Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Go Bananas on World Nutella Day

World Nutella Day is February 5th, and in celebration of this festival for Nutella fans I postponed my diet and went bananas creating a recipe that would top my Nutella cookies. It's a Nutella banana bread that's almost rich enough to be called a cake, but you can still feel good about having it for breakfast. The recipe is a combination of an old family favorite and a mixing technique recommended by The Joy of Baking and other noteworthy bakers. You see, the secret to a tender banana bread is to fold the wet and dry ingredients together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and leave the hand mixer in the cupboard. The bread bakes up tender, moist and out-of-this-world. This recipe comes together quickly, bakes for about an hour and there's not a big clean up. Gobble it up warm or enjoy it at room temp.

Nutella Banana Bread
makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf

Cooking spray
1 T flour for dusting loaf pan

1-3/4 cups flour (I used my Trinity Blend but AP flour works fine)
3/4 cups sugar (I used Splenda No Calorie)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 large ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup Nutella
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray and a light dusting of flour. Discard any flour that doesn't stick to the pan.

In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I use a big whisk.

In medium bowl combine mashed bananas, eggs, oil, vanilla and Nutella. You can use a hand mixer for this, but with a little elbow grease, a whisk works fine. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and don't over-mix. According to The Joy of Baking you do not want the batter to be smooth. It should be thick and chunky. Over mixing will make a tough, rubbery bread. Now fold in the mini chocolate chips, pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center oven rack for 55 to 60 minutes.

Place on wire rack to cool (about a half hour). Remove bread from pan and let cool until you can't wait any longer and have to cut a slice.

I think this bread would be great toasted. It could also be a pretty fabulous dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and a garnish of a few more mini chips. Thanks Nutella, and Happy 5th World Nutella Day.

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