I used a basic banana bread recipe from Cooks Illustrated, and added a few different tropical elements to create this bread that bakes in about an hour and has delicious flavor.  If you are not a fan of the nuts, just eliminate them.  The key to the flavor in this loaf is using very overripe bananas and of course some dark rum! Often times, when I have an overripe banana on the counter, I peel it and freeze it, and then when ready to make banana bread, I simply thaw the bananas and they are an ideal use for bananas that have overstayed their welcome on the counter and avoids waste while fusing the bread with intense banana flavor. You won’t mind the extra step of boiling down the liquid when you taste the great flavor.

Yield: 1 8.5 X 11 inch loaf

Ingredients:

  • 13⁄4 cups flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple (about 1/4 inch dice)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, including spices.

Place 5 bananas in a large, microwaveable bowl or 6 cup measuring cup, cover with plastic and pierce Saran Wrap with a knife several times to create vent holes. Place covered bananas in microwave for 5 minutes. Remove and strain bananas with sieve collecting all juices (you will have about 1⁄2-3⁄4 of a cup). Allow bananas to strain for about 10 minutes.

Heat collected banana juice in a small saucepan until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Once reduced, add butter to melt, whisk in eggs, rum and mashed bananas and stir to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in pineapple, coconut and nuts if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Slice remaining banana thinly lengthwise and place on top of bread along with a few pineapple chunks. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until tester is inserted and comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Invert bread on cooling rack and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, some diced pineapple and additional shredded coconut if desired.  Allow to cool completely before slicing. Bread can be stored covered for about 2 days (if it lasts that long) or refrigerated to maintain freshness.