Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: Caffeine, meet banana.
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I believe there may be a law of Nature that states that whenever you have a serious banana bread craving, you will not have any super-ripe bananas, and any bananas to be found in the grocery store will be in shades of green varying from grass green to pea green and not one will be even remotely brown-speckled. So you will buy them underripe and set them on your counter, and then just as they are about to turn nice and ripe and spotty, your husband will eat them with peanut butter because you have been so focused on baking banana bread that you haven’t stocked the house with anything to eat for lunch. Cruel, cruel Nature.
Suffice it to say, I have been craving banana bread for a long time, and have been failing to bake banana bread for an equally long time. Until finally, today, I defied Nature’s laws and had the craving, the bananas, and the time to make banana bread -- all at once. Actually, I didn’t really have the time, but I baked anyway. Carpe banana!
There are many, many banana bread recipes out there, including some pretty sublime ones, so perhaps the world doesn’t need another recipe for banana bread. But, perhaps it does. I choose to believe the latter. You see, ever since I rediscovered my old high school flame, The Jumpin’ Monkey (a.k.a. a coffee-banana smoothie), I have been convinced that coffee and banana are a pairing that is, if not timeless, at least worth revisiting frequently. And so, I have been wanting to make an espresso-spiked banana bread.
Now that I have, I can say definitively that it is a great thing, and I may never go back to non-caffeinated banana bread. The warm, roasty espresso flavor becomes smooth and melodious against the sweetness of the banana. This would be a particularly good banana bread to stir a cup of chocolate chips into. But, of course, the laws of Nature state that, when you finally are able to bake banana bread and it is one where chocolate would make an exceptionally good addition, you will not have chocolate chips around. So, I enjoyed it plain.
3 very ripe large bananas (1 1/2 cups), mashed well 1 large egg, at room temperature 2 tablespoons sour cream, or crème fraîche, or Greek yogurt 2 ounces shot of espresso (or absurdly strong coffee) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules (optional) 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted, unsalted butter) 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour would also work well) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.