Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Banana bread bliss

Remember how I said this was the best banana bread recipe, gluten-free or otherwise?


It has been relegated to second place, after this guy (not the one in blue):
Behold, the new best-ever vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free (except for the chocolate chips) banana bread! This beauty hails from Erin McKenna's cookbook BabyCakes.

Seriously, this loaf has changed my perception of GF baked goods, homemade or otherwise--and believe me, I've had plenty--from this day forward, henceforth and forevermore. (That sure looks good. Think she'll ever let me have a taste??)
Pretty tall order, right? You haven't tasted it, or you'd be nodding in agreement.

It's light, fluffy. Springy to the touch. Sweet but not overpowering. Completely devoid of that funky mouth-roof tingle or telltale GF aftertaste. Unbelievably soft. Not gritty. Very cake-like. Purely blissful. (It's about time, Mom!)

Equally blissful are the giant muffins I made out of the leftover batter, studded with walnut pieces.
These beauties, as big as my palm, nearly got Hoovered up by yours truly before I could even take a picture. Then self restraint won out, and I set [most of] them aside to cool before bagging them individually for a treat or quick breakfast later this week.

It's hard being so virtuous.

I don't know why this recipe turned out darker than any banana bread I've ever made; it's certainly not burnt. Maybe the coconut oil does that? The recipe, interestingly enough, is slightly different from the version Ms. McKenna posted herself in December 2010. Guess the only thing to do is try them both and hold a taste test!

Invite me over for that, ok?

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
from BabyCakes by Erin McKenna

2 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup rice milk (I used plain unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium-large fruits)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325* and lightly grease a loaf pan with oil.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup oil, agave, milk, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

3. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips using a rubber spatula.

4. Fill loaf pan halfway with batter (make the best muffins ever with the leftover!) and bake in center of oven 35 minutes, rotating pan after 20 minutes. The finished loaf should bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

5. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board or cooling rack. Slice and serve immediately, or cool completely before serving. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

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