07 December 2011

Salted caramel banana bread

I have a friend who likes to salt slices of green apple. Some might find this unusual, but I completely understand it. Until you have tried salted caramel in Provincial France (yes, you have to be there, not just have it shipped out), you might never understand how salt can affect the taste of sweet things in a very good way.

As my wine study showed me (Yes, I spent 4 years drinking at university), sometimes contrasting flavours is the best way to bring out the best. Think foie gras (salty, creamy goose liver pate) and Sauternes (sweet and marmaladey dessert wine), or maybe a ripe Australian Shiraz with a wedge of gorgonzola. Each element tastes good on its own, but put them together, and 1+1 suddenly makes 3.

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g caramel (or maple) syrup
  • 100g salted butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt (fleur de sel or pink salt best)
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar crystals (big chunky ones)
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk

  1. In a blender, combine syrup, milk, melted butter, bananas and 1/2 of each of the salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, then alternating, add wet mix and sifted flour, stirring vigourously.
  3. pour into a greased loaf tin, scatter with remaining sugar and salt, and bake in a preheated oven at 180︒C for 40 minutes or until golden and firm.
This cake will freeze well. It can also be sliced and pan-fried in butter and served with sliced banana and maple syrup for breakfast. Seriously, seriously good breakfast.

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  1. I LOVE salted caramel!! Have usually had that flavor in an ice cream or a blended beverage (like the infamous Starbucks' salted caramel hot chocolate), but salted caramel + cake sounds like a winner! I'm bookmarking this one to try!

  2. There must be something in the air. Have been thinking of making salted caramels for the last couple of days.

  3. I totally get the salt thing. The Chinese like to salt watermelons and strawberries before eating them. It's something I grew up observing but was never a fan.

    Salted caramel...always up for trying something new!

  4. mmm i love salted caramel! this is a recipe i will try! i salt watermelon...

  5. "Caramel syrup?"

    1. You'll find caramel syrup next to the maple syrup in good supermarkets (at least you do in Dubai and Melbourne. - my two home towns). Bonne Maman make an excellent caramel spread too. Otherwise, you can make a caramel yourself with butter, salt and brown sugar.

  6. I thought one had to add cream to boiling sugar and water in order to make caramel. No?

    1. Yes, but in this recipe I have used a pre-prepared syrup. It's pretty easy to buy caramel or dulce de Leche in a jar these days. but if you want to make your own caramel, I applaud you!

  7. Sounds so good! Maybe I misread the recipe, but when does the banana go into the bread? Can't wait to make this!

    1. Wow - thanks - add them into the blend in the first step. Have edited my text. Can't believe I missed that!


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