I adopted this recipe after its original poster, Mean Chef (IHHDRO), departed the site. Mean posted it on Jun 25, 2003. His comments: "from Nancy Silverton's 'Pastries from La Brea Bakery.' "
Lightly coat a six cup capacity loaf pan, with melted butter.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F.
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
Shake the pan halfway through to ensure that the nuts toast evenly.
Cool, chop coarsely; set aside.
Turn the oven up to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk the banana puree, eggs, and vanilla extract to combine.
In the bowl, of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, attachment, cream the butter, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and poppy seeds on low, 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
Add the sugars and turn the mixer up to medium, mixing another 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the flour and banana mixture alternately in three batches, beginning with the flour, mixing until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the nuts.
Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan to just below the rim.
Cut two 1/4 inch thick strips from the remaining banana, slicing down the entire length.
Arrange the two C-shapes on top of the loaf, staggered, with the two ends slightly interlocking with each other in the center.
Sprinkle about one teaspoons of granulated sugar over the surface.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until nicely browned and firm to the touch.
Do not slice bananas for the top too thickly or they will sink.