I've got a couple of recipes to tell you about, but for now I'll write about a tasty baking project for anyone about to experience unseasonably cool weather like I will. After making one batch of banana bread last week, I decided to try Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze.
This recipe has an extra step or two than a regular banana bread recipe, but it was still pretty easy. I started off by caramelizing some bananas. I melted some (real) butter in a sauce pan, added bananas and brown sugar, and cooked it for 4 minutes. I poured the mixture into my stand mixer bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, I combined buttermilk (supplemented with a little lemon juice and 2% milk), eggs, rum, and vegetable oil with a whisk. I weighed my all-purpose flour in a separate bowl and stirred in baking soda and salt into it lightly. Once 10 minutes of cooling time had passed, I used the stand mixer to cream the bananas, and added the flour and buttermilk mixture alternately, just like you would for a cake. I poured the batter into my sprayed and floured baking pan, and baked it at 350F for about 50 minutes. (This was in my hot oven. I expect the 60-minute baking time is correct for most ovens.)
After 10 minutes I removed the bread from the pan and cooled it on a rack. Once the bread was cool enough, I made the browned butter glaze. This was incredibly simple to do. I melted real butter (I don't think margarine would work) in a saucepan and cooked it on medium-high for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, as instructed. I whisked in the powdered sugar and half and half, adding a little more powdered sugar because I thought the glaze was too thin. I carefully spread it over the cooled bread.
This was very tasty banana bread. Browned butter is one of the most exciting food-related discoveries I've had this year - it created an excellent glaze for the bread.
The bread was more than just the glaze, though - it was tasty in its own right. The taste of rum wasn't strong, but it definitely gave the bread a distinctive flavor. Alex thought this bread wasn't as banana-y as some recipes, but I disagreed. I think that cooking the bananas before baking the bread, and adding the rum, enhanced the flavor of the bread. It was like turning Bananas Foster into bread.
I enjoyed this, and I can see myself choosing to make this instead of regular banana bread, even if I skipped the glaze.