Banana bread is one of my absolute favourite things to bake. If you’ve never made it before then I would highly recommend this version that I made based on David Lebovitz’s recipe. It’s brilliant for beginners and always gets devoured so quickly. There’s a vegan version too!
But what about this? Fancy sounding, no? In the spirit of shaking things up a bit, I decided to make a recipe with plantains instead of bananas. If you usually add walnuts to your banana bread, then how about trying macadamia nuts instead?
The outcome is not quite as sweet as banana bread (plantains naturally have less sugar in them) but it’s quite complex in flavour. The spices added to this loaf, as well as the mix of brown sugar and flour with white, give the flavour some real depth and heartiness which you don’t find in traditional banana bread.
The turbinado sugar sprinkled over the top before baking gives it a real browned crust with a sweet, crunchy bite. The macadamia nuts add even more crunch and heartiness, and the plantains – so yellow from their butter saute – stud the loaf with sweetness and colour.
I baked this in the late afternoon with autumn sunshine streaming through the windows and my cats watching on. The variety of flavours and ease of the recipe, along with those circumstances pretty much sum up all I love about baking. I hope you’ll try it!
Plantain and Macadamia Nut Bread
adapted from The Kitchn
Makes 1 loaf
- 3 very ripe plantains; cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 cup macadamia nuts; coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add sliced plantains. Sauté until softened and bright yellow; about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and clove.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together brown and white sugars, vanilla, eggs, canola oil and half and half.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry.
- Mash cooled plantains and add to egg/flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Place in oven and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Enjoy as is or toasted with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of sugar.