Wednesday 6 May 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Loaf

Hazelnuts are such an underrated nut.

Sure Nutella is all the rage but whole hazelnuts are often forgotten behind it's more popular nutty cousins.

A quick look on Pinterest (yea yea who am I kidding right, who ever goes on Pinterest for only a quick look??) will tell you that the peanut butter craze is still going strong, followed closely by all things pecans or pistachio. There is the odd walnut creation but alas the humble hazelnut doesn't often make a show.

I can't fathom why, whole toasted hazelnuts keep well, are very reasonably priced and go so beautifully with rich bitter-sweet flavours like chocolate and coffee.  They turn lovely and crunchy in baking and look like cute as a button polka dots when you cut through them.  Hazelnuts are a good source of B vitamins and have been harvested as far back as the prehistoric Mesolithic era some 9000 years ago.

So here's my bit to boost the hazelnut profile with this Banana Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Loaf. It's nutty, moist and chocolatey, absolutely gorgeous warm, spread with butter and served with a hot cuppa. Delish.

Banana Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Loaf

125g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (~100g)
1/2 cup white sugar (~100g)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed (~1 cup heaped)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts toasted (*NB: Toasted in the oven for 3 minutes at 200oC. I'll try 2 cups next time*)
optional ~1/4 cup whole rolled oats 

1. Preheat the oven to 165oC making sure the oven rack is in the lower half.  Line a loaf tin with tin foil or baking paper and spray with baking spray.

2. In a food processor / stand mixer / using hand held beater cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, around 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and beat until fluffy, another 1-2 minutes.  Mix in mashed bananas till well combined.  Sift in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt, add chocolate chips and hazelnuts and fold lightly until just mixed through. Pour into the lined loaf tin. Sprinkle oats on top.

3. Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes. Check at the halfway-3/4 mark and cover with tin foil if it's getting a little too browned on top. It is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Let the loaf rest for around 10 minutes in the tin before taking out and cooling completely on a wire rack. Slice into thick slices (around 2 cm) and serve as is or with lashings of butter.

4. Keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Alternatively, slice and wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and freeze while still a little bit warm (this keeps it moist). Defrost in the fridge overnight before taking to work the next day. Reheat in microwave for ~20 seconds to warm.


  1. My mum used hazelnuts a lot in her baking when I was a kid, so I've always had a love affair with them. I mostly use them ground up or in cookies, never tried them whole in a loaf...sounds amazing! Mmm a slice of that with butter, yum! Will have to try it.

    1. Hello Linno! So lovely to hear form you! I'm totally going through a hazelnut phase. Have been using them in salads and vege dishes as well YUM!

  2. I think your hazelnut loaf is beautiful. I have a major chocolate craving now! Thank you for the reminder that perfection is not a realistic goal.



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