Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Banana Bread. No. Really.

I worked for a freakishly rich family once who had a nanny, a chef, two maids, and this girl named Meredith who was an aspiring actress (Notebook) who came once a week to put pictures in photo albums. They were pretty self-made and not celebrities, did normal family things, and were as WASP-y as it gets. Where they were excessive was on staff. One of us for every one of them.

I replaced a girl whose previous job was asst. pastry chef at Spago so supposedly this is Sherry Yard's recipe although I've Googled the shit out of a bunch of connected words and cannot confirm this to be true. It's worth noting that there aren't that many recipes using mascarpone, which makes me believe it is indeed a unique spin, and that the Sarah girl was a goody-goody, but not a liar.

She told me to that get the kids to love me, I should make them this banana bread. The mascarpone and sour cream make it like a cake, not a quick bread. It makes a lot and you will house every bit of it, sometimes with butter, heated up in the oven, sometimes with honey-roasted peanut butter whipped with cream cheese or whatever. You can maybe give a little to someone you like so they think you're a person who has some secrets to tell them about life.

Those children were entitled shitheads, who were only ever going to love prissy Sarah and her ribbon headbands, but she was right about the bread, and now that I'm a mom and I'm faced with about 40 rotten bananas a month, here is where you put them.

preheat oven to 375

2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar (I know. Beauty is pain)
1/2 tsp. each, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder (Rumford is the only one I can't actually taste)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 bananas

I don't use nuts but if that's something you enjoy, don't use more than a 1/4 cup or it might affect the texture. Stay moist.

With a mixer or if you're fancy, IN a mixer, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes until well-combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl and add spices. Add eggs one at a time.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add to butter/sugar mix in stages. Don't overwork.

Fold in sour cream and mascarpone.

Puree bananas however you see fit. Smooth, no chunks.

Fold into batter, again, be gentle. No overworking.

Spray 2 loaf pans or a 9 x 13 baking dish with evil death spray (Pam or something like it) This is why it was invented. Butter will dry the edges out in a not-good way.

Pour batter into dish or dishes

Bake until slightly set in the center. This will not carry-over cook by much so between 35 and 50 minutes depending on the size pan and type oven.