I’ve been working my way through Nigellissima, Nigella Lawson’s latest offering. One of the recipes people kept mentioning was the Italian Banana Bread so I thought I’d give it a go. Now, first off, the ‘Italian’ aspect is that there’s espresso in there. I have to admit I didn’t think that the espresso necessarily added that much to it. However, it is a gorgeous banana bread! Moist, springy and flavoursome.
The notes said that it would make 12 muffins, which it did, just. I wanted these for breakfasts and for me breakfast means portable. I also decided that, true to form, banana bread on its own was delicious but I always want some chocolate in there. My favourite trick with muffins is to add a teaspoon of Nutella to the middle for a gorgeous gooey chocolaty centre so that’s exactly what I did!
150ml rapeseed oil
3 very ripe medium bananas (I mean BLACK!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
150g golden caster sugar
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 jar Nutella
- Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
- Put 12 paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
- Take a large Pyrex jug or bowl and mash up the bananas with a fork along with the vanilla extract and salt.
- Beat in the oil. Keep mixing, it’ll happen!
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between additions.
- In a small bowl mix the flour, bicarb and espresso powder together until they’re even combined.
- Mix the flour mixture into the banana mixture until all the floury bits disappear. There will still be banana chunks in there so you’re not aiming for totally smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the paper cases.
- Dollop a teaspoon of Nutella in the centre of each muffin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are set and a beautiful deep golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.