Sunday, January 16, 2011

A year of banana bread

One of my Christmas gifts to A was a monthly subscription to banana bread, baked by me.  Banana bread is one of his favorite treats, and I have over 30 recipes to try out!  I'll have to give him this gift next year too to get through them all :)

Once a month, A will be receiving a new type of banana bread.  I'll round up my impressions of the ones I try here, and maybe even get some guest commentary from the man himself.

December 2010 (Christmas) - Cinnamon and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is (to date), my absolute favorite "fancy" banana bread.  The cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips push it into dessert territory (unless you are being really naughty for breakfast!), but it is well worth the extra bells and whistles.  Everything about the texture and taste is perfect.

January 2011 - Bananas Foster Bread

A and I were both curious if we should set this bread on fire for an authentic effect, but we refrained.  The bread itself is good and the nut topping provides good texture.  Walnuts aren't my favorite, so next time, I would try this with pecans, perhaps.  I was disappointed in how the rum syrup infused into my bread -- it hardly did at all! Unfortunately I could not soak the bread with the rum syrup in the recommended five minutes after baking, so I am not sure if my tardiness affected the absorption, if I didn't poke enough holes into the bread, if I wasn't patient enough about spooning the syrup on, or none or all of the above.

February 2011 - Plain Banana Bread

A great basic recipe.  I want to make sure that A gets a wide variety of banana breads this year, which means plain ones in addition to the more embellished.  This is one that I wouldn't feel too guilty about eating for breakfast :)

March 2011 - Nutella Banana Bread

This combination was amazing.  The nutella swirls added a great chocolate-y flavor to the bread.  It was a little bit of a pain to make because I thought the nutella mixture was too thick to get proper swirl and distribution in the bread.  This bread is definitely worth doing further experimentation with!

April 2011 - Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

I unfortunately didn't have the patience to let my vanilla sugar sit and meld for a couple days before making this, so I don't think it had as a pronounced vanilla taste as I was hoping for.  The bread smelled absolutely amazing when baking, so I think my expectations were a bit too high about the taste.  I liked the light color and texture of this bread.  Next time, I might save my vanilla beans for applications where they are really the star.

May 2011 - Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Another "jazzed up" version of banana bread.  This one had a different base than the others so far -- primarily whole wheat flour and some flaxseed.  This was the first time I've made a baked good with those and didn't mind the taste or texture.  I guess peanut butter can cure all ills :)  I wished this bread tasted a little less like peanut butter and a little more like banana, but it was pretty good.

June 2011 - Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bread Bites

I discuss this bread here.  The banana bread was very rich and delicious (my new go-to for a rich banana bread) and the chocolate was extra special.

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