I’ve breezed through life turning my nose up at sapota or chikoo. There’s something about its sweet smell that is incredibly off-putting, and I’ve never been able to enjoy it, right up until it was blitzed together with banana and handed to me as a milkshake. Suddenly, I didn’t mind the fleshy brown chikoo’s flavour, and found myself oddly enjoying the combination. Many milkshakes and tropical summers later, I decided to turn this odd combination into a cake.
Banana as a flavour is so powerful that it takes over anything it’s paired with. I found out the hard way when I was testing the recipe for this loaf bread. One batch had equal parts chikoo and banana, while the other had simply chikoo. The recipe was for my fail-proof banana bread, which gets its moist texture from the addition of hung curd. The batch with banana and chikoo, more moist than usual, had only faint traces of chikoo because the banana had overpowered it. The batch with the chikoo was a revelation. Perfectly moist, good crumb and that overpowering chikoo-sweetness, now deepened to a nutty, more earthy flavour. The chikoo bread, delicious by itself, needed no accompaniment, but since I had set my mind to a banana-chikoo result, a simple accompaniment was in order.
This banana and bourbon sauce is more of a flavoured puree, like applesauce. It’s a simple blitz and reduce job that’s sits well in the refrigerator for many weeks and goes well as a spread over toast or stirred into morning oats, so you’ll never have to worry about it going to waste.
Chikoo Bread With Banana Bourbon Sauce
I've swapped out bananas for chikoos in my favourite banana bread recipe. This one is a reimagining of the classic chikoo and banana milkshake.
All-purpose flour 1 1/2 cup
Baking soda 1 1/4 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Brown sugar 1 cup
Yoghurt 1/3 cup, excess whey drained
Chikoo 4 small or 3 medium-sized, seeds removed
Banana and Bourbon Sauce
Bananas 350-400g in weight
Brown sugar 1/4 cup or an equal amount of jaggery
Bourbon 1 heaped tablespoonful (Jim Beam is good here)
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Puree the chikoo as you would for a milkshake.
Line a large loaf tin with baking paper, leaving overhang on the long sides of the tin, for easily removing the bread.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and the salt to combine, and set it aside.
In another bowl, using a hand-blender, mix together the sugar, yoghurt and butter together for a few minutes. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage. It’ll all come together with the addition of the flour. Add in the eggs one by one, blending the egg after each addition. Scrape down the sides as you go.
Add in all the dry ingredients at once, followed by the pureed chikoo and fold everything together until just combined. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the tin and smoothen the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour, checking with a toothpick to see if it’s done. Transfer to a wire rack using the overhang and cool it outside the tin.
To make the banana and bourbon sauce, pulse the bananas. Transfer to a small saucepan with the sugar and bourbon. Bring it ups o a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium-low and stir till it is thick enough to spread. Add in the vanilla essence, cinnamon powder and take it off the heat. Serve alongside slices of the chikoo bread.
You can add nuts to this bread too. Just add the chopped nuts with the pureed chikoo during the folding stage.