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Recipe: Banana bread and butterscotch sauce

stephanie eddy for the globe and mail

If eating better was a New Year's resolutions, there's no better way to welcome 2015 than with this virtuous treat. Ignore the sugar (and optional whipping cream) and focus on the fruit. This recipe is so packed with bananas that it's practically a potassium supplement – a warm, soft, butterscotch-drizzled super-food.

Tips: If you're baking on the spur of the moment, it's easy to make substitutions. Feel free to replace: baking soda with 3 1/4 tsp baking powder; Greek yogurt with sour cream; dark brown sugar with light brown sugar; cinnamon with a pinch of allspice or nutmeg; canola oil with melted butter.

Stephanie Eddy, who writes about her baking exploits at clockworklemon.com, lives in Calgary.

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Servings: Makes one loaf

Ready time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Banana bread

1 1/2 cups (230 g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 cup (230 g) dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (3 1/2 to 4 large bananas)

Whipped cream for serving

Butterscotch sauce

4 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (125 g) brown sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp Scotch

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch or 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with strips of parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until they turn light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and whisk until the mixture lightens in colour. Whisk in the oil until completely combined, then stir in the Greek yogurt.

Pour the wet mixture over top of the dry mixture, and fold them together until partially combined. Add the mashed bananas and fold until the batter is still lumpy, but no streaks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Use the overhanging strips of parchment paper to remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

For the sauce:

Place the butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cream.

Reduce heat and whisk until it comes to a gentle boil. Boil over low heat for five to seven minutes, whisking occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in half of the salt. Taste the sauce, and add the remaining half of the salt if desired.

Whisk in the Scotch until smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl or jar and place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Drizzle over thick slices of warm banana bread and top with dollops of whipped cream. Leftover sauce can be stored covered in the fridge. Heat for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave until warm before serving.

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