P&Q: The Black and White Banana Loaf

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57 thoughts on “P&Q: The Black and White Banana Loaf

  1. I love bananas so I was really excited for this loaf! I had small ones so I ended up using 3 so I’d have lots of banana flavor. Its in the oven now and smells so good! I’m not sure what you could sub in for the bananas CB…I’m sure one of the super smart bakers will have a suggestion!

  2. CB – I was thinking about applesauce. I’m not sure though about the combining of the flavor with chocolate.

    I was thinking of turning these into muffins. Any thoughts on how long I should cook them for? Or, any loaf expert want to go ahead and tell me that’s a very bad idea?

  3. I made this cake today! It quite yummy actually, even though I’m not a huge fan of bananas. I’m a bit disappointed though that the outsides of the cake are really dry and chewy, while the inside is soft and moist! I suppose cooking anything for so long (even on low temp) is bound to result in overcooked outsides… but I usually make a madeira cake that bakes for about an hour in the same tin and it never has dry outsides!

  4. mine was really soft and moist all the way through, but my marbling didn’t stay like dories, it was mostly white at the bottom and chocolate at the top. i feel like my batter was really runny. i’m going to try it out again, hopefully i’ll do better :(

  5. Ok, I made this already – and I wasn’t happy with the flavor. Guess it was the nutmeg. Nobody finished it even. :( I would not put the nutmeg in again if I made it for myself – but my guys didn’t like the chocolate either.

  6. I have made this twice and I think the lemon zest and nutmeg make it really great tasting. I have subbed 1/2 tsp rum flavoring both times and also followed Dories suggestion to cover it with a foil tent, so it doesn’t get too brown, because it needs the full hour and a half, or a litle more to cook all the way through. It has had the perfect consistency both times, not too hard on the outside and soft on the inside. I think that it is delicious, but of course not your normal banana bread. Maybe that is why it is in the cake section of the book?!

  7. I made this a few days ago and the flavor was great! It did not look marbled at all though, so I don’t know if I just mixed the 2 batters together too much, or if it was because the batter was so runny.

    I’m going to make it again this weekend to try for a better marbled affect. Oh darn, I’ll have to eat more of it! ;)

  8. My mom & I both made this independently of each other and had the same problem- it didn’t bake completely through. We both baked it for an hour & half & the knife came out clean. What happened? I’m going to try it again this weekend. Frustrating because it smelled sooooo goood!

  9. Ulrike – bananas vary in size so much that it would be tough to come up with a measurement. I suspect that because this is a type of poundcake, and going by some other recipes that I have, it is about a cup of mashed banana. That’s my guess, and that’s what I plan to use. I don’t know how much a cup of mashed bananas weighs, though.

  10. i had a major problem with mine too! the batter was super runny so the marbling effect didn’t come thru. Worst still, the cake was unbaked even after the hour and a half. the outsides were crisp and dry though. it’s so frustrating giving its lovely rich smell. I’m going to have to try it again!

  11. I had the same problem with the bread being unbaked in the middle. It had a lovely marble effect though. I put it back in the oven for an extra 12 min and it helped. (Total of 1 hr and 42 min.) Not quite as mushy as it was. We loved the flavor.

  12. I have a favorite banana bread recipe that calls for 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana. If the bananas are large, 3 of them will be enough to make this much. One time I had really small ones and needed 4 to make that much. So I would say that one banana gives from 6 to 8 tablespoons of mashed banana, depending on size. Hope that helps!

  13. Weird… I actually thought the batter was kind of thick. I reread the recipe, in fact, wondering if I had left something out.

    Hmmm… as someone mentioned above bananas vary a lot in size. Now that I think about it, my bananas were medium to smallish sized. I wonder if the runny batters were due to larger bananas. And maybe that is resulting in longer baking times… mine was in for more like an hour and 15 minutes and it was fine.

    Soooo… maybe if it seems like a bigger banana, you can expect a longer bake time… just a theory.

    Plus maybe the moisture content of bananas varies too… I don’t know.

  14. I have experimented with banana bread and cake a lot and I find that many times too much banana can make it take FOREVER to cook and also makes it very heavy and dense inside, feeling slightly unbaked, even though knife comes out clean. I might scale back on the bananas for this one slightly given my past experiences!

  15. I haven’t made mine yet and it’s been really helpful reading all the comments here. I am thinking I’ shall use smaller bananas and tent it with foil. Finger’s crossed!

