My first trip to Hawaii was more than twenty years ago. It was love at first sight, even if I did have to spend much of my time in the shade. The air just feels different, more oxygenated somehow. There’s all that powdery black sand, and those sea turtles. There’s the hula, outrigger canoes, tiki torches, ukulele music, and lots of lovely Hawaiian people. And then there’s the food: shave ice and kalua pig, mahi-mahi, and mai tai’s. And the best banana bread ever.
I know that banana bread doesn’t exactly have a Hawaiian provenance, and Patrick Evans-Hylton’s new Nuts cookbook has nothing to do with Hawaii. But the best recipes have a way of taking you to a faraway place, and his brilliant banana bread calls for macadamia nuts and that, my friends, is something I’ve only ever had in Hawaii. (If you’re lucky enough to stay at the Royal Hawaiian for a night, you’ll even find a little warm loaf of macadamia nut banana bread on your bedside table each evening, with a fragile purple orchid tucked next to it).
Nuts brings a lot more to mind more than a trip to the islands. While there are plenty of recipes that have me longing for food travel (Mole Olé spice blend, Williamsburg Peanut Soup, and New Orleans Bread Pudding with Pecan Crumble and Rum Sauce, to name a few), this is a cookbook for now and future nut lovers, no matter where you are.
Most likely born out of not letting a good thing go to waste, banana bread uses those ripe bananas that may otherwise be discarded and turns them into a homey pleasure for brunch, breakfast, dessert, snacks, and gift-giving. This version is enhanced with the distinctive taste of macadamia nuts and a simple glaze atop. —Patrick Evans-Hylton
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This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Vera!
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- To make the bread, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Stir in the bananas. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with each addition. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and use a spatula to even out the top. Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 75 to 85 minutes.
- Cool the bread in the pan for about 15 minutes, then finish cooling it on a wire rack.
- While the bread cools, make the glaze. In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons of the cream until smooth. Add the additional tablespoon of cream if needed to thin the glaze. When the bread has cooled, drizzle the glaze over it.