I’m not the biggest fan of banana bread. I mean, it’s OK, but I wont go out of my way to taste, buy, or bake it, unless someone requests it or serves it at a party. So until my mother-in-law visited us recently, I hadn’t eaten banana bread in years. Then I found out she’s obsessed with it. In the six weeks she was here, every time, without fail, that we walked by a Starbucks, she ordered a cappuccino and a slice of banana bread. Every. Time. (She’s from another country where Starbucks isn’t so ubiquitous, so it was a treat for her.) She seemed to like my other baked goodies, so in continuing my quest to impress, I went on a mission to bake the best version I could. I wanted something that wasn’t overly complicated but was still tasty. After lots of research, I settled on America’s Test Kitchen’s classic recipe.
It was quick and easy to make. She loved it and even proclaimed “you will bake more and bring it to me when you visit.” For me, it tasted like any other banana bread – moist, overly sweet, and banana-y. Fine. It wasn’t for me, so as long as she liked it, I was satisfied.
That is until I was determined to make it better. Experiment time! My husband loves French toast, but I knew the banana bread couldn’t sustain that treatment. It would fall apart in the egg mixture. But it could handle a light sauté. Why not fry slices in a little butter until golden and slightly crispy? Why not serve it with some homemade cinnamon whipped cream and maple syrup? Why didn’t I think of this before? Both my husband and MIL loved it! It turned what would’ve been a pretty unremarkable brunch menu into something unique and tasty. Experiment success!