Chocolate Chip Anything

Ok, so could we just all agree that just about anything with an addition of chocolate reaches a new level of tasty? Recently, the Ohio State Fair was even serving chocolate covered bacon topped with a cherry for crying out loud!

I’ve decided while marathon training dark chocolate is, well, absolutely necessary. Ok, this rule probably still applies year round. It tastes great, and has antioxidants—emphasis on the tastes great part. Right now I’m eating chili-infused chocolate from Lindt. I’m thinking a hot chocolate version of this would be good in a few months, like a warm version of Jeni’s Ice Cream's Queen City Cayenne.

In keeping with my dark chocolate theme, this week I made one of my favorite quick breads: chocolate chip banana bread. I used Ghiardelli dark chocolate chips, to counter the sweetness of the bananas. I’ve tried several different types of banana bread recipes over the past few years, some yielding lighter bread, while others are a more dense, hearty cake. This recipe is somewhere in the middle, but much more dense and moist than others. I used some whole wheat pastry flour, which also made the bread more hearty.

Also, for this recipe and any one that calls for bananas, I cannot emphasize enough how great it is to use “rotten” or frozen bananas. They look disgusting when you take them out of the freezer, but they work amazingly. If using frozen, just let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. Then peel of the nasty, brown skin and vwalaaa! You’ve got yourself some perfect bananas for baking. Frozen bananas can be plopped into the blender for a smoothie, too. 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes 

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 very ripe or frozen bananas, mashed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate chip

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a stand mixer, cream sugar and shortening. Beat in eggs, vanilla and bananas until thoroughly blended. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into a 9.x 5-in. loaf pan. Combine cinnamon and sugar for topping, sprinkle over entire top of batter. Bake at 350F for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. During the last 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize sugar topping. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat at least one piece while it’s still hot! 

Makes one loaf. 

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