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Breakfast Banana Bread

Asked by MalteseBear. Answered on 8th January 2016

Full question

I made the Breakfast Banana Bread but why did it ooze while baking? It kept oozing mixture out of the side of the tin, and it was under baked all round the edges after I had covered it in foil and given it another 20 minutes. I used cacao nibs, rather than cocoa ones but found that they were intrusively crunchy. Would chopped dark chocolate have been better? I used caster and dark muscovado rather than light muscovado. I mixed everything in a freestanding mixer but from previous experience banana bread does not seem to like being beaten a lot it in the main bowl. I was also wondering if I can add spices to the carrot muffins? I love the book, Simply Nigella. I am a fan!

Our answer

Nigella's Breakfast Banana Bread (from Simply Nigella) is made with cocoa nibs, which are sometimes labelled as cacao nibs. They are the raw, crushed beans from the cocoa tree. As they are unprocessed they contain no added sugar and they do have a slightly crunchy texture, which provides some contrast to the soft banana bread. The texture is a matter of personal taste and if you find the nibs too crunchy then you can substitute dark (bittersweet) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, though this can melt slightly during baking.

If the banana bread is underbaked it could be due to a variety of reasons. The mixture should not be beaten too hard once the flour has been added as this can make the bread tough. The recipe recommends adding the flour with the mixer running on low speed and then beating for just 1 minute to combine the ingredients. But this does not usually cause the bread to underbake. It may be worth checking your oven temperature to make sure that the thermostat is running correctly as underbaking is often caused by the oven being too cool. Also if the bananas are excessively large this can make the batter too liquid, which leads to underbaking. So you should use two bananas that are approximately 250-275g total weight (about 9 ounces, weighed with skins on).

For the Carrot Muffins it is possible to adapt the recipe by adding spices. Cinnamon, ginger or cardamom would all be good spices to try.

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