If actions speak louder than words, then making Nutella Banana Swirl Bread certainly would say, “Thank you”, or “I’m sorry,” or “Get better soon,” much better than any card. It is homey, like any good quick bread should be, but has a little something extra special with that swirl of Nutella running through it. It is a nice soft but sturdy loaf and not overtly sweet like my traditional banana bread.
When I brought a loaf, still warm and fairly aromatic to a neighboring office today, I was greeted with a huge smile and later was told how it disappeared in minutes. My co-workers also devoured our own plate of banana bread slices and gave it rave reviews.
This particular loaf is from Cooking Light…I suppose you have been noticing a trend in the last few posts. I am trying to lighten up my eating without feeling like a Puritan. I still need to enjoy both my baking and eating and believe totally in moderation of all sorts.
If you have anyone in mind who needs a little cheering up, or you have an apology that is long over due, I highly recommend making this very quick yet seemingly bling-y bread. Or if you are more in the mood for a double dose of chocolate in your banana bread, take a peek at my Chocolate Squared Banana Bread. With either one, I have no doubt it will win you some points and make the recipient feel quite special.
Nutella Swirl Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light, Makes One Loaf
5 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon, Canola Oil DIVIDED
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour or 6.75 ounces if you have a scale
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
Optional: 1/4 c. chopped hazelnuts or other more economical nut
Optional topping (I did not do this so I could shave off some calories but it sounds delicious!) : 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate finely chopped, melted
To make the bread: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. This is a sticky batter, so coat the pan well. In a small, microwaveable bowl, mix together the 1 t. of oil and the Nutella and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl and a hand beater, beat together the 3 T. of oil, softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour through baking powder. Add half of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk to the butter mixture and combine on low or medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Repeat and mix until nicely combine but do not beat on high speed, this toughens the batter and will toughen your bread crumb. Stir the chopped nuts into the batter.
Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Then dollop the Nutella evenly over the batter. Top the Nutella layer with the last 1/3 of the batter. And swirl using a butter knife. Run your knife in a zig zag fashion 2/3 the way into the batter. Then repeat the zigzag running the opposite way down the batter. Don’t “over swirl” because the Nutella will get too incorporated into your batter rather than leaving a nice swirl. I did that to my first loaf (pictured above) but didn’t over swirl my second loaf and it came out a lot prettier. I didn’t have time for more pics unfortunately.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. It is difficult to use a toothpick test in this case because the Nutella remains gooey. Once the bread is cooled melt your bittersweet chocolate and drizzle over your bread. Enjoy!