Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread

I have something to confess:  I have never used Nutella in a recipe and I haven't eaten Nutella in over 20 years.  Amazing but true.  Why not, you may ask.  I don't really know.  In recent years I have avoided all nuts and nut products because of my son's peanut and tree nut allergy but we have no proof that he has any allergy to hazelnuts.  I broke down recently when I saw this recipe and decided that I had to make it.  My other confession is that when I made the recipe I used the one at which doesn't really specify that you should set aside the Nutella after you put it in the microwave with the oil.  I mixed it together with the banana batter.  In order to make lemonade and not throw out the batter, I had a brainstorm. I just sprinkled the hazelnuts and chopped chocolate in the middle of the batter where it says in the recipe to put the Nutella or chocolate-hazelnut spread.  I'm pretty sure it will taste great but not look so great.  Actually, I just read the reviews of the original recipe.  Many of the folks said that the hazelnut-nutella layer fell to the bottom of the bread and stuck to the pan.  I can tell you that I did not have that problem.  Next time I make it, I may put some Nutella on the top of the bread along with the hazelnuts and chocolate drizzle.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread


5 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, sliced
2 large eggs
6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1-1/2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
Baking spray with flour (such as Baker's Joy)
1/4 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) and 1 teaspoon oil in a small microwave safe bowl, stir.  Set aside.

3.  Combine 3 tablespoons oil, butter, brown sugar, and banana in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Beating at a low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beat just until combined.

5.  Scrape half of batter into 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray, and top with chocolate-hazelnut spread mixture.

6.  Spread remaining batter over chocolate mixture.

7.  Spread remaining batter over chocolate mixture.

8.  Using wooden pick, swirl batter (do not over swirl the batter because too much swirling could cause you to lose the stripe effect).

9.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it.

10.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

11.  Remove bread; cool on wire rack.

12.  Place bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave high for 30 seconds.  Drizzle bread with chocolate and sprinkle with hazelnuts, let stand until set.


The Creative Cook

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread French Toast

This banana bread is very different from any other banana bread that I have ever made or tasted.  I liked it but my son said he did not like the consistency.  I thought that it might work better if I made it into a french toast.  It tasted great!  I also think that I will make a strawberry sauce for the french toast.  To make the banana bread into a french toast, I just mixed together one egg with a 1/4 cup of cream and soaked each slice in the egg mixture. Then I fried the soaked bread in a hot pan with a teaspoon of butter melted in the pan for each slice of bread. I did not add any vanilla because I thought the bread had enough vanilla in it but I think you could add some if you wanted to.  I also wanted to mention that I purchased the vanilla sugar from instead of making it myself. Next time, I would try to make my own vanilla sugar.  It can't be that hard and it would probably be less expensive.  

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup vanilla sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make vanilla sugar: Scrape half a vanilla bean into a container of 2-3 cups sugar. Stir well, cover and let stand until vanilla is infused in the sugar. Can be stored for months in an airtight container.
Preheat oven 350F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk together vanilla sugar and eggs until well combined, then whisk in the mashed banana, milk, butter and vanilla extract. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined, making sure no streaks of flour remain. Pour batter out into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf


The Creative Cook