This recipe was inspired by Christopher Kimball’s Brown Butter-Cardamom Banana Bread. I saw this recipe in Kimball’s Milk Street magazine about a year ago and was meaning to try the recipe as is, but never got around to it. Recently, I had some over-ripe plantains lying around so I thought why not Africanize Kimball’s recipe by using it for plantain bread and here we are!
How to Make Brown Butter and Cardamom Plantain Bread
To make this brown butter and cardamom plantain bread, you’ll need the following ingredients: 2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 medium over-ripe plantains, 1 stick of butter, ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, ¾ cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Put the butter in a medium saucepan and let it cook over medium heat until it’s dark brown (about 8 minutes). Remove the saucepan from the stove once the butter is dark brown and add the cardamom to the butter. Mix the cardamom and the butter using a whisk. Mash the plantains in a mixing bowl using a potato masher. Add the butter mixture to the mashed plantains; let the butter cool for a bit before doing this as hot butter might cause the plantain to sizzle and bubble up. Add the yogurt, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract to the plantain mixture. Whisk the ingredients together using an electric mixture until you get rid of most of the lumps in the mixture.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the plantain mixture a bit at a time and fold the ingredients together using a spoon. Do not over mix the ingredients as it will result in a tough plantain bread. Pour the batter into a generously greased 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. Make sure that the batter spreads evenly around the pan.
How to Make Streusel Topping for the Plantain Bread
I decided to add a streusel topping to the plantain bread for a bit of crunchiness. To make the streusel topping you will need 1⁄3 cup of all purpose flour, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and ½ stick of cold butter (grated). Combine all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix the ingredients into small crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the plantain batter.
Put the pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until the loaf is brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Take the loaf out of the oven once it’s done baking. Let it cool until it’s safe enough to handle and then remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack. Let the loaf cool completely on the wire rack before serving. Enjoy!
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Brown Butter and Cardamom Plantain Bread
For the Plantain Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 medium over-ripe plantains
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
For the Streusel Topping
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ½ stick cold unsalted butter (grated)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
For the Plantain Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C)
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until the butter is deep brown (about 3 minutes)
- Remove the butter from the heat and whisk in the cardamom.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the plantains using a potato masher. Let the butter cool for a bit and then add it to the mashed plantains.
- Add the yogurt, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract to the plantains. Mix the ingredients together using an electric mixture until you get rid of most of the lumps in the mixture.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the plantain mixture. Use a spoon to fold the flour mixture into the plantain mixture until no dry flour remains. Do not over-mix, the mixtures should be just combined.
- Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, making sure that it spreads evenly around the pan.
For the Streusel Topping
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to mix the ingredients into small crumbs.
- Sprinkle the streusel on top of the plantain batter.
- Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake until the loaf is brown, and a toothpick inserted at the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool enough to be able to safely handle once it's done. Take the loaf out of the pan and put it on a wire rack. Cool the loaf completely on the wire rack before serving.