I posted here last week about how overripe bananas are unpleasant to eat but fantastic for baking. Readers weighed in with some excellent recipes and some handy tips for freezing bananas. I will be trying and sharing some of these techniques shortly. I also happened upon a really delicious recipe for banana and coconut bread in a cookbook in a friend’s house, and it was so good that I think it will usurp Avoca’s banana bread as my favourite banana-based recipe.
Banana and Coconut Bread
This came from the vegetarian cookbook Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville, a chef at the acclaimed San Francisco vegetarian restaurant Greens. My friend Oisin, a fantastic cook, swears by Fields of Greens and says that he’s never had a dud recipe from it yet. It’s available on Amazon, and second-hand copies are widely available on eBay and Abebooks.
- 300g / 1½ cups white flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 200g / 10 tbsp butter, softened
- 100g / ½ cup sugar
- 100g / ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 100g / 1 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 185ºC.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar, beating mixture until smooth after each one.
- Stir in the bananas.
- Add the dry ingredients, but hold back two tablespoons of coconut.
- Put the mixture in a loaf tin and bake for 60-70 minutes. Half way through the cooking time, sprinkle the top of the loaf with the reserved coconut. The bread is cooked when the top is golden brown and when a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.
This bread is truly heavenly, with soft chunks of banana in the centre and lovely toasted coconut bits on top. When I made it, it fell apart when it was tipped out of the loaf tin, but if you’re a bit more patient and let it set properly, that might not happen.