.)