You have your “go-to” recipes, right? You know, the ones where virtually everything you need is always in your kitchen and you can whip it up with your eyes closed…yea, those recipes, the exact recipes I don’t have, until now!
I decided I needed to build up my own arsenal of recipes. So with that in mind, I decided to begin with banana bread. Everyone needs a great banana bread recipe, so with “great” as my goal, I obviously went to visit my friend Joy The Baker. I’ve spoken about her before, she’s fun, her name is Joy, she’s a baker and she’s smiley (is that a word? well, it suits her, so there)
I went through all her amazing stuff and found a recipe she had used by Dorie Greenspan and it was “Chocolate chocolate chip banana bread.” I’m not a morning person and don’t typically eat breakfast, but banana bread with two “chocolates” in the titles, I could be persuaded to sit down and have a slice in the morning!
So I had everything I needed and I started the process. I began by sifting the dry ingredients like the recipe called for. I stopped for a second to take this picture. I liked the swirl of it all, I found it very calm and soothing and I blame this lapse in concentration since I obviously stopped paying attention for a second and totally showed my rookie baking status.
Everyone, please forgive me.
I should have put the dry ingredients to the side. Instead, I tossed the butter in with the dry ingredients and mixed them together. Then I tossed in the sugar and beat it and then tossed in the eggs and beat them. At this point, I thought to myself, “wow, the eggs got mixed in really quickly with all that flour, that’s odd.” But I kept pushing ahead with the addition of the bananas and beat them.
And then, the recipe said, add the dry ingredients in three additions…and I said “uh oh”, except replace “uh oh” with a much harsher set of words!
Well, at this point, I re-read the recipe in its entirety and realized my error. I pretty much screwed up Baking 101 Rule #1. Live and learn though!
By mixing everything with the dry ingredients right away, I think I lost out on some fluff factor by beating the eggs and butter on their own. However, the batter did not look horrible, in fact it tastes good, just a little on the dense side. So I got myself back on track, re-focused and remembered I was doing this to learn and I have now learnt something!
With that positive spirit, I plowed ahead with the buttermilk and chocolate and had the batter ready for the loaf pan. The batter was CHOCOLATEY and thick, but it was still really good batter and I knew I had measured everything properly.
And the final result, a really tasty chocolate chocolate chip banana bread that may be a little on the heavy and dense side. But I know what not to do next time and it still came out really nice, so I can’t wait to do it again and properly.
P.S. Joy, sorry for letting you down. I’ll do you more proud next time.
For a baking mishap, I’ll still have this for breakfast…happily!
Oh since this is my blog, here’s a little reminder to please check out and vote for my Foodbuzz entry in Project Food Blog. Think of it as the next Food Network Star for blogs! Thanks!
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets one on top of the other. This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute until soft. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. At this point , the batter may look a little curdled it’s ok. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in three additions (my bold comments), mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Still on low sweep, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the bread loosely with a foil tend to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 and 75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and un-molding it. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.