By Diane Ako
I wouldn't be a real American if I didn't contract everything into its most monosyllabic possible combination. Case in point: Bennifer, JLo, etc.
Naturally, the logical shortening of the words "car bananas" is "car-nanas," our family's wonderfully efficient way of making fun of my latest ditziness, as detailed in the Car Bananas blog.
Carnanas: it refers to when I bought bananas and lost them in my little compact car for a week, and then couldn't figure out what the banana smell was every time I entered the car.
I know. How does this woman have a graduate degree?
Anyway, who's got the last laugh now? When life hands you overripe bananas, you make banana bread!
Here's the great recipe I used from Chef Joanne Chang's recipe book, Flour:
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 c. + 2 T. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
3 1/2 very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed (1 1/2 c.= about 340 grams)
2 T. creme fraiche or sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. walnut halves, toasted and chopped
Makes one 9" loaf.
Put rack in center of oven, heat to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x5" loaf pan (*though as you see in my photo, I used muffin tins and freelanced on the time!). In bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Set aside.
Using stand mixer with whip attachment, beat together sugar, eggs on medium speed, 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly drizzle in oil. Should take about a minute.
Add bananas, creme fraiche, vanilla. Continue to mix on low speed until combined.
Using rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and nuts until combined. Pour into pan.
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until golden brown on top and center springs back when you press it. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes, then pop it out of the pan to finish cooling.
*I'm not a pro baker but I got lucky. I watched the muffins and used the finger test, so mine were ready after 22 minutes. I also substituted 1/2 c. bittersweet baking chips 60% cacao, because I live with chocoholics. It all turned out really well!
Enjoy... thank Chef Chang when you make this... and just know that you don't have to ripen your bananas in your car for a week. You could probably just let them sit on the kitchen counter! LOL