After reading Rebecca’s blog post on Costa Rican cuisine, catching an episode of House Hunters International where a couple looked at this condominium and reading Costa Rica trip reviews from my stepbrother, I am now slightly fixated on the country. If you’ve been, post a comment! I’m in the research phase and hope to one day visit, but for now all I can do is daydream and bake banana bread.
Bananas have been a Costa Rican import for years, and if you do a search for Costa Rican Banana Bread, you’ll get tons of options. The recipe I’ve seen most often is similar to this one. It’s from the Martha Alton DuCharme (Madpots) family cookbook, where she introduces is it as a recipe from her friend Terry, then quotes Terri who says it’s not Christmas until they make this bread.
I only had one banana so I made 1/3 of the recipe in a small loaf pan. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have filled it all the way to the top! It rose quite a bit. Luckily, it came out of my little pan perfectly and I was able to slice it into decent looking chunks. The texture was soft, quite uniform and overall really pleasing, while the flavor was better than other recipes. I could really taste the salt, which worked nicely with the banana, brown sugar and butter. Not that the bread was salty, but all the flavors really complemented each other.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (my addition)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk or milk mixed with a little lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a few drops of hot water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large mashed bananas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces) -- weigh or stir and aerate before measuring
- 1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating until mixed. Beat in the milk, baking soda dissolved in water and the salt. When mixed, beat in the bananas, then stir in the flour. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour into the pan and bake on center rack for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs