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There is something so appealing about a big, full bowl of fruit; so much so, that I often find myself buying obscene amounts of limes or lemons just because they look so beautiful resting in my grandmother’s antique bowl. Or maybe I just want to be like Martha Stewart. Whatever the case, I handle these items with the “more is more” philosophy.
We sell a lot of bananas in the café, but there is always a number of very ripe ones that end up in my baking pile to be made into banana bread or banana muffins. And in my constant search for ways to upgrade basic baked items I make and sell in the café, I often add extra delicious things to the bread. But first, I think I have found the perfect banana bread recipe, it uses sour cream to moisten and add texture to the bread, lots of those ripe bananas and not too sweet; then, I add raspberries or blueberries to the mix and a ribbon of cream cheese filling. It bakes up moist, beautiful and with a crunchy top thanks to the raw sugar I sprinkle the breads with before baking.
This cake freezes well and stays fresh at room temperature for at least two days, though I doubt it will last that long on your counter.
Banana Bread Loaf
12 Tbls unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
3 very ripe bananas
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Kosher salt
Fresh or frozen raspberries
Cream cheese filling
1 package cream cheese, room temp
1/3 c sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream together with the eggs and vanilla, add ripe bananas and mash slightly. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Add 1/3 of banana mix to butter and sugar, mix well, then add 1/3 of flour mix, blend just until combined. Continue to alternately add the banana mix and the flour mix until the dough is evenly mixed.
In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until it is well combined and light. Add the salt and vanilla, mix well. Add the egg yolk and mix to combine.Scoop 1/2 the banana bread mixture into the prepared pan,bring it up the sides of the pan with the back of a metal spoon.
Lay the cream cheese on top, spread into an even layer.
Carefully add the rest of the banana bread mix on the top and even the dough. Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until the bread is dark golden brown and baked through.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, use a butter knife to loosen from the sides of the pan, turn out onto a board, turn over and let cool. EAT!