Showing posts with label Nutella. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nutella. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Make Nutella Banana Split Bread by Cleo Coyle

This is a beautiful bread that will impress your friends and family by giving them the taste of two different breads in every slice: Chocolate-Hazelnut "Nutella" Bread on top and Banana Bread on the bottom. 

My recipe below will show you how easy this bread is to make with one bowl and one batter. I've replaced traditional butter with light buttermilk and canola oil, and you can even make your own Nutella, if you like (more on that below)...

Cleo Coyle's
Banana Split Bread

Cleo Coyle, banana masher,
is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
My new Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter is going out later this week with more recipes and fun contest info. It will also have more step-by-step photos of this recipe along with a free, downloadable PDF. 

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1 large egg

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (or cold pressed coconut oil, measure in liquid form)

1/4 cup light buttermilk (shake before measuring)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt) 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)

4 ripe bananas (medium-size), mashed well (1-1/2 cups mashed)
               (I place ripe bananas 
on a flat plate and use a fork
                to really mash them well. After mashing, they must
                measure 1-1/2 cups.)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (store bought or homemade**)

(Topping) 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts 

**Would you like to make your own Nutella? It's very easy. You can get the recipe I use, along with more than 20 other tasty recipes in the appendix of my Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill, newly released in paperback. To learn more, click here.


Step 1 - Prep oven and pan: Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and create a parchment paper sling (see photo in this week's Coffeehouse Newsletter). This sling will allow you to lift the bread out of the pan easily.

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Whisk the egg well. Add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Whisk until well blended. Add the white and light brown sugars and whisk until smooth. Now stir in the mashed ripe bananas, combining well. Finally, stir in the flour, making sure all of the flour is incorporated into the batter, but do not over-mix. Batter will be thick.

Step 3 – Create the Nutella layer: Scoop all but 1 full cup of the batter into the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to even it out into a smooth layer that reaches all four corners of the pan. Set aside. Go back to the bowl where you left the remaining 1 cup batter and mix in ½ cup of Nutella. Mix well. The batter should be completely dark. Pour this mixture onto the banana batter. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it into an even layer.

Step 4 – Top with nuts and bake: Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top of the batter. Bake for about 1 hour (it may take a little longer or not, depending on your oven). The bread is done when the top is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted deep into the center comes out clean of wet batter. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before carefully removing from the pan. Use a serrated knife to gently cut slices and note that warm bread will crumble. As the bread cools, it will be easier to slice without crumbling. (To speed up the cooling process, pop the bread in a refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.) And may you...

My new Coffeehouse Newsletter is
going out later this week. Have you subscribed?
(Scroll back up to the "subscribe" box and...)

Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
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Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Last year's
hardcover bestseller
has just released in its

A Brew to a Kill

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Evolution of a Recipe

Do you know the hot new place to look for recipes? Pinterest! You just type in an ingredient or recipe idea and voila, pictures upon pictures of recipes. Granted, some of them are only pictures, but most are connected to websites with the recipes. There are tons of bloggers and magazines with Pinterest sites. Food and Wine, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart to name a few.

When I was a little girl, my mom made cookies that were very popular. She gave her recipe to our neighbor, Jean Ambrose. And she gave the recipe to her daughter, Margaret, who took it with her to Montana. Any day now I expect to see that recipe, tweaked by all the people who made it along the way.

So when Nutella went on sale ($1 off!)  I thought it was time to try Nutella cookies. I went straight to Pinterest, where I found just the recipe I was looking for by Ellen at Indigo Scones. At the bottom of Ellen's recipe, she says "Sources: inspired by Sugar & Spice, who adapted from Kirby's Cravings, originally from JustJenn Recipes." Which brings me back to my original point. Each of us puts our own little twist on a recipe so this one has already been tweaked a lot. But now it's not just neighbors swapping recipes, they're being shared and tweaked through the Internet. What a small world it is now.

The real reason I chose this recipe (besides the wonderful photo) is Ellen's view of Nutella cookies. "Many people have thrown out their own take on these, usually consisting of tossing nutella into their favorite cookie dough and mercilessly whipping the hijeebies out of it.  The result is often a slightly more chocolate-y and tender chocolate chip cookie, but not something I'd merit by putting the word 'nutella' into the title."

