Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Banana Caramel Bread

One of my best friends and her children came over on Monday. When guests come by, I always like to have something baked up. This time I chose banana bread with a swirl of salted caramel.

Ever since I'd made rock-hard caramel, I'd been dying to try it again to see where I went wrong. It totally worked the first time (and it totally worked the third time too - wahoo!).

I used the same recipe every time. The directions say to cook until the sugar turns a deep amber. I had suspected that I let it get too deep that second time, so this time around I stopped the heat a bit earlier. It was a very light caramel color when I stopped the heat and added the cream. It got deeper as it cooled down, but luckily stayed a nice consistency.

After making the caramel, I went on to the banana bread. I used Emeril's basic recipe, but of course I made a few changes. Instead of 1/2 cup of shortening, I used 1/4 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter - let's all just admit that butter is worth the extra calories. I also left out the macadamia nuts and cinnamon and of course added caramel and bananas on top.

After mixing up the batter, I filled 2 mini bread pans about 1/3 of the way and then added a layer of salted caramel.

Then I added more batter and put sliced bananas on top and covered those with a caramel drizzle.

They smelled divine while baking and looked absolutely glorious coming out of the oven.

When a slice is cut, it kind of looks like the caramel is smiling, which is fitting because this certainly made me smile!

You can hardly make out the smile in this photo, but scroll back up to the top and you will see what I mean.

The only problem this left me with is some extra caramel. I know it's not really a huge problem, but when I eat caramel sauce by itself, I feel like I'm doing something naughty. I searched the kitchen for something to slather caramel sauce onto and finally found some French macaron shells that I made ages ago.

Nutella and caramel macarons anyone?? Delicious!!

I've still got some caramel leftover. Any good ideas to use it up??

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