When I first started collecting cookbooks, I fell in love with Rosso & Lukins tome, The Silver Palate. Over the years, anyone who had any connection with that pair got my attention, so it was a no-brainer for me to pick up Sarah Leah Chase's cookbook Cold-Weather Cooking. It's a collection of recipes that are so imaginative and fun! Take, for instance, her recipe for banana bread. It's like a trip to Margueritaville, as far as I'm concerned. Perfect for the summertime, when you are fighting to keep the fruit fresh, the fruit flies at bay, and the larder stocked for weekend guests.
I had a few bananas on the counter today that were in grave need of being consumed before the fruit flies found them. I also have just a bit of coconut, some Captain Morgan spiced rum in the cabinet, and some macadamia nuts and yellow sultanas ... put them all together in a quick bread batter and you have Sarah Leah Chase's take on banana bread - moist, boozy, and so good with a pat of butter and hot coffee. 4th of July breakfast is pretty much taken care of at this point!
Sarah Leah Chase's Banana Bread - printer friendly
courtesy of Sarah Leah Chase’s Cold-Weather CookingIngredients:
½ c. yellow sultanas
⅓ c. spiced rum
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
⅔ c. macadamia nuts, roasted and chopped
½ c. shredded sweetened coconut
Making the Bread:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2. Place the sultana raisins and the rum in a small saucepan and bring the rum to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and leave for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the heat, uncover, and cool.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until it is smooth and creamy.
5. Add the vanilla and the egg and continue beating to incorporate.
6. Add the mashed banana and combine.
7. Mix in the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter.
8. Add the sultanas and any rum drippings. Stir in to lighten the batter a bit.
9. Fold in the coconut and macadamia nuts.
10. Turn into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the batter into the corners and bake for about one hour.
11. Bread is done when a cake tester comes clean when inserted in the center of the loaf.
12. If the top of the bread browns too quickly, cover with a loose sheet of foil.
13. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes and then turn out of the pan onto the rack and finish cooling. Wrap tightly and store in a cool, dark place, if you don’t plan to eat the bread right away. This bread freezes well, too. Just double wrap with foil, bag in a plastic zip-lock, and freeze for up to three months.