Mini Banana Loaves

O & G Banana Bread

I wasn’t planning on posting these mini loaves. I made them on a whim last weekend, thinking they’d make a good snack to take to work. It turns out this is the greatest banana bread ever. Seriously.

I used the Olive & Gourmando recipe from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef. I’ve had the book since Christmas and have been eyeing this recipe ever since. I hesitated to make it because it seemed a little too involved for banana bread. I mean, it’s supposed to be a “quick” bread, right?  Turns out the extra steps were totally worth it. Unlike a typical banana bread, where baking powder is added to dry ingredients, this recipe calls for adding baking soda to sour cream before mixing it into the batter. On top of this unusual step, the recipe also called for microwaving the bananas to extract the juices and then reduce the juice by half. I don’t have a microwave so I heated the bananas over a double boiler, which worked very well.

The flavour was rich, the texture light and moist at the same time. Even days later these mini loaves tasted incredible. So I snapped a quick to prove to you that although this banana bread must be tried.

O & G’s Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted  butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease  8 mini loaf molds, set aside.
  2. Mix the sour cream and the baking soda together, set aside. 
  3. Over a double boiler, gently heat the banana for 5 minutes. Place the bananas in a fine mesh sieve and strain out the juices, you should get 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice. In a small sauce pan  over medium reduce the juice by half, then return the juice to the banana and mash the bananas (don’t puree). 
  4. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Stir in the bananas with a spatula, then the sour cream mixture. 
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, spices and salt together. Fold the flour into the banana/butter mixture. 
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf molds. Bake for 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the molds for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. 
Enjoy! 

Banana Nutella Muffins

One year ago today I wrote my first post for this blog. When I started I really never thought anyone would read it. For a couple of months I was writing just for myself and the two other people I had told about the blog. Then I discovered Foodbuzz, and was introduced to a wide world of food bloggers. They were kind and supportive, and I like to think that some of the people I’ve “met” through Foodbuzz are my friends.

When I started writing the blog, I had a hard time coming up with what to say. What is it people want to read? Then I came across this quote:

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.  ~Cyril Connolly

It helped me realize that writing for some imaginary potential audience won’t work. This blog is a place for me to share my experiences with food, recipes I enjoy, and the occasional anecdote about my day. It’s an escape from the day to day more than anything else (sometimes I even write my posts while at work when I need to clear my head; sshh, don’t tell anyone!)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get a few subscribers and regular readers. I want to thank all of you for reading my ramblings and sharing your thoughts with me. Your comments are always very much appreciated!

My original plan was to remake the Amaretto Cheese Tart I wrote about in my first post. An unexpected condo visit on Sunday changed my plans. Instead I’m sharing these Banana Nutella Muffins with you. They seem fitting since muffins are probably the baked good I make the most.

I was hoping for more of a Nutella swirl look to them, but I over-mixed the batter and lost the swirl. It’s ok, they still taste great, and the Nutella drizzle on top completely makes up for the lack of swirl inside.

Don’t worry, I’ll make the tart soon!

Banana Nutella Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (anything but fat free)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Nutella, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ripe but firm banana for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed banana, butter and egg together. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined. Stir in the Nutella.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with thin slices of banana.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once done, cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with Nutella.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Muffins

I had an incredible headache Thursday morning when I woke up. The kind that makes me want to lie perfectly still because any movement feels like an explosion in my brain. I stayed home from work and just lay in my bed for a few hours. It hurt too much to sleep or read, and the light from my computer or TV just intensified the pain. I let my mind just wander, if I wasn’t in pain it would have been kind of fun.

Eventually the pain lessened so I got up and started to work from home. Unfortunately my remote access wasn’t working. All of the emails in my inbox were from 2009, nothing I sent went through, and I had no access to any of the network drives. Oh well, I tried.

So what’s a girl to do on a Thursday afternoon when the rest of the world is hard at work? Make muffins of course.

These chocolate banana muffins are an attempt at eating healthy. Sort of. They’ve got whole wheat flour and no refined sugar. I probably could have cut back a little on the butter, but I figured I’d go one step at time, you know?


Chocolate Banana Muffins

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas, egg, butter, and milk together.
  4. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour the wet into the well, then stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in the cinnamon chips.
  6. Pour batter into the lined muffin tin, about 3/4 full. Bake for 27-32 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely (if you can wait that long)

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread


What did people do with over ripe bananas before banana bread was invented? I always used to make mine with walnuts and chocolate chips. Classic. Delicious. Then a little over a year ago I developed an allergy to walnuts, which means my classic banana bread recipe will make my face swell up into something that looks like this:

I haven’t made banana bread since.

So I need a new banana bread recipe. I could put just chocolate chips, but that seemed too easy. After a quick consultation with Janice, I decided peanuts was the way to go. Unfortunately I forgot to buy the peanuts. Instead I used peanut butter, sort of like a pre-made peanut butter and banana sandwich.

My results were mixed. The flavour was great but the overall experience was lacking. I wanted the peanut butter to swirl through the batter, but the two ended up almost completely combined. I think because of the that the cake was a little dry, sort of like having peanut butter without a glass of milk. I also missed the texture of the nuts in the banana bread. Next time I’ll remember to buy the peanuts.

I’m posting the recipe as I made it, but I’d suggest increasing the amount of mashed banana or yogurt, or maybe even butter. Some experimenting may be required. Or just a large glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the bananas, butter, eggs and yogurt.
  4. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 8 by 8 inch pan. Dollop the peanut butter randomly over the batter and swirl into the batter using a knife.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  7. Let cool before serving.

Enjoy!

PS: If anyone has a fail proof swirling method, I’d love to know what it is!