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[Recipe] Banana Raisin Loaf

Banana bread is something that I enjoy baking as far back as I can remember. The process is very forgiving for novice bakers that would like to try their hands on baking their own dessert. I just so happen to have bought a lot of saba banana (a starchy fat and stubby local Philippine banana variety that is oftentimes used in Filipino cuisine) which I have meant to make into deep fried banana fritters but have forgotten until it was all soft and mushy. Fortunately, I always have the basic baking staples on hand in my pantry so I thought of making this banana loaf. Note that I have added some lakatan bananas (which is more like the cavendish table banana variety) since the saba variety is not that aromatic even when overly ripe and is often used in savory dishes (like plantains). I have also decided to boost the "banana" smell by using banana flavor extract but can be omitted in the recipe below. I have been substituting coconut sap sugar for almost all of my baked recipes and the notable difference is that it is not as sweet (I do not pack the measurements like brown sugar). The color of the final product will also be noticeably darker. It has a mild bitter sort of burnt caramel taste which I do not find off-putting.

For a different twist on the recipe, you can soak the raisins in rum instead of hot water to have that extra flavor.

I have used the cake function of my bread maker for the one I baked pictured below.

1 and 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas
1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cups coconut sap sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened by allowing to go to room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon banana flavoring (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 small pack of raisins

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (if you are using an oven - I chose to make use of the cake function of my bread maker). Soak the raisins in freshly boiled water and let it plump up for around 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, egg, and coconut sap sugar. Cream the mixture until well mixed and it is light and fluffy. Add the mashed banana, banana extract, and the vanilla extract. Gradually fold in the remaining dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, and flour). Add the soaked raisins at the end.  

Pour the batter in a greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour (or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean). Let cool before slicing and enjoy.

Yield: 1 loaf

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