I am not the only one who has been puzzling over the difference between a banana bread and a banana cake. Even David Lebovitz is as perplexed as I am. Yes I have, in total, spent between 1800-2100 seconds over the past ten years trying to sort out the difference between the two.
An American friend of mine had offered me a slice of "banana 'bread' " one morning. I studied it and it seemed to me, in all its look and texture, a banana cake. At the time I didn't give it much thought. A shrug was all the puzzle had got out of me. But since I started this blog the question has become more immediate and urgent. I feel stupid. I feel shallow. I feel I should know.
But then I thought, surely, it cannot be as perplexing as confronting the fifth dimension of wormholes and parallel universes or, at the least, cataloging the properties of subatomic particles such as quarks and gluons. Then.... Why?...People?....Have I not found the answer? Help. Michio Kaku? Einstien?
And I have also just learnt...yes ...learnt.... that Rose Beranbaum has a recipe for banana bread in her book The Bread Bible. She used a plain white bread recipe, added some milk and a couple of bananas to it and called it Banana Bread. Now that makes complete sense no? Yes.
Yes it makes so much sense that I can
But Ho No.....banana bread to the rest of the universe is simply banana cake. Eat your banana bread up Rosie. You're alone.
So here I am I am.....with a Banana Bread recipe called Starbucks Banana Walnut
Okay...I'll admit ...it's little bit denser than my banana cake, firmer perhaps, cuts more neatly, is more domed and uses oil instead of butter (but hey...a carrot CAKE uses oil too) and it's got stuff on top of it but is just as sweet, moist and delicious.
This . just . cannot . be . for breakfast. I forbid it! Banana 'Bread' indeed! Hmmmph!
The recipe ~ adapted from food.com.
I tweaked it a little by adding the zest and juice of an orange and instead of bananas I had used plantains. Because that was what I had darkening in the refrigerator.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/8 cup sugar (you could reduce this to 1 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 T buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I omitted) and used instead the
Zest of 1 orange and juice of half an orange
3 large ripe bananas or 1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Some rolled oat to top the cake with
Grease and flour a loaf tin measuring 9x5x3 inches. Pre heat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Keep aside.
Beat egg, sugar and oil in another bowl until pale and well combined. Add flour mixture to egg/oil mixture and mix well, adding buttermilk as you go along and then the mashed bananas. Add in teh 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Combine.
Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin. level out and scatter 1/3 chopped walnuts and then some rolled oats over the top.
Bake for 50 - 60 mintes or until skewer inserted in teh centre comes out clean. If the top gets too brown before its done tent it with a piece of foil.