Banana Espresso Bread

banana espresso bread title pic

Chow down.

Chow down.

Spotted bananas are the fruit of the Devil.

But…..they make really, really good banana bread. So for this, they are redeemed in my eyes.

Truth be told, I’d never cared much for banana bread until I was in my teens. And it HAD TO BE my Mom’s banana bread. Especially the end piece.

Sorry, mom. But the one thing I did NOT like about your banana bread were the large chunks left in the loaves. (You guys know, the baked slimy bits that turn black?)

*gag*

Suddenly facing a severe surplus of spotty bananas, I decided to whip out Mom’s recipe. However, I decided to give it a bit of gussying up with some Espresso Sugar I had in the cupboard made by Spaulding’s Specialty Spices. Check them out on Facebook here.

Sugar? Check. Espresso? Check.

Sugar? Check. Espresso? Check.

Flecks of happiness.

Flecks of happiness.

I made a few changes to Mom’s recipe. Aside from the addition of espresso to the banana party, I added a tsp. of baking powder to give the loaf a little extra lift in texture as well as some vanilla and Saigon cinnamon to add depth to the banana and espresso flavors.

Oh! And I made this a “one bowl” recipe. Less dishes? Freaking awesome. You pretty much mix all the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl then sprinkle the dry ingredients over. I also eliminated the traditional step of adding already mashed bananas to the quick bread dough and used the hand mixer to puree them into oblivion.

Good-bye nasty banana bumps!

I hate mashing. Let's make the mixer do the work.

I hate mashing. Let’s make the mixer do the work.

Butter, sugar, bananas, beaten to oblivion.

Butter, sugar, bananas, beaten to oblivion.

Sprinkling the dry ingredients helps ensure no nasty baking powder lumps in your bread.

Sprinkling the dry ingredients helps ensure no nasty baking powder lumps in your bread.

Smooth.

Smooth.

Eeeeek! Glazed greatness.

Eeeeek! Glazed greatness.

Furthermore, after the cake cooled, I drizzled it with an espresso glaze and topped it with some hazelnuts I’d roasted. This is purely an optional step. You could always mix in your nuts of choice (1/2 cup) into the dough.

I roasted hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes, shaking the pan every 3 minutes until fragrant.

I roasted hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes, shaking the pan every 3 minutes until fragrant.

After they'd cooled, I vigorously rubbed them between two cloth napkins to remove the skins.

After they’d cooled, I vigorously rubbed them between two cloth napkins to remove the skins.

I highly suggest the glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar, though. This bread isn’t crazy sweet like other recipes, due to the espresso calming down the sweetness from the sugar.

Don’t have Espresso Sugar? No worries. Add in 2 tsps. instant coffee or espresso. Don’t like coffee? Leave it out! (Just add in 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to compensate for the flavor.)

Please note that you will be baking the cake for only ten minutes at 350. Due to the addition of extra leavening to my mom’s original recipe, this bread would brown too greatly baking the whole time at a higher temp. Lowering the oven to 325 ensures that the cake won’t over-brown, but it will still have a nice rise to it.

Queue the eye candy:

Oh, mama.

Oh, mama.

Banana Espresso Bread

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. instant espresso (omit if using Espresso Sugar)

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour, all-purpose

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Directions:

*preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar for approximately 2-3 minutes.

2. Add bananas to the bowl and mix until no large bumps remain.

3. Add in eggs and vanilla; mix until well combined.

4. Sprinkle flour, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon over wet ingredients; mix until just combined. (I switched to a spatula at this point.)

5. Pour batter into prepared 9″ cake pan; smooth top with spatula. Bake in 350 degree oven for ten minutes. THEN LOWER THE HEAT TO 325 DEGREES; bake for an additional 40 minutes or until cake tester or knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

6. Let cool on a baking rack for ten minutes. Turn out of pan and let cool for another half hour. Glaze, if desired, or top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Espresso Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 T. hot water

1 tsp. instant espresso

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Use immediately to drizzle over cooled cake.

2. If topping cake with additional nuts, do so before the glaze sets.

 

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