I have a really bad habit of buying bananas, not finishing them and refusing to throw them out when they go all spotty and brown. Kid Cayenne could strangle me. It's just that I always think I'll bake something with them. A brown banana is a perfect banana when it comes to quick breads and muffins and all sorts of wonderful things. Trouble is, I don't get around to it and a week later, when the kitchen is swarming with tiny fruit flies that keep smacking into our faces and I can't deny it any longer, they finally get tossed. This is a frequently repeated cycle in my house. Not this time!
Pim, of Chez Pim, recently adapted a banana bread recipe that has been out in food blog land for a few years via Smitten Kitchen and Simply Recipes. She wanted to jack up the interest level on the already good recipe by adding a shot of espresso and a glug of whiskey. I thought that was an excellent idea. I've already had great success with adding espresso to the chocolate muffins, cupcakes and brownies I used to bake for a little coffee house in the French Quarter many years ago. It adds an extra intensity to the chocolate, makes it more than it was before, makes the chocolate sing. What could it do to banana bread? I wanted to find out.
Presumably, Pim calls it Morning After Banana Bread because it also contains the hair of the dog... in her case, a shot of Jameson whiskey. I used New Orleans rum instead because I had it in the house whereas Jameson, I do not. I also added a cup of walnut pieces and halves because the idea of a banana bread without walnuts makes me really sad. Other than that, the recipe is identical to hers. I will list my version here, but you should really visit Chez Pim's recipe page if you'd like to see her very nice photos of the process.
The result? It's wonderful. Fragrant and buttery and richly flavored. The espresso and rum don't stand out as individual elements, but you do get a sense of them being there. I've already had 3 slices today. My belly fat roll is expanding visibly but I can't help myself. Try it and see if you can.
3-4 very ripe bananas
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 shot (about 1T) of espresso (or a scant 1 tablespoon of espresso granules)
2 tablespoons rum or whiskey
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1 cup walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas until creamy. Add the egg and yogurt and whisk to blend. Next add the melted butter, espresso and rum. Mix in.
Add the sugar, baking soda and salt and stir to completely incorporate.
Sift the flour into the bowl and stir with spoon (gently and slowly) until you can no longer see white spots of flour. Add walnuts and lightly fold into the batter.
Butter and flour a 9” loaf pan or line it with a piece of parchment. Pour the batter into the mold and then shake it or knock it lightly on the counter to remove air pockets and get the batter to settle. Bake on a cookie sheet for 1 hour or until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean.