Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Best Banana Bread!

I've made a lot of banana bread and have eaten more than I've made.  This is the best.  I am agreeable, however, to trying some of your favorite banana breads to see if my statement holds up.  Just overnight them to me and I'll get back to you with my decision.

This was one of the quick breads I made for the bridal luncheon.  I intended to photograph it sliced but it quickly disappeared!!

Sarah Leah Chase was one of the authors of the original Silver Palate cookbook.  I have two of her cookbooks.  Both Nantucket Open House and Cold-Weather Cooking have served me well through the years.  This is her banana bread recipe.

Banana Bread from Cold-Weather Cooking by Sara Leah Chase

1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup Jamaican rum
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
3 ripe bananas (mine were fairly large), mashed
2/3 cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
2.  Place the raisins and rum together in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and set aside to cool.
3.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.
4.  Sift all the dry ingredients and the spices together and add to the butter mixture alternating with the mashed bananas.  Stir well after each addition.
5.  Fold in the macadamia nuts, coconut and raisins with the rum.  Spoon mixture into the prepared pan.
6.  Bake the bread until a tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean--about an hour.  Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.  Remove the loaf from the pan to the wire rack and cool completely.  Serve at room temperature.  I think it's even better wrapped tightly until the next day.