Recently I decided to make Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread. Cooking Light purports to have made this bread lighter - and they have, because it takes much less oil/butter than traditional banana bread, and less sugar as well.
The recipe was easy to make. The batter comes together like a cake. I used a hand mixer to assemble it. You combine butter, oil, brown sugar, and bananas, and then add the eggs individually. You alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet ingredients, and mix just until a batter forms. Separately, you heat Nutella with a small amount of oil to make it more spreadable. You pour half of the batter in a greased 9x5 loaf pan, spread the warm Nutella over it, and top with the rest of the batter. Top with hazelnuts, and bake at 350F. Mine was done at 50 minutes because my oven runs warm. After the bread cools, drizzle with melted chocolate.
This baked pretty well. It was nicely domed when I pulled the bread from the oven, but I'm not sure why it deflated. You can see from the above picture that the chocolate swirl is awfully close to the bottom - I would probably put more batter on bottom to see if that would keep it from sinking.
Highlights of the bread: The hazelnuts on top were toasty and nutty, and gave a nice crunch to the top of the loaf. The chocolate drizzle on top was also a nice touch. I liked the chocolate swirl on the inside. The bread stayed moist for its duration in our house (about half a week). The bread itself wasn't too sweet, unless you had bites where the Nutella was concentrated. I honestly find Nutella to be a little too sweet and not chocolatey enough for me, but it worked well enough in this bread.
We both enjoyed this bread, but I think that overall we expected it to be super-delicious, not just tasty. Alex said he's enjoyed other chocolate banana breads that I've made more than this one. I actually think it might be better with a chocolate peanut butter instead. I might try this bread again sometime, but I'd probably make some changes. .