Nutella Day isn’t until February, but it’s never too early or late to celebrate. We reserve Nutella as a special treat once a month because, frankly, it’s too hard to resist. We’ll open a jar and before you know it there are deep canals in it from spoons and Monkey Boy’s fingers, though we do actually use it with desserts. It’s good as a cookie topping, swirled in ice cream or gelato, and baked in cakes and breads. This banana bread with Nutella swirl from Cooking Light has become one of my family’s favorites for a snack or dessert, and it’s pretty easy to make. It’s flavorful and incredibly moist with a crunchy topping of chopped hazelnuts. You can also drizzle melted chocolate on top to make it even more decadent.
The whole buttermilk lends tanginess and plenty of moisture to the bread. Lowfat buttermilk will work but the texture will change a bit. If you can’t find whole buttermilk, you can make your own with 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus enough whole milk to make 2/3 cup. Let the mixture rest for 10 to 15 minutes before using.
BANANA BREAD WITH NUTELLA AND HAZELNUTS
Adapted from Cooking Light.
Makes 1 loaf.
small microwave-safe bowl
stand mixer with paddle attachment, or hand mixer and large mixing bowl
9×5 metal loaf pan, coated with floured cooking spray
5 tablespoon Nutella, or other chocolate hazelnut spread
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil, divided
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups (180 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) whole buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup (29 g) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C.
2. Microwave the Nutella and 1 teaspoon of oil until melted, about 30 seconds.
3. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the 3 tablespoons of oil, butter, brown sugar, and bananas until well-blended. Add 1 egg at a time, blending after each.
4. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the medium bowl. On slow speed, add 1/3 of the flour, half the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the flour, half the buttermilk, and the remaining flour. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, then top with the Nutella mixture. Spread the remaining batter over the Nutella. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the batter, but not too much to keep the Nutella stripe effect. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging, about 55 minutes. Cool bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a plastic knife around the edges to release. Turn the bread out onto the wire rack. Warm the chopped chocolate and drizzle over the bread (optional). Let the bread rest until cooled.
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[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]
[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]
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