One sunny afternoon in Paris, my French mom went to throw away 3 perfectly browned bananas.
“Attends!” (wait!) I cried.
“You want zeese old tsings?” she asked.
“Bien sûr,” (of course) I replied.
I grabbed the nut cracker and started on the mound of walnuts in the corner, remembering to peel away the tough membrane in the middle. An hour and a half later, sweet wafts of caramel floating through the kitchen, I pulled out a loaf of banana walnut bread.
“C’est quoi?” (what is it?) she asked.
“It’s banana bread!”
She and the children each took a slice.
“Mais non, c’est un gâteau à la banane,” (no, it’s a banana cake) she decided.
After that day, I found more brown bananas in the basket than we’d ever had before.
…And that’s how I made Gâteau à la Banane 10 times in 8 weeks when I lived in France.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 bananas, very ripe, mashed
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
optional- 4 T golden flax seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cream sugar and eggs together with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Mash until smooth. Slowly drizzle oil into creamed eggs and sugar. Combine wet ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients, nuts, and seeds. Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or when a toothpick comes out clean.