There was Banacoco….Cocobanan….Cocobanut…..and the very worst, Nutcoban Bread!
In the end I through in the towel and decided not to name it at all, but to describe it simply as "Truly Tropical" because thoughts of banana trees and coconut palms lead me straight to a warm, sunny island. I've generally been somewhat of a purist regarding banana bread, occassionally adding chopped walnuts to the mix for a little excitement (I know…I really should get out more), but otherwise choosing to let the bananas rule on their own.
That was, until recently when I tried a recipe for a peanut butter cookie that called for some added coconut. At first I was aghast at such a thought, but can I tell you, they were the best peanut butter cookies I've ever made. So good in fact, that after eating a half-dozen or so my mind started mashing up all sorts flavor combos involving coconut. It's remarkable what a little sugar buzz will trigger, yes?Most were quite forgettable, but when I stumbled upon coconut and banana I thought I might be onto something.
I was right.
While I'm sure this recipe will work with flaked coconut (the kind you normally find in markets), I prefer to use shaved coconut that I keep on-hand for making granola. The shaved coconut (you can see some strewn in the picture above) comes in much larger pieces and adds more texture to the bread than it's flakey cousin.
Cheers – Steve
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (about 6 large)
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche, greek style yoghurt, or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups shaved coconut (unsweetened)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour, knocking out excess. This recipe actually makes about 2 1/2 loaves, so if you have a smaller loaf pan, butter and flour that as well, and make an additional mini-loaf.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
- Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer with a whisk attachment at medium-high speed until very thick and pale, and the mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and coconut gently but thoroughly.
- Divide batter between loaf pans to about 2/3 full, spreading evenly, and bake in the lower third of the oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Start checking for doneness at about 50 minutes. The mini loaf may take about 15 minutes less than the full sized loaves.
- Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.