Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Praline-Pecan Banana Bread

I often have to hide bananas into desserts - particularly breads, since my husband doesn't really like them. However, I'm slowly breaking his will by increasing the banana flavors in truly amazing dishes. This is definitely one of them.

The banana flavor is pronounced, but not overwhelming here. What really makes this dessert shine and brings them coming back for more, is the Praline-Pecan topping that's poured over the bread before it's baked. The flavor seeps into the bread and permeates throughout while creating a sweet crust on top.

You will never look at banana bread the same way again!

Praline-Pecan Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Praline-Pecan Sauce
3 ripe large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-cup loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, sour cream, 3/4 C of Praline sauce, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. Over mixing the batter will yield a tough, rubbery bread.)

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and pour the remaining 1/4 cup of Praline sauce over the top of the batter. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 - 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one - 9 inch loaf

*If you do not have or can't find Praline-Pecan sauce, you can substitute caramel sauce and add pecans.

Pecan-Praline Sauce

2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 pounds light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat 1 cup of the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the pecans and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cook until the pecans begin to change color. Be careful! This mixture will foam over, so use a large saucepan.

Add the remaining 1 cup butter and mix well. This will cool the pecan mixture and stop the cooking process. Remove from heat.

Combine brown sugar, whipping cream and cinnamon in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over low heat until blended, stirring constantly; increase heat. Cook to 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir in pecan mixture. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Remove from heat.

**Just remember this makes a LOT of praline sauce - probably more like 12 cups. However, it freezes amazingly well and keeps that way for a long LONG time. :)

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