This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Ashlee of A Year in the Kitchen: The Black and White Banana Loaf. I love banana bread, but I must admit that I was a bit hesitant about this recipe. You see, Dorie's Perfection Pound Cake was the first recipe I made with TWD. It's probably been the only recipe I have made to date that I did not love. It was a bit dry, and I never really figured out if it was an error on my part, or a problem with the recipe - but others who have tried it found it a bit dry too. So I was worried that this Black and White Banana Loaf would turn out dry as well...
Whenever I have some bananas that are too ripe to eat, I peel them, pop them in a ziploc bag, and toss it in the freezer. That way, I always have some bananas on hand whenever I'm in the mood for some banana bread :) If I'm not in the mood for banana bread, I love to make this Upside Down Bananas Foster Cake with the bananas instead. So when Ashlee chose this recipe, I already had all the ingredients on hand, including some bananas in my freezer.
Dorie's Black and White Banana Loaf is basically your traditional banana bread, with a twist. There's a tablespoon of rum in it (yum!) and then at the end, before you pour all the batter in the pan, you take half of it and add some chocolate to it - to create a beautiful, chocolately swirl in the loaf (I guess Dorie was wise enough to see that Brown and White Banana Loaf just wouldn't sound as good). The only changes I made to this recipe were to use skim milk instead of whole, and semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet.
The first time I ever attempted a swirled batter was with the Perfection Pound Cake, but I didn't swirl the batter very much because Dorie warns about over mixing it into one homogenous blob. I ended up with a not so swirly loaf in that case. So this time, I was determined to swirl the batter more, but not too much, and attain a perfectly swirled loaf. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful this time as well. I over mixed the batter and ended up with a marbled, almost completely brown loaf. I will have to try and find a happy medium next time!
My bread was finished baking at the lower end of the recommended baking time. Dorie recommends testing it with a knife to figure out when it is done baking, but I don't like leave a huge slit on the top of my loaf so my trick is to use an uncooked piece of angel hair pasta to test it. Works just like a long toothpick :)
So what about the taste? Was it dry like the Perfection Pound Cake? My fears of a dry loaf were completely unfounded - it was amazingly moist. The chocolate and rum flavors were a nice change from your traditional banana bread. The rum was very subtle, as most of it was baked out of the loaf, so next time I may consider adding two tablespoons instead of one.
Thanks again to Ashlee for choosing the Black and White Banana Loaf. I was getting tired of the same old banana bread and this will definitely be my go-to recipe from now on. I may not always make it with the chocolate, but I will definitely always include the rum :) If you would like the recipe, you can find it here (with recipe tips here). Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed Dorie's twist on banana bread.