Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Strawberry Banana Swirl Bread

In my days as a faithful custard scooper at Bobby's Frozen Custard stand, I took full advantage of the employee discount (perhaps a little too often...) For a while, I was obsessed with strawberry banana concretes, and last week, as I noticed 3 rapidly deteriorating bananas sitting on my kitchen counter, I wondered if there could ever be another medium in which strawberry and banana could be so perfectly wed. I decided to find out...and despite my forgetting to add the vanilla (doh!), this variation on a traditional banana bread recipe turned out great! I had to bake it for quite a long time before the strawberry swirl batter baked completely, so I would recommend that you test this for doneness every 5 minutes after an hour and a half has gone by. The strawberry part never got quite as done as the banana part did, but it still turned out to be delicious. If you're a peanut butter fan, this is heavenly with some all-natural peanut butter spread across it!

Strawberry Banana Swirl Bread

1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used "Beth's Gluten Free Pantry All-Purpose")
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups strawberries, divided (can be fresh or frozen, but should be thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients through the vanilla extract together in the order shown. Mix well, making sure the bananas are mashed well and distributed evenly throughout the batter. Take 1/2 cup of banana bread batter and combine with 1 1/2 cups of strawberries (fresh or thawed) in a food processor. Mix on high for about 45 seconds to 1 minute until the strawberries have been mixed into the batter and the batter has a light, whipped texture. Slice the remaining 1/2 cup strawberries into small pieces. Line a bread pan with wax paper. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup brown sugar across the bottom of the pan, and then spread the sliced strawberries evenly across the bottom on top of the sugar. Pour 1/2 of the plain banana bread mixture, then 1/2 of the strawberry banana batter, then the remaining 1/2 of each. Swirl around with a knife and then make sure the top is spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes - 1 hour 45 minutes, sticking a knife in the bread to test for doneness. The strawberries add a lot of moisture, so this will likely take longer than normal to bake. Remove from oven and place on a rack until cool.

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