Barbados – Banana, Rum and Coconut Bread

Overripe bananas.  Yuck.  I hate them.  Dark brown skins, a weird squidgy, grainy texture and that horrible fermenting smell that they give off.  What is to like?  The only thing they’re good for is banana bread or banana muffins (my fav being banana choc-chip and pecan muffins-yum). I currently have 4 such yucky, smelly, brown bananas in the fruit bowl and thought that they could be perfectly transformed into some yummy, gooey delectable treat.  In order to keep up with my challenge, I wanted to give the recipe a twist and then remembered that I had some Mount Gay rum in the cupboard (my parents bought it back for me from a trip to Barbados years ago) and decided it would make a great addition to the bread.  Bananas and rum are a fantastic combination and as bananas are grown in Barbados and my Mount Gay Rum comes from there – this is definitely a Bajan inspired recipe!

I loosely based my bread (why is it called bread anyway?) on a Mary Berry recipe for Banana Bread with Honey Icing, but added the rum, coconut, cinnamon, changed some of the quantities slightly and didn’t bother with the icing or the addition of pecan nuts, so I’m classing it as my own recipe!

Banana, Rum and Coconut Bread

  •  225g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 350g mashed overripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 100g desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Lightly grease a 900g loaf tin (about 21cm x 11cm) and line the base with baking paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes until light and fluffy (you can use a wooden spoon but it will take a bit longer).  Mix in the eggs, rum, and bananas.

Then fold in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Finally, fold in the desiccated coconut. Pour batter into prepared loaf tin.

Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, but check it after about 45 mins.  If it’s browning too much on top, just cover with tin foil until it’s done.  To see if it’s done, insert a skewer into the centre; it should come out clean.  Let bread cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.

Did you know?

  • Banana bread started appearing in cook books in America in the 1930s (so I’m cheating slightly saying it’s from Barbados, but this is my twist!)
  • According to Wikipedia, banana juice is used as an ingredient in making shot guns??  Who knew!
  • The coconut got its’ name from Portuguese explorers in 15th century – “coco” meaning “grinning face” or “monkey face” because of the three holes at the bottom of a coconut that make it look like a face.

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