So, instead of me making them forty-nine times until they're what I'd like, Ellen has done the hard work for me. The most difficult part of this recipe is measuring the Nutella. My spoon turned into a Hogwart's spoon that kept wanting to go to my mouth instead of the measuring cup. I fought a valient fight, succumbing only at the end when the baker gets to lick the spoon.

Ellen recommends taking a scant 1/4 cup of dough, halving it and rolling it into balls. I may have gone overboard with that measurement because it led to pretty big cookies. On the second tray, I eyeballed it and rolled them into 1 inch-ish balls. It's crucial with this recipe to under-bake the cookies just a teeny bit. They should be lightly browned, soft and puffy, and slightly crinkled on top.

Anyone who has read my books knows that Sophie always has cookies in the freezer ready to be baked in case the police swing by or someone is murdered. I froze the rest of the batch, just in case friends come to visit.

And this is the result~

Accordingly, I deem it only right to call them

Yield: about 2-3 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread), divided
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar and brown sugar. Mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix. On a slow speed, add the flour mixture until just blended. Mix in 1/4 cup of Nutella. Fold in the chocolate chips. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of Nutella gently, leaving it in the dough in streaks.

Form 1-inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes. Do not over-bake!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make Fab Fudge in your Microwave from author Cleo Coyle

“Oh, chocolate fudge I’ll eat. What I can’t swallow is fudging, as in fudging statistics, fudging results, fudging the truth. Mathematicians call it a fudge factor—putting an extra calculation into an equation just so it will work out as expected. It’s what we law enforcement types call a scam.” 

~ Detective Mike Quinn, Murder by Mocha 

Scamming does indeed play a role in the plotline of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Murder by Mocha, but there is no fudging in this fudge recipe. The claim that you can make it in a microwave is true, and the results are delicious.

I’m especially confident stating this because my husband is a fudge fiend. While growing up, he gobbled homemade fudge that was continually cooked up by his mom. He enjoys sampling the treat wherever he travels; and every year, for his birthday, I ship handmade fudge to our New York home from the famous fudge makers of Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Cleo Coyle, spouse to a
fudge fiend is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Marc was highly skeptical about this recipe, but after tasting it—and more of it, and even more of it, he declared it to be nearly as good as his mother's. 

Microwave fudge is nothing new, of course. You will find renditions of it all over the Net. This (crunchless) chocolate-hazelnut version is simply my take on the ingredients, ratios, and process. Why do I say crunchless? Because the light note of hazelnut in this treat comes not from actual nuts but Nutella, so the fudge stays smooth, creamy, and dreamy!

I’m sure 99% of you know what Nutella is, but for the 1% who don’t it’s a delicious spread (not unlike peanut butter) that blends chocolate and hazelnuts. If you’ve never bought it, look for it in your grocery where peanut butter is sold. 

Cleo Coyle's
Smooth and Dreamy
Microwave Fudge

For a free PDF of this recipe that you can save, share, or print, hit the "print friendly" button on the bottom of this post or click here.


1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (12-ounce) package of good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (room temperature)

Step 1 – Prep pan: Crisscross the bottom of an 8 x 8 square pan with two sheets of parchment paper. The parchment sheets should be long enough to extend, like handles, over the edges of the pan. 

Step 2 – Melt with microwave: Place the milk into a microwave safe bowl. Cut the butter into the milk. Pour in the chocolate chips, and microwave it all for 30 seconds. ONLY 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Nuke it for another 30 and remove to stir again. This should be enough time to melt the chocolate and butter. If not, continue microwaving and stirring in 20 second increments until everything is melted.

NOTE: Do not simply microwave this mixture for 2 solid minutes without stirring. You run the risk of scorching the chocolate and completely ruining the fudge. Once chocolate is burned, there is no saving it. Be sure to melt it slowly, in increments. 

Step 3 – Finish the fudge: Into the melted mixture, sprinkle the salt and measure in the vanilla and Nutella. 

NOTE: Nutella should never be cooked in a microwave (this advice is also written on its label). High heat alters the texture and flavor, which is why I'm careful how I use it in recipes. What I want you to do is simply stir the Nutella into the warm, melted mixture that comes out of the microwave. Be sure to stir from the bottom, lifting and folding to blend everything well.

Step 4 – Chill and cut: Now pour the chocolate mixture into your lined pan. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, smooth the top, leveling it off. Chill the pan in the refrigerator until firm—this will take approximately 3 hours. Remove and cut into small squares. To store, place fudge in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator, and, of course...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.