‘Joe Beef’, is a restaurant that I’d love to visit in Montreal (they also have a great cookbook), and even though you’d think the world has enough banana bread recipes, this one is really and truly the only one you’ll ever need.  It takes time (you remove the moisture from the bananas!), and it’s spiced with cardamom (one of our favorites!), so even though it requires a little bit more love, it’s sooo worth it – enjoy!

Banana Bread (Joe Beef’s)

4 very ripe bananas

1 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 t. EACH baking soda AND cardamom

1/2 t. EACH salt, nutmeg AND cinnamon

1/2 c. butter, room temperature AND 1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs AND 1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter either 12 regular muffin cups or in my case, an 8-mini-loaf baking tray.  Peel the bananas and place them into a glass bowl, then microwave them for about 4 minutes (I did 2 minutes x 2 minutes with a rest in between) – this is not an appetizing process (the bananas turn a bit gray), but this is what helps to coax the moisture out.  Transfer the whole lot to a sieve over a small pot and strain the liquid out, gently mashing the bananas a bit with  fork.  Bring the banana liquid to a boil and reduce it by half – I think it’s easiest to tell if it’s reduced enough by the fact that the mix thickens up.  Add the bananas back in and set the pot aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon and set it aside, and then in your electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar for a couple of minutes until the mix is fluffy and lighter in color.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed and beating well in between, then add in the vanilla and beat again.  Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour and banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry.  Give the mix a final stir by hand to make sure everything has come together and then divide the batter evenly among the cups of the baking pan you’re using.

Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean and the middles are dry and bounce back to a light touch.  Allow the muffins/loaves to cool in the pan for a good 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.  These are super tasty with a slice of cheese!

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