  16. I tried my hand on this recipe last month, and just like what the others said, the batter was way too runny and mine was still not cooked even after 2 hours in the oven! I’ve baked other banana cake recipes (from other books) and they’re always a success, so I’m not sure what went wrong with this one.

    This is my observation: “the cake had all the typical signs that it’s cooked, i.e., the sides of cake pull away from the pan, skewer inserted into the cake turned out clean etc. But the inside of the cake was not fully cooked at all, even though the outside was nicely browned.”

    I’d love to find out how the cake turn out for all of you. Hope that you guys can get it right! :-)

  17. I wish there was a measurement for the amount of banana, instead of “how many” bananas cause they can certainly vary in size!

  18. Bananas are tricky. I have a standard cake recipe that I use that has a different baking time every time because of the size of the bananas I use that day. I would definitely follow the advice of tenting and continuing to bake. Mine came out just fine. Whew!

  19. I made this recipe about a year ago and it was underbaked and dense on the inside, too. I was hesitating to make it again based on that experience but I think I will make mini-loaves or cupcakes. Maybe the inside will bake better in a smaller batch…

  20. I thought there was to much chocolate,if there is such a thing=)…It overpowered the banana flavor. I would not use as much next time. The perfect addition to this recipe, would be recess peanut butter cups!! My batter was thin to and didn’t marble very well . It did look really pretty on top though. Oh and I didn’t use the rum..that gags me to think about it!

  21. I baked this last night and was questioning my abilities as a cook because it was heavy and dense and did not seem quite done even after an hour and a half. I also did not care for the rum in it. I will make it again and hopefully it will turn out better next time now that I have read that you guys had some of the same problems with it.

  22. I made this last night. I used almost two (OK – I took a couple of bites of one) small to medium bananas and baked for an hour and fifteen minutes. It baked all through and was marbled, if that helps anyone with the measurements. I would also recommend the foil tent after 30 minutes.
    My bananas were fairly ripe, not black but far from green, and the banana taste is still slightly understated. This loaf seems to call for less banana than many others I have made. My experience and the comments would indicate that it might be better to slightly under estimate the amount of banana you need.

  23. I read that many people thought their’s was a little runny, so I 1.5 small bananas, added a bit of extra flour and a small package of vanilla pudding mix. We had banana flavored rum from the Bahamas..yum!

    I baked it for 1:20 with a foil tent on after 45 minutes..turned out great!

  24. Well, just got finished with mine. It was not what I call runny in the middle, just really moist. Good flavor, but no marbling at all! I alternated the batters and then just swirled it around a bit, but It doesn’t look anything like the pic in the book. Hmm… Oh well.

  25. I made it last night and tried it today. I covered it with foil after 30 minutes and baked it for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes. I used 3 bananas. I was pretty happy with how the marbling turned out. It was very moist, but not runny at all. It tastes great too :)

  26. My family and I have enjoyed this so much that I have made three loaves this week. It’s moist and flavorful, very dense. I used 2.5 bananas in the last loaf and it was very very good. Next time I’ll double the recipe. Like tomorrow!

  27. I found the batter extremley runny before I even put the mashed bananas in. I put in another 1/4 cup of flour. We will see what happens. Its in the oven now.

  28. I used a scant 2/3 c of banana, a slimmer loaf pan, and reduced the oven temp to 305 degrees. The loaf cooked for 1 hr 30 min, tented in foil for half the time, and turned out perfectly. I’m photographing now, and haven’t tasted yet.

  29. I’m sorry some people are having problems with this! :( I used organic bananas, which are small – so I used 2 of them. My batter wasn’t runny at all, and it marbled beautifully. I added walnuts to the white batter as well as scattered on top. I baked it for 1 hour and 24 minutes and it’s perfect. I didn’t tent at all as I didn’t think the top was browning too fast, and it was fine. it’s a lovely recipe, but I agree that the measurement of bananas should be more specific. Looks like I just got lucky w/ my quantity!

  30. I used almost two medium bananas, and my batter was nice and thick. I can’t figure out why so many people had runny batter. Mine wasn’t completely baked after an hour and 35 minutes, but it was close enough. The marbling looked great, and the flavor and texture were fantastic. It’s fascinating to read about the widely varying results — that’s the beauty of TWD!

