Thursday, August 6, 2009
Bananas have become one of my favorite ingredients to bake with in recent years. They're cheap, fairly healthy, and, when allowed to ripen sufficiently, provide amazing flavor. But for years before this, I'd largely avoided banana-flavored treats. Let's just say it took a long time to overcome the trauma of some close encounters with artificial "banana" flavoring. I'm so glad to have gotten over that though, because banana bread done right can do wonders for a bad (or good) day.
I was lucky enough to find a great banana bread recipe on my first attempt a few years back. The Very Moist Banana Nut Bread recipe (with minor variations) from Recipezaar has since become a regular in my baking repertoire and is always gobbled up wherever I take it. While that remains my go-to recipe, I really enjoyed trying an unconventional twist from Cooking Light. Their Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze has already gotten plenty of coverage in the food blogosphere, but a good recipe deserves all the attention it can get. Plus, I was itching to upload my first photos taken with the new camera. There hasn't even been time for me to try any setting other than full auto, but that's what next week's vacation is for (so close I can taste the freedom!!). But getting back to the food, you can find the full recipe with my notes after the jump.
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime (or Lemon) Glaze [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Cooking Light
*My comments/changes in italics
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I also added 1/4 teaspoon of coconut extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice *I used lemon juice and added 1 teaspoon of rum
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to combine.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. *Mine took 65-70 minutes to bake through.
Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool bread completely on wire rack. *I did remove mine from the pan to cool for a while but put it back for lack of a better container.
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