Sunday, 2 November 2014

BAKING WITH POPPY: Nutella Banana Bread

First ever recipe post! I think a baking post is pretty suitable for a Sunday, especially a cold, rainy November one. I always knew I wanted to do some baking on the blog, and I always knew this would be my first recipe. This cake is just the best. It is easy peasy and so damn good. I made these two loaves for the office charity cake sale on Friday and they sold out super quickly, which was lovely :)

The recipe is adapted from Sophie Dahl's Banana Bread recipe in her book Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights. Horrible title, but a really great book, basically an entire book of comfort food, I love it. Everything I have tried from it is delicious.
The Nutella aspect of this comes from a version I tried at Yumchaa - obviously you don't need to add it if you don't want to, but I think it is brilliant. If you don't add the Nutella, you could add some vanilla extract to give it a little boost and/or some extra spices. 

I will be giving instructions for doing this by hand but if you have a food mixer like a KitchenAid, you just stick in all the wet ingredients, whizz it up, then mix in the dry stuff and you're done. Also, my pictures are of two loaves because that's what I was making for my cake sale, but the quantities I have given in the ingredients below are for one.

Ingredients (makes one loaf)
3 or 4 bananas - as ripe as possible so they are easy to mash
75g butter, cubed - leave out to soften or stick in the microwave if you can
200g brown sugar - I usually use a mix of light and dark soft
1 egg (plus 1 tsp vanilla extract if using)
1-2tsp spices (see method for details)
Pinch of salt
170g self-raising flour
1-2tbsp Nutella


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan oven) / gas mark 4
Line your tins with greaseproof paper (or just grease them if you can face the washing up)

Mash your bananas! I use a potato masher usually, but if they are quite ripe a fork would work. Keep going till it's all translucent, but don't worry about getting out all the lumps.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. This is probably the hardest step because there is so much more sugar than butter, but so long as your butter is quite soft it's not too bad, just try to smooth out most of the lumps of butter.

Add the egg to the butter and sugar mix. You could beat this before to make it easier but it's not really necessary. If you are using vanilla extract, mix it in at this point, then add the the bananas and mix again.

Next up add the spices. I add spices to most things I bake, and I like them quite strong, but others might not, especially with the Nutella as well. For this, I used probably about a quarter of a teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg but you could use less (or none). 

If you are not using Nutella, you could add any combination of spices that takes you up to about a teaspoon in total. Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are the three I use most, but allspice would also be good I think, it's up to you!

In with the spices I also add the salt and flour (sieved preferably) and then fold this all in. Now onto the last step, which is adding the Nutella! Add in a dollop of Nutella and then swirl it in, so that you keep streaks of it rather than mixing it completely into the batter.

Add the batter to the tin and pop in the oven, then bake for an hour before checking it with a skewer. I find this incredibly variable in terms of cooking time, so although you should check it after an hour, it may take up to an hour and 20 minutes, maybe even 30. It is a pretty forgiving cake though so you only need to check every 10 minutes or so. Remember it will carry on cooking a little when you take it out.

When you are happy with how cooked it is, I would leave it to cool a little before taking it out the tin and trying to slice it just because it is very crumbly! You can see in my main picture that it completely collapsed because I was too eager to slice it. It is super delicious warm though if you are not bothered about it crumbling. It is also good cold and basically in every form. In Sophie Dahl's recipe, the picture shows it toasted with butter, and that is also just incredible. Just get it down you, preferably with a cup of tea.

Happy baking!


  1. This looks so yummy I really want some.

    1. Thanks! It is, if I do say so myself :P you should try it!
      Poppy x

  2. ooooooooo this loooks amazing one thing I hate is cooking or baking only because I can;t d it haha I might be able to manage this though xox

    1. You should definitely try! It is a super forgiving cake, the only time I messed it up was forgetting to put in baking powder with plain flour once, which is why I now use self-raising - so much easier... x