If you’re a reading fiend like me you probably have an obscene amount of books lying around in your room. My shelves are filled with novels in different genres, cookbooks, and even magazines. Despite that I still always have this need to buy any title that captures my interest, whether or not I’ve finished reading other novels on my to-read list, or cooked more than three recipes from a certain cookbook. It’s the same thing with magazines, only I am quite partial with buying issues only of magazines I like.
I’ve got a select number of Donna Hay magazines because those make my eyes pop with the amazing photography and food styling, but my limited access to international magazines has had me scouring the local ones for something just as good. I’ve gone through enough to figure out what I like and don’t like in my food magazine, and after all that has been seen and experimented on in the kitchen it’s safe to say that my favourite Philippine food magazine in the bunch is Yummy Magazine. It’s honestly the only food magazine I’ve been buying for the past year.
Despite having a ton of its issues I only manage to make a few recipes here and there, but this May issue is probably one of the best they’ve put together so far. It was chock full of fantastic recipes, nearly all of them already marked as to-do’s. And when I get this excited there is no point in trying to calm myself down. And why should I? I relish the little time I get to spend in the kitchen these days more than ever.
Now if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Yummy it’s that it has not disappointed me yet when it comes to its recipes. All of those I’ve ever attempted were met with severe cases of enthusiasm. And these Nutella Banana Squares were not exempt.
Nutella and banana is a combination made in heaven. I’ve proven it with one of my favourite ice creams ever. (An ice cream that was also insanely easy to make.) So it doesn’t really come as a surprise that these squares were fantabulous in their own way.
Every bite starts off as distinctly Nutella, but then the scent of the bananas kick in and the sweet flavour of it comes out when you get to the moist cake part. The banana scent and flavour is always just underneath the chocolate-hazelnut-ness of it all, which is why I feel that this recipe still managed to find a balance between the two. If you want it to be more predominantly banana, then spread a bit less Nutella on top, or not at all but that would be kind of boring, don’t you think?
Just in case you’re wondering why mine look so tall, it’s because I used a smaller pan to make these. But I’m grateful for my tall squares because it allows me to appreciate all the more the lovely crumb on this baked goodie!
Makes one 8 x 8-inch pan
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 lakatan bananas, mashed
- 2 Tablespoons Nutella or other choco-hazelnut spread of choice, plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- 2. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a whisk and some strength), cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally. Add vanilla extract.
- 4. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until no dry streaks remain. Add bananas and Nutella; mix just until combined. Avoid overmixing.
- 5. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the edges start to shrink away from the pan. Set aside to cool completely before spreading more Nutella on top and cutting into squares. Sprinkle with hazelnuts if desired.
- If using nuts, it is crucial to toast them first before chopping and sprinkling on top.
But hey, getting to make yummy stuff like this and then getting to photograph them afterwards, always worth it. 🙂