A few weeks ago I heard about bananas are the most consumed fruit in the states. I thought it would be apples and did some online research but didn’t get any result, you get the answer you want by reading the right web side. It seams to be like I choose the weather news, I tend to look until I found the weather forecast I like. Well some say it’s how I guessed: the apple, some say it’s the tomato (yes it’s a fruit!). To make a point, bananas are definitive under the top 5 and that’s ok for me for now.
Although I am trying hard to buy local and seasonal food I often come home with some bright yellow bananas. But bananas can become a problem, no one likes the riper fruits, lying on the counter for a couple of days. The last one came in, are the first ones eaten and gone. The “older” ones get the cold-shoulder and become riper and riper until they look fancy like a leopard print dress.
One thing I like to do with these guys is the banana ice cream with caramelized walnuts, some go into the freezer (with peel on) until I get an inspiration but the most end up in a banana bread.
I made Heidi Swanson’s recipe for espresso banana muffins (here is the original recipe) from Super Natural Cooking for a couple of times but this time I made some tweaks: the muffins became a bread and I used nutella for marbling and hazelnuts to enhance the flavor. Nutella is made with hazelnuts, they belong together like Piña and colada, no doubt about that!
marbled banana bread
You can use all purpose flour if you like, 240 g / 2 cups should be ok. The instant coffee powder is just for enhancing the flavor, you won’t taste it very much.
I used a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
90 g / 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
150 g / 3/4 cup sugar
240 ml / 1 cup plain yoghurt or sour cream
2 large eggs
360 g / 1 1/2 cup (about 3) ripe mashed bananas
3 tablespoon nutella
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 190 C / 375 F. Grease and line your baking dish (easier to lift the bread up and to put on a rack for cooling).
Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for a few minutes, just until fragrant. Let cool and chop.
Put flour, baking powder, salt and coffee powder in a bowl and stir.
In a larger bowl mix the butter until pale and softened then add the sugar and then the eggs one by one. Pour in the yoghurt (or sour cream), vanilla extract, mashed bananas stir well. Add the dry ingredients and mix shortly until just combined.
Fill about 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Stir in the nutella, unsweetened cocoa powder and the chopped hazelnuts but leave some for topping.
Spoon the dark batter over the batter in the loaf pan and with a fork or a wooden skewer swirl the batters to get a marbled effect. Don’t go nuts with your fork while you swirl around in the loaf pan, if you combine the light and dark parts too much you won’t taste the different flavors.
Sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack.