Yesterday’s banana bread is today’s breakfast

People often ask me what my favourite cookbook is, and I never know what to tell them.  It really depends on what you plan to be cooking, and what your skill level is.  However, if you really pressed me for an answer, I would tell you that you should probably have The Joy of Cooking on your bookshelf.  I own the 1997 edition, and it has been there for me whenever I’ve had a culinary question.  There are great reference sections for vegetables, meat, and fish, and I’m constantly referring to the handy-dandy table of cake pan substitutions. 

The savoury recipes are reliable, accessible, and fairly easy.  I’m not overly impressed with the dessert recipes, as I think they lack subtlety.  They’re very American-style desserts: giant layer cakes with overly sweet icings.  However, the sticky bun recipe is to die for. If you’re a stickler for pictures, this might not be the book for you. It’s 95% text, with line drawings to illustrate techniques. 

Yesterday I tried the banana bread recipe, which uses a strange mixing method.  Typically, banana bread is made by creaming butter & sugar together, adding liquid (eggs, mashed banana and sometimes vegetable oil), and then gently folding in the dry ingredients.  This recipe started by creaming the butter & sugar together, adding in the dry ingredients to get a mixture that resembled wet sand, and then adding in the liquid.  Apparently, this “unusual mixing method produces a tender cakey loaf with excellent banana flavor”.

Well, the texture was definitely cakier and denser than most banana breads, but I don’t know that it was remarkably different from a regular banana bread.  I will say that the banana bread was definitely too sweet.  I’d say that the next time I make it, I’ll reduce the amount of sugar – but to be honest, I’ll probably just go back to my old banana bread recipe.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2008, HomemadeTags2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Yesterday’s banana bread is today’s breakfast”

  1. I love The Joy of Cooking! I’m not sure I’ve ever really made a recipe from it, but as a reference book? Priceless.

    I don’t know about ‘favourite’ cookbook, but the book I find myself returning to again and again is In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley. I’ve made at least 20-30 of the recipes in it and not one of them has turned out poorly. In fact, a number of the recipes have become my go-to recipes for certain things. Add in the fact that there’s something like 300 pages of reference and you’ve got a pretty great book. And to top it all off, she’s Canadian.

  2. I’ve had several people recommend “In the Sweet Kitchen” and I’ve considered buying it. It won the 2001 IACP Cookbook of the Year award, which is no small feat.

    To be honest, I have so many cookbooks that I’ve never even tried recipes from – I have a “small bites” book from Gail Gand that I’ve only read but never tried. I do like Claire Clark’s “Indulge” but the recipes are very fancy shmancy and require a bit of commitment before testing.

    I also really like my shiny professional cookbooks: “The Professional Baker” by Gisslen, and “Chocolates and Confections” from the CIA. Both are excellent books, and everything I’ve tried has been really good. But then again, those aren’t books that I readily recommend to the home cook.

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