Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Foodie Files

I love to cook, but I don't always love to bake (unless you allow for the use of box mixes, in which case I make a mean Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownie).  I know, they sound like similar if not identical activities, but I'm telling you they're not.  Cooking allows you some flex to experiment, if you will.  Wanna add a dash of this and a smidge of that?  Go for it!  And if it doesn't work, just add a touch of something else!  Baking...not so much.  Don't believe me?  Add the wrong amount of baking soda to your next treat and let me know how it goes.  Unless I'm with my cousin Tricia (who's a baker extraordinaire) I tend to steer clear of baking projects.  Until I saw this Banana Nutella Bread recipe (!!!) last week and literally dropped everything I was doing to make it immediately.  And oh my word am I glad I did.  It's so good.  So very good.  

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 heaping cup Nutella

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray 8×4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda & salt.

In another large bowl, beat sugar and butter until blended (the trick is to use a fork). 

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, milk and vanilla, and beat until blended.

Gradually add flour mixture, beating constantly until blended (don’t over-mix).

Spoon Nutella into a small dish and soften in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella and stir until blended. 

Spoon Nutella batter alternately with plain banana bread batter into the prepared pan. 

Swirl batters together with a knife.

Bake for 60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave it to sit in the residual heat for another 10 minutes.  What I wouldn't give for another piece of this right now...mmmmMmmm.  


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