Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nutella Swirled Banana Loaf

A hot topic in Singapore lately - the bad weather. The weather lately has been quite bad due to the haze. In fact, the Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) in Singapore hit a record high of 401 on Friday. Never before has it been that bad during the annual haze period, the last highest record was 226 in 1997. So for the past week, we had been breathing in "unhealthy", "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" air.

Thankfully, we had a respite this weekend, with clear blue skies shining through. Friends and family were all delighted, us having once taken something simple and basic such as clean air for granted. Let's hope that the initial prediction that this haze will last for months is not true, and we can all bear through this temporary phase. Stay healthy and hydrated people!

 Nutella Swirled Banana Loaf

I had baked this nutella swirled banana loaf a few weeks back when I had almost close to rotting bananas. You can compare bananas to men, if the saying is true for "the older, the better". Bananas are at its best when its super uber ripe. Especially so if the skin is near black (the above is not the ripest I've ever had ha!). Never ever bake with spotless bright sunshine yellow bananas if you want to have a truly moist and perfumed treat. That's something only the "yellow yellow dirty fellas" can give you.

As you can tell from the pictures, the top of the loaf is slightly dark (guess the oven was too hot!), so if you see your loaf darkening too fast, cover it with foil mid-bake to prevent it from (burning) darkening  further.

Otherwise, the loaf itself was really really good. As I had an extra banana, I had to make some modifications to the increased moisture by upping the flour slightly. The loaf was really moist and banana-ish. And the addition of nutella was really tasty. Imagine oozy nutella that pop up in random mouthfuls. Yums.

Nutella Swirled Banana Loaf (adapted from Kristin at Pastry Affair)
113g butter
120g brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 large ripe bananas, mashed
145g all-purpose flour
140g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup nutella

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 9 x 4" loaf pan.
In a big bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
Add the vanilla and mashed bananas and beat until fully incorporated.
Mix in the sifted dry ingredients, followed by the milk.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the Nutella for about 15 - 30 seconds until lightly warmed and melted.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into the greased loaf pan. Drizzle 1/3 of Nutella over the top and use a butter knife to lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter. Repeat two more times using remaining batter and Nutella.
Bake for 60 - 70 minutes (mine took close to about 80 - 85 minutes cos I used a 9 x 4" loaf pan than the original 9 x 5" recipe), or keep checking every 10 minutes after the 55 minutes mark until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If your loaf is browning too quickly on the top, cover with foil and continue baking till cooked.
Remove from oven and cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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