I am obsessed with chocolate hazelnut desserts and if I could, I would choose chocolate hazelnut everything all day every day! My latest inspiration was to make Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread using hazelnuts that got from Rubino’s in Rochester, NY! I go to Rubino’s every other week or so to stock up on my hazelnut supply because that's how badly I am addicted. While I have seen hazelnuts in other local stores, I have found that Rubino’s is the most consistent in carrying them all year round. It works out perfectly because banana bread is also great year round with a cup of coffee, if you know what I mean.
The importance of using real hazelnuts.
I love using extract but there are some flavors that are better whole and fresh versus flavors or extracts. One of those flavors, for me at least, is hazelnut flavor. Although I have tried hazelnut extract, it did not come close to the real deal. I'm not sure if the reason is because I love hazelnuts so much and have a strong sense of how it should taste, but I think the real deal is so much tastier.
Hazelnuts are more aromatic and flavorful once they are roasted. When I use hazelnuts in baked goods such as this Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread, I always roast the hazelnuts prior to including them in my recipe.
How to roast Hazelnuts.
To roast the hazelnuts in the oven, preheat oven to 350F. Spread hazelnuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Once roasted, place the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel while still warm and let them steam for about 2-3 minutes. At this point, the skins of the hazelnuts should easily release when rubbed off.
After the hazelnuts have been roasted, grind the hazelnuts in a a food processor until very fine or until they look like went sand. These finely ground hazelnuts will be used in the Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread described below.
This small additional step will add so much aroma and flavor to your banana bread, it will be unforgettable.
How to store Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread.
Always store banana bread at room temperature and that also includes this recipe. Storing in the refrigerator will absorb some of the moisture and banana bread is meant to be moist, not dried out. Simply wrap the banana bread with plastic wrap and store in an air tight container. You can wrap the whole bread or cut individual slices for a quick grab and go option.
You can also free banana bread. Wrap the whole bread or individual slices with plastic wrap and place in a heavy duty freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, leave at room temperature over night.
- 1 1/2 cup of mashed over ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
- 5 Tbs melted butter
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
- 1 tsp baking soda (4 grams)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 grams)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for the tip
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. You can also line with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
- Combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Combine together mashed bananas, butter, egg, and sugar in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Add vanilla and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. DO NOT over mix.
- Lastly, add most of your chocolate chips in the banana bread batter. You can save a handful to add to the top of the banana bread.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. DO NOT over-bake.
- Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.