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June 28, 2010

Chocolate Chips Give Banana Bread a Sweet Kiss for Breakfast or Snack Time

choc_chip_banana_muffins.JPGFood & Wine magazine isn’t all about wine. Nor is it a collection of fancy recipes comprised of inaccessible ingredients. To prove that point, I thought I’d share one of my new favorite breakfast treats that I found in its May issue.

I love banana bread, and I love chocolate, but combining the two of them together was a bit of a stretch in my mind, being someone who’s trying to kick a few food issues (i.e. things can’t touch, veggies can’t be ingredients in veggie dishes and desserts). But I had some overripe bananas that I had to put to use, and like I said, I’m recovering.

So when I saw a recipe in Food & Wine magazine for Chocolate Chip and Banana Muffins, I threw my quirky conditions to the wind and put it to the test. But not only that, I added another twist based on my own preferences.

To boost the chocolate-y goodness, I added a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Don’t worry banana lovers, it didn’t mask the banana taste. In fact, each bite sort of oscillated between the two flavors, with neither one being obnoxiously overwhelming.

Food & Wine’s Test Kitchen also suggested adding chopped toasted pecans to re-create banana bread texture. I’ll have to file that one away to use in the next batch, along with another tip from Cook’s Illustrated magazine: Its May/June issue shared the results of a chocolate cupcake experiment and its ultimate pursuit of an extra-moist, cocoa-packed treat. To achieve a moister cake, it said, substitute a neutral-flavored vegetable oil in place of melted butter. Since it contains about 16 percent water, butter can evaporate in the oven, making for a dry cake.

Despite not following this last tip, the muffins were still delicious. Served warm, they needed nothing that neither I nor my taste testers could tell. But, now that I’ve advanced beyond my chocolate-meets-banana fears, maybe I’ll be a little more adventurous the next time around.

Do you love the tastes of chocolate and banana? What might you suggest or test as a spread or drizzle to dress up these muffins?



About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.