Honey Banana Bread

i-love-banana-bread

Honey banana bread will have you questioning all other banana breads that came before this recipe. Honey banana bread is oh-so-moist, sweet, healthy, and delicious. I have been trying to perfect this recipe for weeks with no such luck- my test recipes for the honey banana bread varied from excessively dense and overtly sweet to dry and bouncy. At long last I finally perfected the ratio of honey: sugar: bananas to create the ultimate banana bread.

vertical-with-abnanansmake-the-honey-butter

This honey banana bread is inspired from a classic banana bread recipe from Cooking Light magazine that I have been making for years. I still have the original tattered magazine featuring dozens of banana bread recipes. While I have loved this recipe for years, I have felt like it needed some tweaking and could use a little less sugar. It began to taste dull and dry over the years, and I felt like orange blossom honey would be the answer to my banana bread woes.

horizontal-melted banana-bread-all-done

I tried this recipe for honey banana bread using 2, 3, or 4 ripe bananas. Perfection was achieved with 4 very ripe medium sized bananas. When the bananas are very ripe you are able to use less sugar while still maintaining the right balance of moisture and sweetness. Serve this delectable and moist honey banana bread with homemade honey butter for a real breakfast treat.

very-close bread-with-butter

Honey Banana Bread

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup orange blossom honey
¼ cup butter; softened
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup vanilla yogurt

Honey Butter

¼ cup softened butter
2 tablespoons orange blossom honey

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a separate bowl add the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir together; set aside. Add the softened butter, honey, and sugar to a bowl and mix well. I used my KitchenAid mixer which mixes everything incredibly well.  Now add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated, followed by the bananas one by one, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla extract.

vertical-ingredientsorange-blossom-honeybutter-honey-sugar

Next add the flour mixture slowly to the batter until just mixed. Scrape along the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. If you like nuts in your banana bread feel free to add a handful of chopped walnuts at this point. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan or greased muffin tins.

mix-the-eggsadd-flourfinished-batterhorizontal-batter

Bake the honey banana bread for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. I had to cook the honey banana bread for an hour and 10 minutes. While the bread was baking I placed the half stick of butter for the honey butter on the counter so it would soften. Mix in the honey with the softened butter and slather on fresh warm slices of moist honey banana bread and enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee or black tea.

   honey-butter

Tortilla Española

  Tortilla Espanola

Tortilla Española is an EASY, classic, and cost-effective Spanish staple that is popular at parties and the perfect snack on the go. I grew up eating Tortilla Española made by my abuela, but I became truly obsessed when I studied abroad in Madrid with my cousin, Jenny. The university where we lived and studied served fantastic Tortilla Española served between buttered loaves. I would try and sneak extra to take back to our dorms it was just that delicious. The tortilla was filling and dense, layered with soft thin potatoes held together with the egg, flavored with olive oil.

     Tortilla Ingredients       Potatoes for Tortilla

     Dice onions       Sliced and Diced

Until recently, I actually thought Tortilla Española was something everyone ate all the time. At FIU in my first master’s culinary class the chef prepared a Tortilla Española and no one else knew what it was except for me! I found this shocking especially in South Florida- where Hispanic culture reigns supreme and Cuban food is everywhere. Now I should back up here- while tortilla Española is- as its name states- a Spanish dish- Cubans also eat tortilla and serve it up regularly at family gatherings or parties (at least my abuela did!).

Cook Potatoes and Onions Add potatoes to eggs Egg and Potato mixture

This was one of the first recipes my abuela and I made together, and I love to make the tortilla time and time again. I should mention that tortillas are often thicker, but I made this in a larger, flatter pan which explains the shape. My favorite way to eat tortilla Española is sliced up served in a sandwich (pan con tortilla), but it tastes great on its own served in small cubes or wedges.

            Finished Tortilla

Tortilla Española

½ cup olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1tsp of salt or more to taste

6 medium yellow potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly

5 eggs beaten

Heat the olive oil on low. Add the onions and potatoes; the idea here is for the onions and potatoes to ‘poach’ in olive oil. They should not brown or get crispy, rather softened and translucent. Therefore do not allow the oil to get extremely hot before adding the potatoes and onions. Gently turn the mixture every so often so everything cooks evenly. Cook around 20 minutes.

Pour out and reserve the excess oil from the potatoes and onions. Allow the potatoes and onions to cool before adding to the eggs. OR you can beat the eggs and temper them by slowly adding the potato and onion mixture to prevent the eggs from cooking instantly

In the same pan, pour back some of the reserved olive oil to coat and pour in the egg mix. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes on low. Cover for 10 minutes and cook (until the top looks cooked to the edges). Now place a plate on top of the pan and invert the tortilla. Put the tortilla back in the pan uncooked side down. Cook for 3-5 more minutes- or until firm. Slide onto plate. Serve the tortilla hot or room temperature with chopped tomatoes, bread and butter, sliced ham, or chorizo. You can also use one less potato and replace it with a chopped or crumbled link of chorizo!

            Sliced up

*If you are having difficulty with flipping the tortilla, you can also bake it in the oven once halfway through at 350 for 10 minutes or until firm. Place a plate on top and invert the tortilla.