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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Orange Banana Bourbon Loaf

I think if you love bananas and you love to bake, you're always plagued coming up with over ripe bananas and trying to figure out what to do with them.  This time around, my inspiration came from an orange nut bread that my mom used to make.   For some reason, I just couldn't locate the recipe, so I looked around at all my cookbooks for some inspiration...

And, this time, though, I wanted to combine orange and banana.  And, sure, we all know there would have to be booze involved.  I personally love bourbon with both orange and banana, so I figured I had the potential for a double "win" here!

This loaf cake is super easy to make and amazingly moist.  I was surprised how much it rose in the pan, yet was not overly dense.  I like loaf cakes, but I especially like moist and dense loaf cakes. 

This recipe is adapted from a cookbook, Ida's in the Kitchen, which I was gifted about 3 years ago when my father and I drove to Utah and Colorado.  We visited some of his former work colleagues when he as stationed at Dugway Proving Grounds.  I was lucky enough to get my pick of over 100 cookbooks from his friend, Vera, who had just lost her husband, the avid cook in their home.  Ida's in the Kitchen is one of those books...Filled with old-fashioned baking and simple and easy recipes.
No copyright date...Ida has a few books out there...Hand-written corrections...Love it!
We stayed at his friends' house just outside of Salt Lake City.  Dorothy and Roy Keeling are some of the best folks I've even had the pleasure to me.  The greatest gift was watching Dorothy cook!  She is a "Southern" cook, replete with making biscuits by hand.  I was in heaven helping around her kitchen as she imparted cooking wisdom to me.  I came away with SO many of her recipes, I fell quite honored.  And, inspired!!

I hope you try this loaf cake.  It's easy to pull together, nothing fancy or complicated.  And the end result has lots and lots of WOW factor!!

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Prep your dry and wet ingredients, set aside.  Cream the melted margarine and sugar until smooth and not overly gritty.   I supposed you could use butter, but keeping with Ida's recipe, I opted for margarine.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts to the sugar mixture, alternating with the banana bourbon orange mixture.  Begin and end with the flour.  It's important to not over mix this batter.  As you know, I always "finish" my batters by hand.  Less gluten formation, my friends...Fold in the orange rind and nuts.
Bake as directed and check at about an hour.  This loaf will be golden brown, but you don't want to burn it.  :)
Cool on the rack and remove from pan.  Poke holes in the top and let cool a bit.  You don't want it too hot or all your icing will run off. 
Mix the icing.  You want a fairly thick icing.  It's not a glaze...Pour over loaf with a spoon, careful to make sure it runs down the sides.

Jim Beam: A Classic.

Orange Banana Bourbon Loaf
Adapted from Ida's in the Kitchen

1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine, melted (yup, margarine)
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup orange juice, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp soda
1 1/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp fresh grated orange rind
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Orange Icing
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp orange extract
(orange zest optional)

1. Preheat over at 325 degrees.  Coat a 9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients, set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the bourbon, orange juice and vanilla to combine, set aside.
4. In a stand mixer, cream margarine and sugar.   Add eggs one at a time.
5. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts to the sugar mixture, alternating with the banana bourbon orange mixture.  Begin and end with the flour.
6. Fold in the orange rind and nuts.
7. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until it is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan and poke holes in the top.  Let cool a bit.

For the icing
Mix the sugar, juice and extract until smooth.  Pour over loaf with a spoon, careful to make sure it runs down the sides.

Happy Hump Day!
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  1. I made a recipe last year that called for margarine and when I looked up how it was processed, I was sorry I had used it; but I know what you mean when you want to keep the integrity of the original author. This does look very delicious and would be lovely with a cup of tea--I'm brewing! XOXO

  2. Delish! I just so happen to have bananas on my counter... :)

  3. I'm really going to have to buy some whiskey, aren't I?

    Good luck in the state fair!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This is sooo freaking good! Great find!

  6. "1/2 tsp soda" - do you mean baking soda?


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