Michelle on Banana Bread and Caramel

Michelle, bein’ all outdoorsy.

The newest member of the Liddabit Sweets caramel family actually has a long and rich history with the company. The banana is already a favorite ingredient; it’s used in our King bar when it’s pureed and mixed with white chocolate and a little heavy cream to make a delightful ganache. Its sweet fruitiness plays perfectly with the fatty saltiness of the peanut butter nougat (if you haven’t had one yet, a) WHAT?! and b) TRY IT).

But, the problem with bananas is that they become overripe quite quickly. In the early days, you see, even before I started working here, there was always a looming issue of what in the world some pastry chefs could do with some bananas that were, well, brown. The obvious conclusion: make banana bread! In fact, there were several now-fabled Liddabit banana bread cook-offs that occurred. Everybody brought in their favorite recipe, and the brown slimy ‘naners happily lent their still delightful flavor to some kick-ass banana bread. And snacks were had for daaaaaaays.

And so the tradition continued: whenever there were some half bunches in the fridge that were on their last legs, we just mooshed ‘em up, added some walnuts, or pecans or whatever we had on hand in the kitchen, and magically, breakfast was supplied for the weary pastry chefs for the week. Pretty good deal, and pretty economical of us too, if I do say so myself.

Then, one day this past fall, we were approached by the coolest bar around, PDT, to make a caramel for a drink garnish for one of their amazing super special cocktails.  We lurve working with the folks over there, so Jen and Liz went to check out the new drink, and the idea of doing a banana caramel was born.  Kinda makes a lot of sense- banana and caramel separately are already a winning combo (bananas foster, anyone?!), so putting the two together in a bite size chew was a challenge happily accepted.  We came up with a few different prototypes: some with cinnamon, some without, some with nuts, some without, etc etc.

While taste testing the batches, my personal FAVORITE part of the job, we all came to the same conclusion that ‘OHMIGOD batch number 2 tastes EXACTLY like banana bread and I wanna eat it all day every day’.

Welp, PDT chose another caramel to go with their drink, and we came to the pretty much unanimous conclusion that the banana bread caramel, with the pecans and all, must become a new item to sell to the masses. We just couldn’t keep a secret that was this  damn delicious.

And so, without further ado, the Banana Nut Caramel.  Eat it, and taste a little bit of what makes us Liddabit workers happy.