Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

2 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla

4 ripe bananas

1 1/3 cup AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup walnuts

2/3 cup sugar

1 pinch flaky salt

 

For the candied walnuts, warm a medium stock pot over a steady heat. Toast nuts until the kitchen fills with a beautiful nutty fragrance. Stream in sugar and mix with a rubber spatula constantly until the sugar transforms from white crystal clumps into flowing amber syrup. Coat all walnuts and sprinkle with a touch of salt for flavor. Pour your walnuts onto a silicon mat. Wait until the banana bread batter is complete to break up the nuts with your hands. The nuts will be glossy and glassy like gems, and they will snap like candy.

 

Grab some earplugs for the shrill sound of your old mixer screaming in pain. Whip eggs and sugar in a stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Lift whisk to reveal a glossy, ribbony emulsification, the color of light butter. Slowly drizzle in your favorite brand of pungent olive oil while the mixer screams again. Try to splurge on olive oil if you can. In order to not overwhelm the airy egg mixture, see how thin you can get your oil stream over the bowl and how long your hand can take staying in that position. Turn the mixer off once the mixture comes together. Next, find an old loaf pan from a high cupboard, also overflowing, and line with parchment paper. This requires a little geometry, math, scissors, and patience. I also use alligator clips to hold the paper to the sides while it waits for the batter (just make sure you take them off before baking!). Spray a little with nonstick spray, just for good measure. 

 

Find a small bowl in your overflowing cupboard. Peel the gross, nearly liquified bananas and place in the bowl, mashing into something like the texture of applesauce. Measure and mix in the sour cream and vanilla, making sure to take a big whiff from the bottle. I like to use either Tahitian or Madagascar extract, but the supermarket stuff works fine too. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in your cream/banana/vanilla concoction and watch the mixture come together. It won’t take too long. In a separate bowl, this time a little bigger, also from your overflowing cupboard, measure and sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Remove your bowl from the stand mixer and set beside your flour bowl on a counter, hopefully not covered in sticky notes like mine. Fold in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until you get a smooth, lump-free batter. Then, fold in the broken-up candied nuts and pour batter into your pan. Take off the alligator clips and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15, until the cake slowly springs back when pressed. My recent favorites are perfect for the wait: 

 

Table Manners Podcast, Broad City, and Joni Mitchell.

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1 comment

This recipe is adapted from Joanne Chang’s banana bread recipe from Flour by Joanne Chang. The GOAT of banana bread – thank you Joanne <3

Evan

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