For the cheese spread: In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar, and chopped hazelnuts until fluffy and evenly blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
For the plantains: Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to thoroughly grease a 9 inch round glass pie dish. Peel the plantain and slice it 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal. In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium heat and saute the plantain for 2 or 3 minutes per side, until softened and golden. Distribute the plantain evenly on the bottom of the pie dish and set aside.
For the batter: Preheat the oven to 325.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Peel the bananas and, in a medium bowl, mash them together with a fork, then mix in the milk and the walnuts. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. First add the banana mixture to the creamed butter mixture, then fold in the flour mixture, stirring only until all the flour has disappeared.
To make the bread: Scoop the batter into the pie dish on top of the plantains and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will be a nice deep golden brown. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out upside down and slice for serving, warm or at room temperature. Pass the hazelnut cheese spread.
To toast hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 350. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool thoroughly and rub off the skins with a tea towel.
Copyright 1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved