Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great Banana Cake/Bread with Honey!

This delicious banana bread/cake recipe comes from King Arthur Flour, a great source for recipes.  It has a wonderful, deep banana flavor and a great, dense crumb.  It's almost like a banana pound cake.  It includes tablespoons of jam or marmalade. I used some lovely plum jam that friends gave us--a very nice addition!

I usually bake quick breads in a ring cake mold.  It holds the same amount of batter as a 9x5  loaf pan, and avoids the problem of an under cooked center that I sometimes experience with quick breads, especially when baking with honey.  Baked goods with honey tend to brown much more quickly and so the outer crust starts to get too dark before the center is completely cooked. 

Banana Cake/Bread with Honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium or 2 large bananas)
3 tablespoons jam or marmalade (optional, but makes it very special!)
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan or ring cake mold. 
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add the mashed bananas, jam, honey, and eggs, again beating until smooth. 
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into wet ingredients just until smooth.  Fold in the walnuts if using.  
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake the bread for 45 minutes.  Check and then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning if necessary.  Bake for an additional 10 or 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing. This cake keeps for several days.

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