Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gone Bananas!

I love baked goods, especially breads and cakes, but the only thing I really use my oven for is an occasional frittata. (That reminds me, I need to add quiche to my list of "to cook" items.) Last night I looked over at the bunch of overripe bananas sitting on my counter and had a flashback from childhood. My mom's friend had given her a banana bread recipe and she had saved that recipe on an index card for over a decade. I called her in hopes of getting the recipe, but sadly that 3"x5" card was long lost.

In browsing through various recipes, I realized they all had one thing in common -they all mentioned "creaming" butter and sugar (or shortening and sugar). A newcomer to the baking world, I had to look up the definition and found that this is the technique of blending ingredients — usually granulated sugar — together with a solid fat (butter or shortening). The dry ingredients are mixed or beaten with the fat until it becomes light and fluffy and increased in volume, creating tiny air bubbles. These air bubbles remain in the final batter and expand during baking.

Creaming butter and sugar.

this recipe is based on one by Julia Child:
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sugar

In separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla extract and mix. Mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Banana batter, just before the chocolate chips.

And...the finished product.


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