We love banana bread as much as anyone else but every once and a while it’s fun to change it up. This variation, using plantains and macadamia nuts, is rich, satisfying and just sweet enough for a quick breakfast or a snack on the go. Since plantains inherently contain less sugar than their fraternal twin, the banana, we chose the ripest ones we could find and eked out a bit more sweetness by sautéing them in butter before mashing and folding them into the batter. A good dose of macadamia nuts and a sprinkling of raw turbinado sugar lend a pleasant crunch and just a touch more sweetness to this hearty quick bread.
Plantain and Macadamia Nut Bread Makes 1 loaf 3 very ripe plantains; cut into 1/2-inch slices 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 cup half and half 1 cup macadamia nuts; coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour loaf pan and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add sliced plantains. Sauté until softened and bright yellow; about 5-7 minutes.Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and clove. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown and white sugars, vanilla, eggs, canola oil and half and half. Fold wet ingredients into dry. Mash cooled plantains and add to egg/flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place in oven and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Enjoy as is or toasted with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Related: Sweet Fried Plantains (Plátanos Maduros) (Images: Rebekah Peppler)