After blogging about tea on my previous post, it seemed my mind naturally gravitated towards a recipe that goes well with tea. Heaven knows there are about a million desserts and cakes that match well with tea, but I was in a real mood for a classic this time. It’s been a while since I wrote about banana bread.
Banana bread has got to be one of the most adaptable recipes out there. You can add things into it, even switch up the ingredients, and more or less it’s going to end up tasting pretty good still. I’ve pretty much given up on searching for THE best banana bread recipe because I’ve tried so many good ones that choosing a favourite doesn’t make sense to me anymore. Instead, I just go ahead and enjoy each and every new banana bread recipe that comes my way, just like with this Almond Banana Bread recipe!
If only all the things in life would present itself this way!
What makes a banana bread such a crowd favourite anyway? The scent? The banana flavour and sweetness? The add-ons? This version I really loved for the texture. The almond meal adds a bit of grittiness to the bread, but it also adds a nice sweetness complementing with the banana. I’m thinking the sugar can be cut back a little bit without compromising the moisture of the bread because of this.
I think every banana bread that’s ever tasted so good has one secret ingredient that also makes it nice and soft and moist, and that is sour cream. Sour cream always adds another dimension to banana bread too, I find. I’ve made a bunch of banana breads with and without sour cream, and frankly the ones without are a bit on the bland side. I say always go for the recipe with the sour cream!
With sour cream AND cinnamon and vanilla in the batter you don’t have to worry about this being short on taste even if it’s just a plain banana bread without any add-on’s. I do however have some add-on’s in mind for the next time; mainly my favourites: dark chocolate chips and maybe some walnuts too to contrast with the almonds in the bread. Would that taste kind of weird? Like mixed nuts banana bread or something?
This is a pretty straightforward and easy recipe, as all banana breads are and should be. The only thing that ended up being a concern for other people who have adapted this recipe was that the centres of their breads tended to sink. To remedy this, I decided to bake my banana breads in two narrower and slightly smaller pans. I topped each loaf with slices of banana as well, thinking that even if my bread does happen to sink at least it would do so with style.
Thankfully I did not encounter any of the sinking problems, and if you ask me, this is one heck of a photogenic recipe. One of the most photogenic banana breads I’ve made actually.
Now just imagine the fragrance and yumminess of banana and almonds in one gloriously moist loaf. This be it man. Now go and replicate!
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf or two 6x3-inch loaves
- 1¼ cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup (65 grams) almond meal
- ⅔ cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- Firm ripe banana, sliced
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a 9-inch loaf pan (or two 6-inch loaf pans), line with parchment paper leaving overhangs on the side. Grease the parchment paper.
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and almond meal. Set aside.
- 3. In another larger bowl, using a handheld mixer (or your stand mixer), cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- 4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
- 5. Add the sour cream and banana and mix on low just until combined.
- 6. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the dry ingredients. Fold the flour into the wet mixture just until incorporated. Take care not to overmix the batter.
- 7. Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with sliced bananas. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 8. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then using the parchment overhangs as handles, carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely. Peel off the paper, dust with icing sugar if desired, and serve with tea.
I will never get sick of making banana bread variations. That’s for sure.