Is It Bread Or Is It Dessert? Answer, Both

Tyler's Ultimate Chocolate Banana Bread

My choice of trying this recipe stemmed from Kristine’s baking it first and having disastrous results. Her first inkling that it was not going to turn out right was when following the recipe it called for “pouring” the batter into the loaf pan and the batter was too thick to pour but rather fell into the pan. Not a good sign. I happened to be at Kristine’s for dinner a few days after she baked and she offered me a piece of the bread. The first thing I said was that it was too dry.

Kristine decided to tweet about her results and was surprised that Tyler responded to her comments. In the ensuing conversation between the two Kristine discovered that part of the problem was that she used whole wheat flour. As explained by Tyler the wheat flour was the immediate problem. As he explained further, “because of the ground whole grain, it takes more fat (butter, oil) to make it moist.”

Okay, so I decided to make this recipe as it was written to see how it would turn out. As has been my luck in the small town I live in the ingredient bittersweet chocolate became a challenege. We have three Publix supermarkets where I live but though they are all the same chain they do carry somewhat different products based on the makeup of the particular community it is located in. I decided to go to the Publix that carries the widest variety of products. So, there I stood staring at the choices I had for chocolate. There was unsweetened, semisweet and milk chocolate but no bittersweet. Now what?

As I stood there I tried to decide what exactly was the difference between bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, as both would have a combination of chocolate and sugar. Could I buy unsweetened and calculate how much sugar I would have to add to the recipe to replicate bittersweet? I decided to buy the unsweetened. I think I just needed something in my hand rather than be depressed that once again I could not find what I needed. Yes I know that that idea was silly but I bake a great deal during the holidays and knew that the unsweetened chocolate would not go to waste.

Since I really didn’t know the difference between the two chocolates I decided to do some research. I went out to Google and typed in semisweet chocolate. I clicked on the Wikipedia site and found the following information:

Semisweet chocolate is often used for cooking purposes. It is dark chocolate
with a low (typically half) sugar content.

Bittersweet chocolate is a chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to
which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes
lecithin are added. It has less sugar and liquor than semisweet chocolate,
but the two are interchangeable in baking. Bittersweet and semisweet
chocolates are sometimes referred to as ‘couverture’ (chocolate that
contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter); many brands now print on the
package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa
butter) contained. The rule is that higher the percentage of cocoa, the
less sweet the chocolate will be. The American FDA classifies chocolate as
either “bittersweet” or “semisweet” that contain at least 35% cacao (either
cacao solids or butter from the cacao beans).

That night I was talking to Kara and she mentioned that Target carried bittersweet chocolate pieces and that they also carried bittersweet chocolate bars that I could use. I had been to Target just the day before and really did not feel like going down there again so instead went to another Publix to see what I could find. And, there in the baking aisle were Ghiradelli’s bittersweet pieces. Yea! The Ghiradelli’s bittersweet pieces I purchased contained 60% cacao.

Now armed with all the right ingredients I embarked on trying the recipe. The recipe was straightforward and easy to follow. While baking it certainly made the house smell wonderful.

I was anxious to try the bread so after lunch I cut a piece for Randy and I to try. His reaction was that he like Tyler’s bread but that he like the banana bread that I make all the time much better because it was moister. I told him that I was going to serve a slice of the bread that night for dessert with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. He thought that was a good idea.

I can understand why Tyler put this recipe into the dessert section because for me the bread could not stand alone but as a dessert I could add other things i.e., whipped cream, fruit, etc. to it to add moisture to the bread.

Would I make again. Yes. I understand that taste is a very personal thing so for many this would be a wonderful addition to their breakfast or dessert menu. However, when I do decide to make it again I will use semisweet pieces and perhaps add a little milk to make it a little moister. When I do make it again I will be sure to comment on the blog.

Nutritional Information based on 16 slices: Calories 176.71; (calories from fat 59.66); Total Fat 6.79g; (saturated fat 4g); Cholesterol 41.69mg; Sodium 173.58mg; Potassium 127.15mg; Total Carbohydrates 27.28g; Fiber 1.44g; Sugar 122.22g; Protein 2.97g.

*Note I first posted this on Facebook November 11, 2009 and am posting here because I am spending time with my granddaughter and we are away at Bonita Springs for a few days.  I will be back in the kitchen soon. 


This entry was posted in bread, Chocolate, Dessert, Food, nutrition, Recipe, Tyler Florence, Tyler's Ultimate and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is It Bread Or Is It Dessert? Answer, Both

  1. it was very interesting to read.

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