One of my friends has an allergy to cane sugar, prompting me to develop a dessert recipe that didn't heavily rely on sweetness for its flavor. No cane sugar means no granulated sugar, no brown sugar, and no molasses. Sure, there are artificial sweeteners like Splenda, which contains xylitol, or natural ones like agave nectar. I wanted a sweetener that was natural but also probably already in people's pantries.
Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which is good for those concerned with high blood sugar. If you buy local honey, you are also ingesting nectar from the plants and flowers in your region, thus helping your body to be less sensitive to allergens. (Just be careful to buy real, unprocessed honey and not a product diluted with other ingredients. Check out this article for more information.)
- 6 Tbsp butter (3/4 stick), softened but not melted
- 3 bananas, very ripe, mashed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large mixing bowl, mix together butter and bananas with electric or stand mixer (medium or speed #4 using whisk attachment).
- With mixer on, pour in honey, vanilla, and egg. Mix for about 1 minute.
- Add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix for another 1-2 minutes, until batter looks smooth and creamy.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
- Let cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and let cool for another 30 minutes before cutting.
Baking with honey was pretty easy. It required reducing the amount of liquid in the other ingredients (i.e. using fewer eggs and less vanilla) and using significantly less honey than was required for the amount of sugar in my original recipe.
The color of the bread was what most impressed me at first. It came out of the oven a beautiful golden brown color, with a smooth crust.
As for the flavor, I really couldn't tell that there was anything different about it - the banana flavor was pronounced but not overbearing, just the way I like banana bread. Tasted great without butter but would be great with it. Even with the reduction in liquid, the amount in the honey made up the difference so the bread was the perfect texture.