Homemade Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – 05/25/20

When I bought some bananas last weekend, I bought them with the intention of making some banana bread this weekend. There was a book I received from one of my sisters for my birthday, and I thought I could use the modified recipe. The book is from Michael Ruhlman and is titled “Ratio”. The subtitle is “The Simple Codes behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking”. This goes into the ratios and breakdowns for recipes, which should make it easier to adapt for larger or smaller audiences.

The Basic Quick Bread/Muffin Batter ingredient breakdown is:

8 ounces flour

4 ounces sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

8 ounces milk

4 ounces eggs (2 large eggs)

4 ounces butter (1 stick), melted

If you add 1 cup of mashed banana, you should take away 2 ounces of the wet ingredients.

I started by setting the oven to 350 degrees. The next step should have been to brown the butter (the book recommends brown butter for banana bread). Since the butter is going to be hot, it will take more time to cool down before mixing with the eggs. You want banana bread, not banana and scrambled eggs bread.

Per the instructions, I combined the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. I had to wait a bit while the butter cooled, since I started on that after combining the dry ingredients. I had one large banana, and I mixed that in with the wet ingredients. Since it was a week old, it was a little mushy, but not overly mushy. I only used 6 ounces of milk in this recipe, and it worked just fine. Once the wet and dry ingredients were mixed together, I added in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.

I poured the batter into an 8″ loaf pan that I had coated with cooking spray. I made sure it was relatively even, and then baked it for about 50 minutes (I did it for 40 minutes at first, then kept an eye on it). Once a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, it’s good. Mine had melted chocolate chips, but no batter dough, so I knew it was done.

Those last 10 minutes were key. The top hadn’t browned after 40 minutes, but it was perfect with another 10 minutes. And when it was out of the pan, the sides had color as well.

Having a banana bread look good is one thing, but it also tasted really good. The bread had perfect consistency. The nice, light bite on the outside and the soft, moist bite on the inside. The melted chocolate chips were great as well. I think that if I make this again, I’ll use two medium bananas instead of one large banana. It had a mild banana flavor to it, but I think it would have been better with even more banana flavor. I also had been thinking about adding cinnamon, but I don’t think it needed it at all.

This was a great start to the day and an easy way to get things going in a positive way.

Big Dog Coffee – Pittsburgh, PA

While I was in Pittsburgh last week, there was a need for me to have some coffee drinks (frappes). There were a couple that were in walking distance of my hotel, including Big Dog Coffee. I walked there the first morning I was there (I had arrived the previous evening).

I decided to go with a Mochaccino. This was a very good coffee drink. It had the perfect consistency, and it had a surprisingly sweet coffee flavor. It worked really well and I was happy to have gone there.

There are some pretty cool decorations all over the place, and there was even a working fireplace that first morning, when it was a bit cold. The atmosphere was very friendly, and it seemed like there were quite a few regulars who were there extra early in the morning.

They had these chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were fantastic. Nice and soft on the inside, not too crunchy on the outside. They were so good that I went back a couple of times just to get a cookie.

I went back on the Thursday morning for a coffee drink and possibly something for breakfast. I ordered a Caramel Mochaccino the second time. It was another good frappe. It had nice flavor and a good consistency. The mochaccino was my favorite, but the caramel mochaccino was also good. The banana bread was a good breakfast treat. It was a thickly sliced piece, so it was a perfect amount for breakfast. The banana flavor was nice. Not overbearing, and not something that you had to struggle to try and get the flavor. It had a heavier consistency, but that worked really well as a balance to the coffee drink.

This may have been a little off the main road, but they do have a big sign outside, just in case you need to find it. Good coffee, good cookies, good treats, and a really nice atmosphere made me happy to have been able to try this place last week.