Monday, April 21, 2008

Banana nut bread

On Saturday, I made banana nut bread, following the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I actually followed a variation for chocolate banana nut bread, with about 2.5 ounces of chocolate shavings in the batter and a bit less sugar to compensate, but I really didn't feel it added much. That said, it was a delicious banana bread. Moist and chewy, with a slightly crisp (but not dried-out) crust and lots of flavor.

My only gripe is that, once I let it cool all day and wrapped it in plastic wrap, the crust lost its crispness. Maybe if I had wrapped it in aluminum foil or put it in a paper bag like a bakery bread, it would have maintained the consistency. It still tasted great this morning, though, and I think most people expect the outside of a banana bread to be soft, anyway.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Molten Chocolate at Finale

It's hard to believe I've had The Dessert Blog for so long and haven't yet mentioned Finale. For those not in the Boston area, Finale is a dessert restaurant with a few locations in and around the city. It's very high end, with $10 "plated desserts" and a large selection of dessert wines, dessert martinis, etc. There are also a few appetizers and such, in case you're too hungry for just a dessert, but really the focus is on the sweets.

Last night, I went there with my wife and a couple friends, and I ordered one of my favorites: Molten Chocolate. I've seen (and tasted) this basic idea of a chocolate cake with a warm liquid/gooey chocolate center in many restaurants, but this is by far the best version I've had. High quality chocolate, exactly the right consistency inside and out, a Valhrona chocolate sauce, and a small but high-quality scoop of gelato (coffee by default, but I substituted vanilla). Combine that with a nice glass of sherry, and you really have yourself a treat. A treat that costs $20+, mind you, but a treat nonetheless.