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Banana bread

Like an awful lot of people, I am of the ‘must eat healthier’-variety. I’ve been working on that for years, but every so often I slip up, slapstick-style, face-first into a pie. And since that happened again over the summer, I decided that it was again time for me to go into ‘must eat healthy’ mode. So on a whim, I bought a bunch of bananas, despite knowing deep down (and being told as much to my face by Tim) that I despise bananas. They have only the tiniest of windows where they do taste decent, but the rest of the time they taste like the wrong end of a monkey and the smell! Oh god, the smell! My whole kitchen became a banana-flavoured hellhole while they were lying on my counter!

So what’s a girl to do with too many smelly bananas reeking up the kitchen? Why, make a banana bread, of course! And if you’re going to do something, better do it right, so I opted for a Nutella swirl banana bread with pecans. Sounds decadent, and it really is.

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In case you’re wondering: yes, that is a radiator under the board. The weather yesterday was positively autumnal, and the only bit of light I could find was right under the window in the living room! A great day for some baking, a terrible day for photography.

The original recipe comes from Food52 and contains cocoa nibs, but I hate those little buggers so I swapped them out for chopped pecans for a bit of texture and bite. Much better, in my opinion!


 

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Banana bread (makes 1 loaf)

5 bananas, mushed

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

85 grams of butter

1 cup of sugar

1/3 cup yoghurt

1/2 cup chopped-up pecans

2 large tbsp Nutella (or more to taste)

2 cups of flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp cinnamon (or more, if you’re like me and cinnamon-inclined)

 

Pre-heat your oven to 175 °C and grease a regular-sized loaf pan. I floured it too, but if your greasing skills are up to par, you don’t have to bother.

Mix the flour with the salt, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.

In a different bowl, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, yoghurt and bananas. Stir in your chopped pecans.

In batches, spoon your flour mixture through the wet mixture until just combined.

Scoop half the mix into your loaf pan and top with a spoonful of Nutella, spreading it out to create an even layer. Use a silicon spatula if you have one, it makes it a whole lot easier!

Fill your tin with the rest of the batter and top with another layer of Nutella, spreading it out and swirling it through the batter.

Bake for 75-90 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Unless you hit a patch of Nutella, then it won’t come out clean. Keep an eye out on the top: if it browns too quickly, tent it with some aluminium foil. The original recipe says to cook it for 90-120 minutes, but mine was done in about 75 minutes, so cooking time may vary depending on your oven.

Let cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before turning it out. Eat warm and prepare to be amazed that bananas could taste like anything other than bad things!

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