Elvis. The very name conjures up images of sweaty excess, sexy rhythms and snake-hipped gyrations. I have to admit to not being a fan of the man himself but there’s one thing that I can’t deny and that’s his impact on the world.
Aside from his groundbreaking impact on the world of music and movies, Elvis’s impact even stretched as far as the food world. Yes it may not be fancy but the grassroots ingredients of peanut and banana have become synonymous with the Graceland god. Google “The Elvis” and you will find a plethora of entries on the unnervingly mouth-watering combination of peanut butter, banana and bacon- usually in sandwich form. Is this actually a combination so off the wall it works? The answer is actually- yes. The unctuous smoothness of the peanut butter and banana spiked by the salty bites of bacon crispiness stopping it becoming overwhelming and bland.
It was within a week of watching cookery competition shows and Netflix culinary food-show binging that I noticed a bizarrely serendipitous trend- the theme of PB&J and Elvis appeared to crop up rather a lot. We’re talking epiphany-like levels folks. The universe was speaking to me and it was saying, “Elvis”. But how to incorporate this make-up into something unexpected? The answer was literally right under my nose- I pondered the question whilst munching on a slice of last week’s banana loaf.
Now whilst I love banana bread, a certain Covid-quarantine ennui had settled on my taste buds in regards to it. I had become a lockdown Lancelot in a quest to revamp the moist. rich loaf- as my recipe for Buttermilk & Cardamom Banana Bread bares testament to. And this Memphis-kissed combination provided another excuse for kitchen experimentation.
The peanut/ banana combination was an obvious treatment for the loaf itself, and pockets of flavored jelly would of course provide surprising nuggets of sweet, sticky joy in the dough. But where to work in the final signature ingredient of the King? I didn’t want anything as obvious as just a couple of bacon slices on top. My other concern was that mixing bacon pieces into the batter would cause them to become chewy and soft gribene-esque morsels in the batter. So how better to avoid them becoming gummy crumbs than to put them outside the batter…on top…in a topping…a STREUSEL topping!
Et viola! Elvis Banana Bread…enjoy!
- 3 large bananas
- 4 Tbspn Peanut butter (smooth or crunchy to you taste)
- 1/2 cup Canola oil
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tspn Vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cup AP flour
- 3/4 cup Dark brown sugar
- 2 tspn Baking powder
- 1 tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 tspn Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup Grape jelly (feel free to sub with whatever flavour you like)
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crispy
- 1/4 cup Dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fine sugar
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 tspn cinnamon
- 2 Tbspn Butter, cold and diced
- Pinch Kosher salt
To make the streusel topping
- In a bowl combine both the sugars, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter pieces. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until a pea-sized sand texture is achieved and a crumble is formed. Crumble in the crispy bacon slices, mix through and set aside until needed later. *This makes more than enough streusel topping with plenty left over for additional uses. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight jar
To make the banana bread
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and line the bottom & with parchment paper (this will help to lift the baked loaf out)
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the peanut butter, oil, milk and vanilla, whisk well to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
- Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined and there are no spots of dry floury residue
- Pour 1 /2 of the batter into the loaf pan. Using a piping bag or spoon, place dollops of the jelly along the top of the loaf batter leavings about 1 inch border around. Once you’ve got the jelly piped in how you’d like, pour the remaining loaf batter over to cover the jelly and roughly level the top. Generously sprinkle over the streusel topping to an amount of your liking
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until well risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
- Remove the baked loaf from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the loaf pan before lifting out using the parchment paper, and leave to cool completely on a rack before slicing