Since I am a person with a tendency toward melancholy, it isn’t surprising that I love chocolate. I am sure there are even-tempered, sunny people who also love chocolate, and I guess that’s fine. Though, like youth on the young, its mood elevating properties seem wasted on them. This week my chocolate fancy turned to that most crucial of meals: breakfast. I thought, if you are inevitably going to have chocolate some time during the day, then why not as soon as you get out of bed?
My sister-in-law, the mad baker, brought this double chocolate banana bread recipe to my attention, along with the wonderland that is the King Arthur Flour website. I have used their organic whole wheat pastry flour for years, and it works well in this recipe in place of all-purpose. Hey, it’s breakfast, so it should involve whole grains.
My husband refused these, since he doesn’t like chocolate at breakfast. Think of the chilling, pregnant silence that followed this pronouncement. This is akin to his nonsense about not liking apricot jam. I know Eaters, what else is he going to say he doesn’t like? Babies? Puppies? Kisses? All I can tell you is that maybe I only dated him three months before we got engaged, but he seemed perfectly fine.
My sil and I agree that half the sugar (use brown for maximum flavor) and half the chocolate chips (the darkest possible) are best here. Yogurt in place of sour cream is fine and yields tasty results. She also turned me on to making this in muffin form. Handheld baked goods are a must, now that my family’s busy Spring is beginning. Soon I will be always in a state of pitching shin guards, and sundry odorous protective gear into my van along with some muffins, and taking off for a game. It’s also running season for me; before or after (also during) a long run, these are just the thing. It’s an activity for your mouth other than complaining that the route is too hilly.
I began my romance with bananas and chocolate the summer before my sophomore year of college when I worked in a catering kitchen. The pastry chef, a talented but mercurial fellow, made a buttery, three layer banana cake alternated with almost black (to match his moods) stripes of chocolate ganache. It was a tall, glossy, gorgeous creature, and I got to bring leftover wedges home to my family. When I tasted that cake I knew, I just knew, I had a future as an Eater. In this area at least, I feel confident that I have lived up to my early promise.
And for the record, I am not saying that chocolate will take all your pain away. I don’t advocate using chocolate to treat melancholy. I advocate using chocolate and bananas.