Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Loaf

Sometimes you just know a recipe is going to be perfect. From that first moment you lay eyes on it. Maybe it’s the ingredients that are your favorites or bring special memories. Maybe it is the Chef. Someone that has a history of delighting your palate. In this case, it was both. When my eyes first danced upon Chai Spiced Banana Bread from Jennifer Segal of Once Upon a Chef, I had to stop as a quick breath escaped my lips. Chai? And banana bread? How can that be? How can that be!? I could hardly wait for everyone to fall asleep that night (there is some baking / cooking you want to do on your own. I can’t explain it.). As I was cleaning the dishes I assembled the ingredients. I would go in at bedtime as everyone was quietly snoring. As I sifted the spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, I knew this was going to be perfect. As I mashed the bananas and readied my inverted pumpkin loaf pan, I knew this was going perfect. My only hesitation, my only fear, came as the bread was baking and the most amazing aroma enveloped my home. Surely it was going to wake at least the family, and quite possible the whole sleepy neighborhood! No one awoke and I was able to get a few hours sleep before my youngest foodie made her appearance. “What is that amazing smell Mommy?” “Oh that? Just some bread I made last night. Would you like to try it?” And as I showed D the bread she started jumping up and down, licking her lips. I gave her a big, fat slice (it was breakfast time, after all). “Oh mommy, this is SO good. You are the best cooker ever! I love everything you cook. Can you cook this again?” And I knew it was perfect.

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl or electric m ixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt.  Add to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined.  Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined.  Gently stir in nuts if using.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until deep golden brown and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 – 70 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or even toasted.

Servings: One Loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes; Baking: 70 minutes

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Slices

Courtesy:  Once Upon A Chef

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Peach Cake

I made this a month or so ago when I was hosting a housewarming party for my sister and am just now getting to post it (there are several other recipes from that afternoon that I have yet to add, so stay tuned).  This is my 3rd peach cake / cobbler this summer!  There is nothing like fresh summer peaches.  Biting into them and the juice runs down your chin making your neck and hands sticky.  In this recipe I used white peaches,  next time I’ll use the classic yellow peach.  Picking them up at the farmers market ensures their juiciness (and has absolutely nothing to do with the large $5 bag of kettle corn I might accidentally buy there).  So while we’re now full on into apple and pumpkin season, hopefully there are still some amazing peaches to be had and baked with  🙂

Peach Cake 2

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted this since it was for my sister and she doesn’t like pecans)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat 9″ square baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat butter and 1 cup of sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, mix until batter is smooth.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Spread half the batter evenly in the pan.  Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with about two-thirds of the sugar mixture.  Spread remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and pecans

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 mins; Baking time: 55 minutes

Peach Cake 3

*Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa