The only dessert they serve there is banana bread. At first I thought that was ridiculous, who orders banana bread for dessert at a restaurant?! But it is served with ice cream and so I relented. I was not sorry. Their banana bread is AMAZING! It has a fine, moist, soft crumb that is more cake than bread. It has coconut and chocolate chips mixed in, is served slightly warm with a generous scoop of ice cream on top and then drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with a little extra coconut. The serving is generous and is plenty to share between two.
At the end of the meal I was feeling pretty fat and happy and decided it was so good I would have to learn how to make this at home or I would go broke buying it as often as I would want it....daily. Over the rest of the weekend I began my research. I tried to Google the bread and came up with some great reviews but no recipes. So I started reading up on converting a quick bread recipe to a cake recipe. I have a banana bread recipe that I love but it is too dense for what I want. It is perfect for slicing and buttering but it is not light and cakey. In my research I learned a cake has a little more sugar and more liquid ingredients so I started the conversion of my bread recipe. Here is the first incarnation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing and flouring the sides and bottom.
In a bowl combine and set aside:
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
Measure out and set aside:
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk*)
In another bowl fold together and set aside:
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Add to the creamed mixture, one at a time:
2 tsp vanilla
To the creamed mixture add one third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Add another third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add the last half of the buttermilk and mix just until combined. Add the last of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Carefully fold the banana/coconut/chocolate mixture into the batter. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan filling it 2/3rds full.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Cut out of the loaf pan in big pieces, at least 2" squares, too soft to stay together if served thinner.
*sour milk is what I used this time. To sour milk use 1 cup of fresh milk and add 1 T vinegar (or in some instances you can use lemon juice, not enough acid for this particular recipe though). Let sit on counter for at least 10 minutes before using.
This first incarnation of Kahuku Grill's banana bread turned out pretty good but it is not quite perfect. The interior crumb is not quite fluffy enough--just a little too dense still-- and the top and side crusts are a little too hard. I will adjust the recipe next time by adding more baking soda (it reacts with the buttermilk to act as the leavener.) I think I probably should add 1 tsp of baking soda per cup of flour to properly rise the bread. This will lighten it up and will also improve the crust some but I may also reduce the sugar a bit because the hardness on the top and sides has a crystallized like feel to it.
Another problem with the recipe is that it makes too much batter. It filled my loaf pan and then filled 12 muffin tins (didn't turn out well as muffins yet) not quite enough for a second loaf. I think I will increase the proportions of the recipe by a third so I can make two loaves of the bread with one recipe.
If you try it out I'd like to know what you think of it and how it turned out for you.