Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Get Figgy With It! Banana Bread w/ Figs & Caraway

The Cowboy recently had a birthday and requested banana bread for his cake. Seriously. I mean I like banana bread. It's a classic because it's good, but it's so...no-frills. That would be the same as me asking for a vacuum cleaner for our anniversary. Not in a million years. Totally anti-climatic. But the man had made up his mind and he wanted Banana Bread.

Fine he'd get his banana bread, but it'd be one heck of a special banana bread. I had some dried figs on hand that I'd been trying to figure out uses for, and figs to me are rare and luxurious ingredient. So threw in some figs.

And, I'd recently attended an amazing #Spicechat on twitter and was totally inspired about Caraway Seeds, and especially about using them in a seed cake. While Caraway seeds have an unassuming appearance, one bite can knock your sock off with robust flavor reminiscent of liquorice, citrus and peppermint. Just the kind of zing to push it out of the realm of ordinary.

To enhance the citrusy taste and add some color, in went the zest of an orange. I reserved the juice of half the orange, and ate the other half (see, I told you this Banana Bread was good for you).

Once baked and sliced, it revealed it's inner deliciousness. A surprise of color, aroma and flavor.

And yes, birthday boy did enjoy every bite...almost as much as I enjoyed making the cake. :)

Get Figgy With It Banana Bread

2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons Caraway seeds
zest of one orange, juice half of the fruit and reserve for later
1/2 cup baking Splenda (or you can use 1 cup sugar)
1/4 cup butter softened
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dried chopped figs

1. Preaheat oven at 350 degrees
2. Coat the inside of a 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with a cooking spray
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, caraway and orange zest
4. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of your mixer at medium speed
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each.
6. Add in the banana and sour cream, beat to blend.
7. Spoon in the flour mix, a little at a time, until a moist batter is formed.
8. Add the figs and gently fold into the batter.
9. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
10. Using the same toothpick, poke tiny holes at regular intervals on top of the hot cake.
11. Drizzle with the reserved orange juice (Use just enough to moisten, but not flood)
12. Cool and serve.

Here's another post on Caraway by a #SpiceChat friend.

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