The weather here is still pretty cold and rainy. It’s that kind of damp cold that you can’t seem to shake, it gets right into your bones and only a steaming hot shower and cup of tea get get you feeling alive again.
A while ago it got crazy stormy and most of Victoria got their power knocked out. Luckily it was my day off work, so I was curled up in bed watching Supernatural, nervously glancing at the big tree in our front yard willing it not to come crashing through the roof. Then just as I got up to make a cup of coffee, there was an innocent whooshing sound and off went the power. Although it wasn’t quite how I envisioned my day off, as the power outage meant no light, cooking, tea, coffee, or internet, it did feel quite cozy. Jordan took the world’s longest nap, I curled up next to the window to read near some natural light, while Adam and Owen braved the storm and headed to class.
After a few hours the power clicked back on with the cheery beep of electronics coming back to life, and Jordan and I decided it was safe to venture out to go for a grocery run. Man, were we wrong. No more than 2 minutes after we walked into the grocery store, and right after we had split up to different isles, there was a familiar whooshing sound and we were plunged into total darkness. A collective groan of dozens of shoppers, and people headed for the cash registers or for the exits.
I, however, was standing in total darkness, having left my cellphone at home, clutching several oranges, separated from my roommate. Luckily Jordan and I had previously agreed to meet by the pizza pretzels, so I started blindly making my way to where I thought the bakery section was, squinting at every passing figure to see if I could spot him. And I finally did, hurrying towards me using his phone light saying “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY MEET AT THE PIZZA PRETZELS. I CALLED YOU BUT YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR PHONE, AND I WENT TO THE PIZZA PRETZELS BUT THEY DON’T HAVE ANY THANK GOD WE FOUND EACH OTHER.” Sometimes we’re dramatic.
So we abandoned our baskets and headed to the next grocery store, which was absolute chaos as people were spilling over from the previous one into the store with power. But we managed to get our grocery shop done, albeit taking a bit longer than we had initially thought it would.
And what better to recover from a traumatic day of wind storms and lack of pizza pretzels than warm banana bread? Is there anything better than freshly baked banana bread, smothered in butter? Nope, there isn’t. So if you were going to say yes there is, then you might as well leave now.
There are an infinite number of wonderful banana bread recipes floating around in the universe, all of them containing different ways to make them moister, more flavourful, more full of banana taste (banana-y?). And it all really comes down to personal preference.
From the many banana breads I’ve made in my time, I’ve discovered a couple things:
- Recipes that use vegetable oil tend to create a lovely buttery, crumbly and moist banana bread, vs. recipes that call for melted butter create, again, a very moist bread, but less crumbly and more chewy and decadent.
- The whole thing about using extremely ripe bananas is not overrated. I’ve made banana breads with bright yellow, barely ripe bananas, and ones with bananas that I worry have already crossed over to the other side- and man, do the old bananas add more. It’s hugely more flavourful and adds a rich, honey sweet banana flavour.
- I like to add Vanilla Extract to every banana bread recipe, even ones that don’t call for it. Banana and vanilla are a flavour match made in heaven, and it adds a great and well rounded aroma to the bread.
This is my personal favourite, tweaked and modified over the years to become my idea of the best banana bread- crazy moist, crazy banana flavour, just crazy good.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large, very ripe bananas (Or 3 medium sized bananas)
A little extra granulated or coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a large bowl mash together bananas with a fork. Mix in melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda
- Add dry ingredients to banana mixture in 2 inclusions. Do not overmix.
- Add chocolates chips and fold in.
- Grease loaf tin with butter or pam spray
- Pour batter into prepared loaf tin, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven when knife comes out clean, or at desired level of gooeyness
I’ve been making up my own banana bread recipes since I was 5 or 6 years old (many have been very questionable), but I’ve got to say, I think I’ve hit the jackpot with this one. It’s so moist, chewy and flavourful. Of course, this is based on my own personal banana bread preferences- but my boyfriend, who hates bananas and isn’t a big fan of banana bread either, ate 3 pieces in one sitting and gave it two thumbs up.
Thanks for stopping by! Happy eating x