  31. I made 3 mini cakes tonight and they came out great. I used 2 banans and the batter wasn’t runny at all. I didn’t have any rum so I went without. Only change I would make would be to use less lemon or omit it.

  32. Mine is out of the oven and cooling now. I used 2/3 cup of mashed banana and the batter wasn’t particularly runny. I had a thought about that — how did other folks measure the flour? If you sifted it or gently spooned it into the cup, you could have ended up with not enough flour. I did scoop-and-sweep as Dorie says to (in the back of the book somewhere). I ended up with 210 grams or 7.4 ounces of flour.

    I made some measurements and can now report that 1 cup of mashed banana weighs about 250 grams; also, a rather small banana gave me 74 grams of puree and a fairly large one gave me 96 grams.

  33. We made ours, and the batter was runny as well. But our “creation” turned out very tasty. Make sure you come and see ours………….you’ll be quite surprised I’m sure!

  34. My batter wasn’t runny and the texture came out okay. I used 2 large and really ripe bananas and didn’t mash them to liquid. The cake came out really moist. Don’t much like this type of loaf cake so I’m giving it away!

  35. I made my last night and made some modifications to the recipe. I only used 1 cup of bananas and the white batter was a little runny but the chocolate wasn’t. I decided to make 4 mini loaves and I put them in the oven at 350 F and they were done in 1 hour and I didn’t have to tent. The marbling looked decent, it was cooked through, and tasted great. Refer to my blog tomorrow to see what else I changed :) .

  36. I was going to add extra bananas for more flavor, but took everyone’s advice and stuck with using 2 small to mediums ones. My batter was a little thin too, but baked perfectly after an hour and a half. It was very moist, but not undercooked. This recipe was amaaazing; the loaf didn’t stay around for very long!

  37. i put some bananas in the cabinet so they would be nice and ripe for this loaf and I totally forgot about them and never took them out to freeze them and now they are spoiled. do you think if i used baby food bananas it would be OK?

  38. mine turned out great! after the “perfection pound cake” was super dry, i was worried about this loaf but it was soooooo yummy and moist. the nutmeg was not too strong IMO but i would like more rum flavor next time :) a trick i use to test it for done-ness instead of the knife is by using an uncooked piece of angel hair pasta – it’s like a super long toothpick ;)

    i did make the mistake of overmixing my batter, though, so mine was not very marbled. my perfection poundcake i underswirled so i was trying to go for a more marbled look on this one and accidentally overmixed it.

  39. I made 3 mini-loaves and used 1 1/2 regular size bananas. I baked them for about 55 minutes and they look wonderful (I’m trying to hold off until tonight… we’ll see!)

  40. so fun reading everyone’s comments.

    I had to go back and look at what the recipe called for regarding bananas thinking I was supposed to use 1 1/2 CUPS! I used exactly what the recipe called for and my batter turned out typical to another banana bread recipe I make often except this batter was way tastier! :)

    Mine is in the oven now. Just as I walked away from putting it in, I remembered I forgot the nutmeg! DOH! So we’ll see how it tastes without it.

    Loved all the fresh ingredients and the fragrant rum with the bananas. Good choice!

  41. I love banana bread, and think this recipe was AMAZING. Made one large loaf and one mini one. I omitted the rum but otherwise made the exact recipe…it was SO moist and flavorful. I loved the lemon zest and nutmeg additions. YUM!

  42. Pingback: black and white banana loaf (twd) « The Way the Cookie Crumbles

  43. Better late than never! I made this today and made modifications per someone’s blog. It turned out good. I left out the lemon and rum. I’d add the lemon next time – it needed a little zip – but still very tasty.

  44. You would think that someone of Dorie Greenspan’s caliber would offer the precision of WEIGHED ingredients in her recipes, instead of sloppy “measurements” like 1 1/2 bananas, among other things. This would spare lots of bakers lots of frustration and disappointment. Don’t understand why she decided to dumb down her recipes this way at the time when more and more good baking books are switching to weighed ingredients or are at least offering both weight and volume (cups/tablespoons) measures.

    Rose Levy Beranbaum, for example, has been giving weights of all her ingredients since she started publishing her books (a long time ago), and a lot of bakers-cookbook authors have followed suit. It’s time for Dorie to get on board and trust her fans to be able to use the kitchen scales.

    • Are you a member of this group? If not, why don’t you go to Dorie’s blog and relay your disappointment there. This isn’t the correct avenue to direct your frustration.

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