Sunday, December 5, 2010

Many Worlds, Many Variations on Banana Bread

The Many-worlds interpretation postulates that many independent worlds exist. Rather than the wave function of a quantum particle collapsing and assuming one definite state the wave function continues -- just in another world. Schrodinger's cat is a popular thought experiment theorized by Erwin Schrodinger. The thought experiment places a cat in a sealed box with a Geiger counter that if it detected the radioactive decay of a quantum particle it would trigger a device to break a sealed vile of poison and kill the cat. Until an observation is made this quantum particle would exist in a superposition of states (decayed and not decayed); the many-worlds interpretation theorizes that the cat is indeed both alive and dead each state existing in an independent universe.

I have an awesome variation on banana bread that is moist, flavorful, and likely to satisfy everyone. Banana bread is such a classic and simple concoction that there seems to be a plethora of variations to the standard banana bread recipe - white chocolate & macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, toasted pecans, green curry, etc. I added candied walnuts to top a simple banana bread and the result was crazy good. The bread itself was smooth and moist and everything I could ever want in a banana bread while the topping was crunchy and sweet and delicious -- the perfect contrast.

On to the recipe...

{Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts}
(recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen; makes 1 loaf)

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 TS baking soda
1/2 TS salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 TB unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 TS vanilla extract

1 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. sugar
2 TB butter, melted
1/4 TS cinnamon

1. Adjust a rack to the lower middle position of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside
3. In a medium bowl, stir together mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
4. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry careful not to over-mix.
5. To make the topping: toss together the walnuts, sugar, butter, and cinnamon until evenly coated.
6. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle walnuts on top. Bake for ~45-50 minutes.
7. Once cooled, slice and voila!