This is not your garden-variety coffee-shop fare. Full of dark flavours and, just for fun, little chunks of banana-y goodness, it is a perfect morning treat to get you through to lunch without compromising your healthy intentions for the day. It's made with stone ground whole wheat flour, a small amount of brown sugar, and has a mild hint of dark cardamom flavour. Oh, and did I mention rum flavouring? Rum and bananas are just the thing, I think. These squares are not at all dainty, but rather squat and homey - and just perfect for snacking.
Dark Banana Bread
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 mashed bananas (from frozen is good)
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 1/4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats (not instant)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 firm banana, diced
Preheat your oven to 35o F. Grease (or spritz with canola) an 8" square metal baking dish.
Beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs. Add the mashed bananas and rum extract and beat again until all nice and smooth.
In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients. Be sure to use quick oats, not instant or rolled oats, whose texture are quite different. Tip the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, and stir just to combine. Add diced banana and stir through gently.
Pour batter into the prepared pan (it should be a little lumpy looking) and bake for about 45 minutes or until dark golden brown, and a toothpick or cake skewer comes out clean. The cake/bread will have pulled slightly away from the sides, too. Allow it to cool in the pan, then slice into 9 squares. Freeze individual squares in plastic wrap for a stash of lunchbox-ready treats.
You could certainly add raisins or currants, or walnuts, if that's your fancy. You could also substitute the cardamom with cinnamon, but I think cardamom is nicer, here.
Next time, I'm contemplating adding a little coconut, for a full-on Caribbean approach.