The mister and I have very different views on Nutella. Unlike me, he doesn’t find a multitude of ways to sneak it into various sandwiches (peanut butter/banana/nutella, anyone?) or desserts and sometimes, when I’m oohing and aahing over some new recipe he will wrinkle his nose and remind me that it isn’t really his taste. My colleagues, on the other hand, love Nutella, and when one of them recently decided to invite us all to an afternoon birthday party for his wife, I decided it was the perfect occasion to bake banana bread with a little something special.
I liked this version from Recipe Girl. Instead of just dumping the Nutella into a cavity or slathering it on top (not terrible ideas), she has you temper it with a little of the banana bread batter, then alternate spoonfuls of the regular batter and the Nutella batter into a bread pan. Give it a little swirl with a knife, pop in the oven for about an hour, and then you have a delicious loaf, each serving perfectly marbled with Nutella goodness. The loaf was gobbled up pretty quickly and I enjoyed hearing a little girl and another guest politely argue about who was going to eat more of it.
A few tips:
I followed this recipe pretty closely. I even checked the loaf at the 45 minute and, lo and behold, the top was browning a little too quickly. I covered it with tinfoil, just as Recipe Girl suggested, and the finished loaf came out perfectly.
If your first test with a toothpick comes out a little chocolatey, it may be because you stabbed it in a very Nutella-y area rather than that the loaf is underbaked. Give it a couple of pokes elsewhere to be sure.
To make this loaf a little more party friendly, I made a little flag out of a mailing label and half of a barbeque skewer and wrote Nutella Banana Bread on it. Its a nice idea at parties to warn other guests if a dish may have unexpected ingredients like chicken stock, nuts, or mushrooms. This way vegetarians and people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions can opt out. Also, I’m very sorry for anyone with hazelnut allergies. That must be tough.
Its also nice to not have to worry about keeping track of dishes and utensils you may have brought to a party, so in the case of this loaf, I wrapped it up in parchment paper as though it were a sandwich and secured it with a little bit of colorful string. Easy to carry, festive looking, and no need to take anything back with me.