sunchokes and pears in lasagna, let's just say that one didn't work.
So, I wanted to make a banana bread that I could get excited about. I wanted it to be special, not just a use for some old over ripe bananas. A banana bread with intention. I wanted it to be just slightly healthier than the banana bread pudding from Lavelle's, but with that flavor in mind. What I came up with was roasted bananas, browned butter, and cream cheese. Because the bananas are roasted it doesn't matter if they are yellow, or black. The bread is a bit crumbly if you cut into it right away, but you know me I can never wait long for baked goods. If you wrap it in plastic wrap while still slightly warm and let it sit overnight it will hold its shape much better. I don't often celebrate food holidays, but I had been working on this recipe for a while and couldn't resist posting it today. Happy Banana Bread Day!
Roasted Banana Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl
adapted from Guilty Kitchen and Yadira's Crafty Adventures
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces (114g) of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons all purpose flour
3 medium bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 cups barley flour
Cream Cheese Filling:
In a small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, and flour with a wooden spoon. Mix until smooth. Place bowl in refrigerator while preparing the banana bread.
Grease and 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pan. Place whole bananas on a baking sheet in the oven, turn heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let bake for about 20 minutes until the skins are black. Remove bananas from oven and let cool while preparing remaining ingredients. Leave oven on at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While bananas are roasting place butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Do not stir the butter, but slowly swirl it in the pan watching closely as the butter bubbles and then begins to brown. Remove from heat once the butter is brown and nutty smelling. Add butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in salt, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and yogurt. Remove bananas from their skins and mash them into the mixture with the back of your spoon, don't worry if some larger chunks remain. Mix until well combined. Stir in barley flour until just incorporated, do not over mix. Over mixing will cause your banana bread to be dense, a lesson I learned at an early age! Spread one half of the banana bread mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan. Using a spoon, spread the cream cheese mixture over the banana bread and top with remaining banana bread batter. Don't worry if a little of the cream cheese pokes through the top of the bread. Place in pre-heated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. It will help to run a knife along the edges of the pan to prevent sticking. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Best if allowed to sit wrapped in plastic wrap for 24 hours before serving.