Experimenting (with No Success)


I need help.

I’m not a trained baker or cook. Everything I know I learned from the internet or my mother.

In my dreams I enroll in culinary school. Right. In my dreams when I win the lottery and pay off the $30,000 I already owe in school loans. What was that I have a degree in again? Oh yes, Sociology. BIG money maker there, let’s not even go into my Masters.

Anyway, back to the point, I yearn to be knowledgeable of the science behind it all. I want to know the proportions and chemistry because I have ideas – flavors in my head but I don’t know how to transform them into something tangible that actually is as good as I imagined it would be. I spend way too much time than I care to admit scouring the internet for recipes that may come close to what I’m imagining but I’m usually halted by ingredients that I refuse to use (like shortening) and I don’t know how to approach the altering process to achieve the outcome I desire.


Take this quick bread I tried to make yesterday inspired by this recipe. I wanted to make a dark chocolate bread with raspberries and blackberries. I accomplished something that looks beautiful, but it wasn’t nearly as tasty as I imagined it would be or could be. It wasn’t really tasty at all. Here is what I did:

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter

melted all that together

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. b. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar

mixed that together

1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs

Added that to the chocolate, and then mixed it all together and folded in 1 cup of blackberries and raspberries. Baked it at 350 for 55 minutes or so.

It was D-R-Y. Not only was it dry, it was practically flavorless. If I was blindfolded, I would’ve never guess I was eating chocolate bread. So so so disappointing. I wasted so many ingredients on something I seriously can’t even force down. I thought I’d make it better by covering it with chocolate ganache, I mean WHAT can’t ganache fix, right? Yeah didn’t help in the slightest … it was that bad.

I wanted something that was rich, moist, maybe even fudgy and then you get a fresh burst of the sweet/sour berries here and there.

My big questions is: HOW DO I GET THAT? What in the recipe made this bread so dry and boring? What’s missing? What needs to be missing? Experienced bakers, please educate me. Please and thank you.


1 Response to “Experimenting (with No Success)”

  1. 1 Chanda July 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Well, I would definitely not call myself an experienced baker, but what about adjusting your liquids and throwing some zucchini in there? You can’t taste it, so your chocolate and berry flavors would still shine through and I’ve never made a zucchini bread that wasn’t anything but extremely moist for days. What a great idea – chocolate/raspberry is my all-time favorite flavor combination.

    If you need zucchini – even if you don’t use it for the bread, let me know. I’ve got it coming out of my ears from the garden 🙂

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