Rum Glazed Fried Plantain and Coconut Bread

If you haven’t heard, the Cavendish banana, that delicious yellow supermarket treat, is in danger of becoming extinct. With so much of the world’s banana cultivation focusing on one single subspecies, the world-wide spread of a banana killing fungus, Panama disease, is unfortunately inevitable.

Does this mean no more bananas? No more banana bread? Not exactly. But it does mean different bananas. It may even mean GMO bananas. Considering the banana is the world’s most consumed fruit, saving this fruit may change the notion that all genetic manipulation of food is harmful and unsafe for human consumption.

South America is safe from Panama disease for now, meaning the all important plantain is getting a break; but not forever. It’s not yet entirely clear if all plantain cultivars are resistant to the current strain of the fungus.

For now, enjoy as many bananas as you can, of all varieties. Plantains. Apple bananas. Cavendish.

And make bread.

This particular recipe calls for ripe plantains, meaning fruit with very nearly all black skin. Unlike green plantains, which are hard and grassy in flavor, ripe plantains have a fragrant sweetness, and soften nicely while retaining their shape when fried. It also utilizes cream of coconut (not to be confused with coconut milk) to add lightness and a decidedly tropical taste to the cake.

 

Rum Glazed Fried Plantain and Coconut Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

To fry the plantains:

  • 2 very ripe plantains
  • 1 tbsp butter

For the batter:

  • 115 g (1/2 cup) butter, cubed
  • 200 g (1 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • Fried plantains, cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cream of coconut

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup cream of coconut
  • 56 g (1/4 cup) butter, cubed
  • 100 g (1/2 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 1 ounce spiced rum

Trim the end of the plantains. Split in half lengthwise. Lay cut side down and peel back skin. Heat butter over medium high heat in a large skillet until just melted. Cook the plantains for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on both sides, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease the inside of a 10 cup bundt pan well. Set aside.

With a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the fried plantain pieces, one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated. Follow with the eggs, baking powder, vanilla and salt.

Slowly add the flour, alternating with the cream of coconut. Mix until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared bundt pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake at 350ºF for approximately one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

After removing the pan from the oven, allow to cool for one or two minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate. Allow the cake to drop, and carefully lift the pan. Carefully give a slight press to the cake. Inverting when the cake is still hot will slightly flatten out any roundness to the bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely.

While the cake cools, prepare the rum glaze in a small saucepan. Heat the cream of coconut over medium heat until simmering. Slowly add the cubed butter, whisking constantly until completely melted and emulsified. Continue to whisk, add the brown sugar and cook until it has dissolved. Remove the glaze from the heat, whisk in spiced rum, and allow to cool until thickened.

Generously glaze the cooled plantain cake. Keep covered, for up to 3 days.

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