Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Banana Nutella Bread

During college I studied abroad in France.  And while I was there I discovered the wonderful world of banana nutella crepes.  I blame a combination of those crepes, creamy cheeses, plus the chocolate chip croissants I ate for breakfast at least a few times a week for the 10 pounds I gained while I was there.  Oops.  Somehow French women don't get fat, but Americans living in France do.  But you only live once, right?  So in honor of those banana nutella crepes that I loved so much, I decided to make a banana nutella bread.  Considering I go months without baking, it is interesting that I made both pumpkin bread, and banana bread this week, but the bananas were the perfect level of overripe for bread-making and I was afraid that if I didn't make the bread tonight I would realize on Friday that the bananas had gone from overripe to icky and rotten.  Plus I figured I had plenty of time to prep the banana bread while the Ad Hoc Summer Vegetable Gratin was in the oven for an hour.  It really only takes 5-10 minutes or so to put the bread together from start to finish (assuming that your butter is softened).  And even if your butter isn't softened, there is always the microwave.

I'm not sure what it is that I love about banana bread (and all quick breads really).  They just make me really happy.  This one in particular is lovely - super  moist, with nice banana flavor and just a hint of nutella.  If you want the nutella flavor to be more pronounced, just add a little more to the batter while baking it.  I wanted this to be banana bread with a little nutella, rather than the reverse, so I only added 1/2 of a cup.  This is a banana bread that any child (and any adult) will love.  I certainly do.
Recipe after the jump!

Banana Nutella Bread

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 medium overripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup Nutella, separated

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×5x3 loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Using a stand mixer (or a hand-held electric mixer), cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until blended.  You want the bananas to retain some texture (rather than turning into a banana puree), so it's good if the mixture remains a little chunky.  Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix everything just until just combined.  Add 1/4 cup of Nutella and mix until the batter is marbled with Nutella.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and scoop the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella over the top.  Using a knife, swirl the Nutella around until thin ribbons of Nutella are swirled throughout.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before serving.

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