Da Lat Spice Banana Bread
Makes one 9”x 4” loaf. Adapted from Joanne Chang’s recipe for Flour Bakery’s banana bread.
Our Da Lat Spice is inspired by the romantic Vietnamese city of the same name. The blend was created as a rub for roasted or grilled meats and vegetables, but we’ve found that it can be equally enchanting in sweet settings. This banana bread is like a favorite, older cousin who has come home from a year away at college — familiar and friendly, but just a little more sophisticated. Da Lat Spice adds the warm richness of coffee and chocolate, plus the unexpected spark of ginger and black pepper, to this cozy tea bread. It’s even tastier after an overnight rest to the flavors meld perfectly.
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar *
11/2 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
2 teaspoons Da Lat Spice
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a metal loaf pan, line its bottom with baking parchment, and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to combine and fluff. Set aside.
In a clean mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick, satiny-smooth, and a light buttery color, about 7 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the Da Lat Spice and, with the beaters running, slowly drizzle in the oil, incorporating it completely.
Gently fold in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla followed by the flour-mixture and the nuts using quick, strong strokes. Don’t over-mix the batter — you don’t want to deflate it.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean when stuck into the top-center of the loaf. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15–20 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.
* We like the slightly caramel-y flavor of organic cane sugar in this recipe, but any granulated sugar will work just fine.
Top it off!
Serve the bread with honey-sweetened cream cheese that’s scented with orange-flower water. To make it, add
2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons orange flower water, and the zest of half an orange to an 8-ounce tub of
whipped cream cheese. Whisk or stir to blend well.