Found yourself making a lot of banana bread at home recently? Just us?
We asked some of the UAE’s top bakers to share their tips for making the sweet, stodgy comfort food, and here’s what they said.
Dalia Soubra, Dalia's Kitchen
Always combine the wet and dry ingredients gently with a spatula for a soft loaf, as over mixing the batter will result in dense banana bread.
Basu Somopriyo, Executive Chef at Sarabeth's, Dubai
Coffee and walnut banana bread is a more intense, and full-flavoured version of the classic banana bread.
Adding a shot of espresso, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and cinnamon powder gives a complete roundness to the sweetness by adding a light citrus note and a comforting aroma.
The chopped walnuts gives a nutty bite which is complimented by the sweetness of cranberries, and when baking it adds a light crisp to the outside, with an airy and buttery centre. We strongly recommend using the ripest bananas – choosing bananas which have plenty of black spots on its skin add a soft texture and a rich aftertaste.
Fatima Al Sayegh, Chef and Owner of Wake 'n' Bake Bakery, Abu Dhabi
My version of a banana bread is warm, moist and dynamic. You only need one great addition to your loaf recipe and I have every reason to believe it’s the addition of dark chocolate chips. However, the one ingredient that goes into our batter and makes people come back for more is cream cheese. Cream cheese will not only transform your banana bread, it’s a bold and distinctive addition that will create a loaf that is out of this world.
No matter what recipe you are following, cream cheese will go into your wet ingredients. Just as you start combining your mashed bananas (make sure they are really ripe) to the wet ingredients, add the cream cheese in.
For every three large bananas we like to use half a cup of cream cheese and we don’t recommend using more than that. After you’ve poured your batter into the loaf tin, a sprinkle of all-spice on top will create more depth to your banana bread.
Wait on your banana bread to cool down completely to room temperature before slicing it and once cool enough, use a warm knife (previously dipped in hot water) to cut a perfect slice. We like to toast our slice using a toaster, creating a perfectly crisped edge that is fantastically complimented by a dollop of salted butter.
Stéphanie Nehmé, Clinical Dietitian at Right Bite
If you’re looking for a healthy banana bread recipe, Stéphanie Nehmé, Clinical Dietitian at Right Bite has just the one – each slice is about 200 calories.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour or brown flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 pinch salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla seeds or 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup sugar (you can also use brown sugar but it will give it a less fluffy texture)
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 pureed ripe bananas
• Optional: 1/2 cup cacao nibs or 1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon) and set aside.
2. Beat the eggs, vanilla extract, sugar with a cake mixer for 2 minutes, add oil gradually while mixing continuously until all ingredients are combined. Keep the wet Mixture aside.
3. In a bowl add the bananas gradually along with the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and mix it for one minute.
4. If using cacao nibs or walnuts this is when you mix it in using a big spoon
5. Lightly brush a non-stick rectangular pan with oil.
6. Pour the cake mixture into the pan and spread using a spoon
7. Cook in a preheated oven (180°C or 356°F) for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Set aside to cool down and turn into a serving plate.
9. Divide into 15 equal-sized pieces and serve.
tashas, Dubai Marina Mall & Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi
We boil dates in a water and vanilla solution to hydrate them and to make them super soft. The dates then act as an extra punch of moisture without being chopped and just folded into the mix. We also use Bob’s Red Mill organic gluten free flour mix – this gives the baked product a very light texture, and a slightly healthier take on a classic banana bread recipe. Adding walnuts or pecan nuts, also gives the banana bread an extra decadence.
For more delicious recipes and cooking tips, click here.