It’s been five years (and three months) since I started writing this blog. I wanted to drop by in September, observe this anniversary and thank you all of you out there for reading my words and appreciating my stories and recipes. And then things got in the way…unfortunately… But this little space in the large blogosphere would not exist without you. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also, I wanted to gift you this exquisite banana bread recipe, a sweet gem all the way from Maui.
Lately, whenever I read or find anything Maui-related I stop and take notice. That’s probably because Adrian and I made two trips to Maui in a year. Needless to say we love Hawaii even if it would be faster to fly home to Romania than to get to this remote paradise in the Pacific.
Everything tends to be simpler on Maui. The moment we land, we instantly relax and embrace the slower island pace, soft sand, annoyingly clear water, lush vegetation and stunningly fiery sunsets. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Maui specialty – banana bread – a bite of that buttery goodness and you’ll never want to leave. We began to really appreciate banana bread on the winding and wondrous drive on the road to Hana, a town in the heart of the island’s rainforest.
This banana bread truly captures the spirit of Maui. Sometimes, simple is the way to go because the simplest of ingredients make for the boldest of flavors and stunning results. This banana bread is case in point. It is dense, spongy, moist and features a deep and elegant banana bouquet that easily envelopes the surroundings. It is deeply decadent while highlighting basic, clean and unspoiled aromas that undoubtedly go a long way.
It’s gutsy to refrain from tinkering with a recipe, over-embellishing and overflowing with needless ingredients. I tried really hard to control myself from tossing in any crunchy texture or lemony zing. But this recipe doesn’t need any of that. The straightforward yet decadent flavor of banana shines through and makes for a wonderful dessert, snack or breakfast. Enjoy this magical recipe and Happy New Year to everyone!
Easy and Simple Banana Bread
Adapted from Julia’s Best Banana Bread from Bon Appétit (March 2013)
Makes: 1 loaf of banana bread
· Butter for greasing the pan
· 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
· 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
· ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
· 3 large eggs
· 1 ½ cups sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (from about 2 large bananas)
· ¾ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, bananas and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of the pan to release the bread. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely.
Do ahead: Banana bread can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)