Experiments in banana bread

I’ve been doing some experimentation with banana bread as of late.

Of note – and of which I have pictures – are a batch of banana-blueberry-flax muffins and a spiced tea banana bread loaf.

For both the muffins and the loaf, I used the basic banana bread procedure outlined here. And I prepared the bananas using the freezer trick that I described in a previous post. If you don’t have time for the freezer trick, a good way to get very ripe bananas can be to check out the reduced-for-quick-sale produce section at grocery or fruit stores.

Here are the banana-blueberry-flax muffins:

blueberry muffins with banana and flax2

I went through the regular procedure and ingredients for the banana bread recipe linked above, but, after all of the other ingredients were mixed, I added about one cup of frozen blueberries and about 1/3 of a cup of ground brown flax seeds.

I ground the flax seeds with a coffee grinder. You could use whole flax seeds if you want to; I felt like using ground flax seeds. As for the blueberries, I’d suggest using frozen blueberries as they are often cheaper than fresh blueberries and, because they are frozen, they’re likely to keep longer than fresh blueberries.

The spiced tea banana loaf was a completely random idea that I had and decided to make happen.

I started out by boiling water in a kettle. And, then -and this served as the liquid called for in the recipe – I measured out about one cup of boiling water and poured the water into a bowl. Then, I added five regular old Earl Grey tea sachets to the bowl of water. I made sure that the tea sachets were completely immersed in the water.

I let everything sit for about ten minutes. Then, I removed the tea sachets from the water and added some spice. For spice I used about one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, and about one quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves.

Because I felt like it, I added about half a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the mixture.

I added the bananas to the liquid and spice mixture at this point.

And, then, I continued, with the rest of the banana bread recipe.

The result, the lovely spiced tea banana bread loaf pictured below:

chai tea banana bread

This banana bread turned out moist, dense, and delicious, with an excellent balance of spice and flavour. Highly-recommended, and I may try spiced tea banana bread again with a different kind of tea.

I also recently tried making a chocolate cake – using the basic chocolate cake recipe I wrote about here – with a whole banana mixed into the batter. The cake was delicious, but the chocolate flavour seemed to overwhelm the banana flavour and there was really no telling that there was any banana content in the cake.

I’m somewhat curious as to how adjusting banana and chocolate content may affect the texture of the cake that that cake recipe produces, so I may continue to play with that recipe.

Or maybe I won’t.