Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hazelnut Ripple Banana Bread

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I had a jar of Nutella stashed in my pantry, staring me down. And then something happened to it and it disappeared. So...I didn't buy that stuff again until just recently due to my severe lack of self control. And now here it is, half a jar sitting all warm and creamy between layers of fluffy, moist banana bread, speckled with chunks of hazelnuts. Oh, my goodness.

I tried a few different recipes before getting this one down. Other versions swirl the Nutella through the top of the loaf, but that lets the chocolate overcook and get kind of dry and crumbly and burned before the bread is actually done baking. If you make a thick gooey layer in the middle, it stays exactly that way---thick and gooey. 

This is a perfect cold day sweet bread, especially if you eat it straight out of the oven with a glass of milk. Or in one hand on your way to work. Or for a light midday snack. It's pretty much good whenever. So yum.

Hazelnut Ripple Banana Bread [click to print]
Makes one loaf
  • 1/2 c. hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 very ripe, extremely spotty bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. hazelnut spread (i.e. Nutella)
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 9x4 loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing 2-3" overhang on each side of pan, or coat generously with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2) On another baking sheet, spread hazelnuts in an even layer and toast in oven about 12-15 minutes; or until fragrant and just barely browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Whisk together with flour, soda and salt; set aside.

3) In large bowl, mix bananas, sugar, butter, egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add flour mixture, in about two additions, mixing until just incorporated. 

4) Pour about half of the banana batter into the pan. Heat hazelnut spread about 15 seconds in microwave to soften and spread evenly over batter. Scoop remaining batter over last layer and spread evenly. Bake 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool in pan about 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. 

Source: Adapted from Lovin From the Oven

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