The first recipe from “Julie & Julia Project” I’ve started this week. It’s a tender and moist almond butter banana bread with a nutty flavor from the almond butter and sweet aroma from coconut oil. A quick recap: I’m going to bake through a cookbook by stunning Claire Saffitz, “The Dessert Person” and record the journey. The purpose? Apart from learning the basics of baking and fulfilling my dream of becoming a pastry artist, it’s about finding peace with food after long years of struggling.
It was a great start. Almond butter banana bread is exactly what you expect to see in the cookbook: classic recipes with the twist. Also, throughout the whole book and the recipe itself, Claire provides necessary details, and I had the confidence inside of me that everything is going to work out. I guess the phrase “recipes and guidance for baking with confidence” wasn’t written for nothing on the cover of the book.
Without further ado, let’s just get to that recipe of tender and moist almond butter banana bread. I bet you’re all excited about it. Lastly, please refer to the notes and final comments about the recipe at the end of the post. It’d mean a lot to me if you leave a comment or simply like this post.
Tender, moist and sweet banana bread with a nutty touch from almond butter and a pleasant aroma from coconut oil.
Recipe adapted from "Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz
- 130 g almond butter
- 143 g sugar
- 115 g virgin coconut oil (gently warmed to liquify)
- 173 g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 2 large eggs (cold from the refrigerator)
- 227 g mashed bananas (about 2 overripe large bananas)
- 80 g plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g unsalted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the pan with a bit of coconut oil and line with the parchment paper so that it overhangs an inch or two on each side. Set the pan aside.
- Mix the almond butter swirl. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cardamon. Set the mixture aside.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, quickly whisk the eggs to break up the yolks and whites. Add the remaining sugar (130 g) and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened for about 30 seconds. Add the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, remaining almond butter (83 g), and coconut oil (110 g). Whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Some banana lumps are ok.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Pour the banana mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients and whisk gently until everything is incorporated and there are no dry spots. If using, add the almonds and whisk again until the batter is smooth. Don't forget to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl making sure everything is well incorporated.
- Fill the pan and make the swirl topping. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Dollop teaspoons of the almond butter and sugar mixture ( step #2) all across the top of the batter and use the toothpick or a knife to make a swirl pattern.
- Bake and cool. Bake until the top is risen and it's a nice golden brown color for 60-70 minutes. Check the readiness with the toothpick. Remove the banana bread from the oven and let it cool in the form for 20 min. Then remove it from the form and transfer the bread to the wire rack and let it cool completely. Don't slice it before it's completely cooled. It's going to fall apart and it will still taste great, but the look will be off.
Enjoy this banana bread as a dessert or a stunning breakfast with a cup of coffee in the morning.
- The banana bread can be stored for up to 4 days at room temperature if properly wrapped.
- Use all-natural almond butter with no additivities such as sugar.
- If you don't like the taste or smell of extra virgin coconut oil feel free to replace it with refined coconut oil. It will give a more neutral flavor to the bread,
- If you want to experiment, you can replace half of the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour. The flavor profile will become more complex and nuttier, whereas the texture will be slightly denser.
- Use overripe bananas as most of the sweetness of the bread comes from them. Let bananas sit on the counter for a couple of days before using them until they have lots of blackened spots.
It makes me so excited and anxious at the same time to write this post right now. In fact, I’m watching a show by Netflix “Good Girls”, drinking a glass of wine and eating a piece of cheddar cheese. It’s hard to start something again after many failed attempts, but I want to do it differently this time. This was the first recipe. Eighty-eight coming. I heard once, what distinguishes successful people from non-successful. Simple thing. Successful people unconditionally believe in themselves. They don’t hope for the better. Instead, they know that everything is going to be just right.
I want to be like them. Next recipe is going to be a spiced honey and rye cake. Doesn’t that sound exciting?