February 12, 2010

Nutty about Nutella - Zucchini Nutella Bread

I know, I know, I'm late.  The foodie blogosphere has been rife with Nutella recipes, in celebration of World Nutella Day (yes, really). I spread the gospel according to Ferraro and bought everyone at the office a jar of Nutella on February 5 to honour the day. 

And of course I rifled through the dozens of recipes on the official World Nutella Day site. It's been years since I bought Nutella, and truth be told, the easiest recipe I know is: take spoon; dip in jar; lick. To get a little more complex, one can also peel a banana and spread copious amounts of Nutella on that.

I’ve progressed on the culinary front since those days, and so I thought I’d try something new. A recipe for chocolate zucchini bread caught my eye, and it seemed like a good cross between delicious and nutritious. I dug out my own tattered recipe card with my zucchini bread recipe, compared notes and came up with this creation.  I may be late for World Nutella Day, but this would make a pretty spiffy Valentine's Day breakfast on Sunday morning...

Liz’s Zucchini Nutella Bread
makes two loaves

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1½ cup granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tbsp grated lemon zest (use Meyer lemons if available)
½ cup (or more) Nutella chocolate chips (see Notes)
⅓ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (see Notes)
6 tsp Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside. Grate the zucchini and set aside.

3. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl; stir in sugar, oil, zucchini, lemon rind and vanilla.

4. Using a wooden spoon, fold in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in hazelnuts.

5. Divide batter between 2 greased loaf pans. Push several Nutella chips into the batter randomly (see Note).  Place 3 tsp of Nutella on top of the batter in each pan, and swirl across the top with a fork. Place into a 350 degree oven.

8. Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is spring and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool before slicing.


Nutella Chocolate Chips: No, you haven’t missed a newsflash. Nutella doesn’t make chocolate chips. But I wanted that creamy Nutella taste throughout the bread and not just on top. So I put dabs of Nutella on waxed paper on a baking sheet, popped the sheet into the oven until I needed them and – voila – Nutella "chocolate chips"!

Hazelnuts: Toasting hazelnuts is not a straightforward thing.  It's made complicated by the fact that you need to rub the skins off after toasting, and that isn't always easy. You may need to toast more than you'll need; depending on the freshness of the nuts, the skins can be pesky, but don't give up!

Variation: Zucchini Walnut Bread with Pineapple
makes two loaves

Follow the recipe above and substitute ½ c. coarsely chopped walnuts instead of the hazelnuts.  Add one can of drained crushed pineapple and stir gently just before transferring batter to the pans. This recipe does not use Nutella.

If all else fails, you don't need a recipe to grab a spoon…