I meant to share this recipe later in the week. There are a few more dishes that claim a higher spot on the list–tested, photographed, patiently waiting for their time on this blog. But it seems a game of musical chairs is being played. Round and round they go until the music stops and a recipe gets bumped off for another week, then another until only one remains.
If you played musical chairs as a child you know you can’t be timid or shy. If you don’t want to find yourself sitting on the floor (or someone’s lap), you have to be bold and snag a chair when the music stops. In this case–and it’s happened with a couple others in the last few weeks–one recipe seizes my attention and demands to be shared right away (I also shared a teaser snapshot on my Facebook page and immediately received numerous requests for the recipe). This one is bold in a way that only Nutella can be when pitted against fish, a salad or even a cake. This week’s round of musical chairs declares this simple quick bread the winner.
Banana. Nutella. Easy.
This is perhaps one of the easiest quick breads you can prepare but it rewards like you’ve spent all afternoon toiling in the kitchen over a three-layer cake. This is the magic that happens when ripe bananas and Nutella come together; truly cake-like in texture and I deem it appropriate not just for breakfast or teatime but for dessert, too.
I borrowed my recipe for Banana Chocolate Bread in the archives–a winner in its own right–but I swapped out the bittersweet chocolate and walnuts for Nutella and slivered almonds (just the little bit I had left over). The banana and Nutella don’t compete here; swirling the latter in the batter marries the two together but each component is detectable in every bite. Imagine biting into a random banana chunk that didn’t get completely mashed and a pocket of Nutella at the same time–can you think of anything better?
** I made four mini loaves out of this recipe but you can make one standard loaf if you prefer.
- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
- ¼ cup slivered almonds (you can add up to ½ cup for added texture)
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup + ⅛ cup Nutella (heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave to make it more spreadable)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe, soft, darkly-speckled bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 4 mini loaf pans or a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla with a wooden spoon in another bowl. Lightly fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Stir in the almonds.
- Measure out the Nutella in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-35 seconds, just until it’s softened and stir together until it’s the texture of frosting. Stir the Nutella into the batter being careful not to completely incorporate the two together. You want a swirled pattern here.
- Transfer batter into the greased and dusted loaf pan(s).
- Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It will take 25-30 minutes if you use mini loaf pans like I did or 50-55 minutes for a regular one. Cool in the pan for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack. This is great at room temperature or even straight out of the refrigerator.