This post is dedicated to Gwen Stefani, whose “Hollaback Girl” did for bananas what “MacArthur Park” did for cake.
According to Gwen, “this shit is bananas,” and I couldn’t agree more. This is a fancy banana bread from a recipe in the Gourmet Cookbook available here at Epicurious.
The bread contains three very ripe bananas, toasted coconut, lemon zest and sour cream. It’s also supposed to contain macadamia nuts but I forgot to buy them. Are all these flourishes worth the effort or does this banana bread lack the simplicity of a more basic banana bread? And more importantly: am I your Hollaback Girl?
Ok, first things first: I’m not your Hollaback Girl. I’m not your Hollaback Girl.
And, secondly: this bread, like Nancy Silverton’s banana bread (which features a real vanilla bean and savory spices), is too fussy for its own good. I like the addition of toasted, flaked coconut:
And I’m sure the sour cream added a nice textural component. The lemon zest perked things up, no doubt. (Haha, get it? No Doubt? Gwen Stefani? You see, Gwen Stefani was in No Doubt… And this post references Hollaback Girl.) (You people have no sense of humor.)
Ultimately, what matters most in your banana bread are (drumroll): the bananas. I used three super-ripe bananas:
I wish I would have used one more. The final product just wasn’t banana-y enough for me. And what’s the point of banana bread if it’s not banana-y enough? There is none, I tell you, none at all!
Let’s use an example from “Project Runway.” Last week, Heidi, a Southern gal, lost the competition because her dress, while pretty, was all frills. Michael Kors made the point: “If you strip away all the extras, what you have is a very basic, boring dress.” And that’s how I feel about this banana bread.
But look, we cook so we can learn, so we can get better. To quote the immortal Gwen: “A few times I’ve been around that track / so it’s not just gonna happen like that.” Wiser words have never been spoken. LET ME HEAR YOU SAY, THIS BREAD HAS BANANAS…B-A-N-A-N-A-S!