The folks over at Leite’s Culinaria posted this terrific sounding Banana Bread with Nutella. Yes. Nutella. And I had a jar of Nutella in the cupboard, and several very ripe bananas just waiting for such a recipe. But…and you knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you? Because The Goddess can never, ever just leave a recipe alone. This time, I think you’ll be very happy that she didn’t!This recipe actually comes from the just published, “Zoë Bakes Cakes” by Zöe François. If this recipe is any indicator, this book would be worth a long, luxurious look. If you’re interested, you might want to head over to the LC website and order from there. I believe the folks there get a small amount of money, if you do so. Anywho, I read the recipe through and I had everything I needed to make it. And as I was getting the rock-solid butter out of the fridge, I thought about making brown butter. Nutella is nutty, and I figured the brown butter would just enhance the nuttiness, so brown butter is what I made. I usually do an entire pound when I make it. Then, I store it in the fridge to use as needed. And will need it. Any vegetable will taste better with brown butter. To make the brown butter, place the butter in a heavy-bottomed shiny pan (it’s easier to see the depth of the browning of the milk solids) and place over medium heat. First, the butter will melt and then there will be foam. Next, the white milk will drop to the bottom of the pan and will begin to turn nutty brown. You will smell this happening, as well. Watch closely, as if it burns, there’s no saving it. The whole process should take about 4-5 minutes. This is what you’re looking for, color-wise. Let the butter cool completely, if you’re going to store it in the fridge for future use. But all you need to do is to cool it slightly so the eggs won’t scramble. As that butter was browning, I was drinking my morning coffee, because if I don’t have my usual morning coffee, it’s best to hide. So I was sipping my coffee and watching the butter brown and then I thought about how delicious this bread would be with a cuppa. Well, why not substitute good, strong coffee for the milk? Really. Why not? So I decided that’s exactly what I would do. And I did. I used a little extra butter and extra-large eggs to compensate for the fat that would have been in the milk. The consistency of this bread is fantastic. It might have even been better the next…maybe.
Oh, yes. Did I mention that this recipe makes two loaves? I kept one for us and shared the second with our lovely neighbors. The Latin Lover really liked this toasted, with a nice smear of butter, so you have options. Okay, so here’s the deal.
This is one of those recipes that combines the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients are added, and combined. Into the pans and into the preheated oven. And now, we just have to wait. Yes, I know patience isn’t a virtue The Goddess has either. But wait we must. It is worth it, believe me. If you have a digital thermometer (and really you should have one), then you want the internal temperature to be between 200°F – 205°F, to make certain the loaves are done. So buy extra bananas, if you don’t have some over-ripe ones in your freezer, because this is worth it.
By the way, I have found that “over-ripe” means different things to different people. Over-ripe shouldn’t be a completely black banana that’s mushy and started to ferment. NO!!! A few black spots and soft-ish bananas are by far the best for banana bread.
Mocha Brown-Butter Banana Bread with Nutella
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup strong coffee, preferable espresso
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup store-bought Nutella or homemade (Leite’s has a great recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously butter (or spray with cooking spray) two 8 by 4-inch (20 by 10-cm) or 9 by 5-inch (23 by 13-cm) loaf pans, then line them with buttered parchment paper; set aside.
To brown the butter, place it in a heavy-bottomed shiny pan (it’s easier to see the depth of the browning of the milk solids) and place over medium heat. Let “cook” until the butter foams, and the white milk solids turn nutty brown. You will smell this happening, as well. Watch closely, as if it burns, there’s no saving it. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Let the butter cool slightly or it might scramble the eggs.
To make the bread, combine the bananas, brown sugar, brown butter, coffee, eggs, and vanilla, in a large bowl. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon.
In a separate bowl, carefully whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Dump the dry ingredients into the banana mixture; and stir just until smooth. Don’t over-mix.
Scoop the Nutella into a small bowl and heat in the microwave until softened enough to drizzle, 20 to 30 seconds.
Divide half of the banana batter between the prepared pans. Drizzle half of the Nutella over the two pans and run a small, thin knife through the batter in a zigzag or swirl pattern to distribute. Add the remaining batter to the pans, top with the remaining Nutella, and swirl into the batter with the knife again.
Bake until a tester comes out almost clean, 40 to 50 minutes (in my oven, it took 55 minutes). The internal temperature should be between 200°F – 205°F. Let the breads cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans. Set on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria website. Taken from “Zoë Bakes Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Favorite Layers, Bundts, Loaves, and More”, by Zöe François, ISBN: 978-1984857361, Ten Speed Press (March 16, 2021)