I like bananas…
Last week we were going to my godparents house for dinner and Lauren said she would make banana bread. She was feeling a little under the weather, so I said I would do it.
I basically did Lauren’s Upside Down Banana Bread Recipe without the caramelized bananas plus chocolate chips (my favorite). I didn’t think the caramelized bananas would travel well, so I dropped that part of the recipe. Here is a link to the original recipe, which I doubled to make two loaves.
Sooo, it turns out that baking is really hard. I’m normally pretty good in the kitchen when it comes to cooking. I like to experiment with different spices and usually just improvise with whatever ingredients are available. Then there is my basic rule of thumb, “when in doubt add cheese.”
However, I discovered this is not really how baking works. You have to follow recipes and be exact. I am bad at that. I am used to just throwing a little bit of this and a little bit of that into whatever I’m making and see how it comes out!
First step, “raisin bran…” What?! Raisin Bran?! The first obstacle was reading Lauren’s handwriting. It actually said “mash bananas,” Lauren got a pretty good laugh out of that one. I’m glad she was there to answer all my questions.
I combined the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and then did the wet ingredients in a different bowl. I mashed the bananas, added sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla and mixed it all together. I poured the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients, flipped the switch on the mix master and done!
I definitely made that seem much easier than it was. It took me like 15 minutes to mash the bananas together, was a wooden spoon the right tool to use? Probably not. I switched to a fork and that didn’t help much. Can anyone help tell me what I should use next time?
Here are a few pictures to document the experience.
Following Lauren’s advice – reading through the whole recipe before doing anything. If I could only decipher her handwriting…
What you’ll need…
Mix the dry ingredients
I can make chicken parm, roast a turkey or braise a brisket, but I seemed to be having trouble mashing bananas!
Add all the wet ingredients and mix. Apparently sugar is a wet ingredient?
Put them on top of the dry ingredients and whisk
To finish it off, I reverted to my brand new baking rule of thumb, “when in doubt, add chocolate chips.” I added almost a whole bag. Lauren thought this was funny, but I like chocolate chips! No need to measure, that’s just how I roll…
Bake at 350 for ~35 minutes, I had to ask Lauren to check if they were done. Just like she asks me when the chicken is done. Role reversal!
I baked them in this Williams Sonoma pan. Lauren says they are pumpkins, but I say bring it to the beach to make sand castles!
I’m going to let Lauren do the baking from now on, she definitely makes it seem easier than it is. So, if you think baking is hard, you are NOT alone!
From now on, I will stick to what I’m really gifted at: tasting!
Matt’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
5 medium extra ripe bananas (to make 2 cup mashed)
1 cup of sugar, separated
2 large eggs + 2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray.
Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mash together bananas and sugar.
Whisk remaining wet ingredients into banana mixture (vanilla through applesauce).
Add wet ingredients to the dry and combine.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan before removing.
Slice and enjoy!