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I Tossed my Chocolate Chips in Flour and They Still Sunk (again!), Why?

I just made two batches of Martha Stewart's delicious banana bread and once again, my flour-coated chocolate chips sunk to the bottom. Don't get me wrong, the bread is still fabulous, I just wish the chips were more evenly spaced.

Any suggestions for next time? Thanks!

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  1. Try chilling the batter in the loaf pans briefly before popping them in the oven. Not so long that you'll lose any leavening power, just to thicken the batter, in hope that the chips stay suspended while the batter sets in the oven.
    I have let cakes sit for an hour before baking them and had no problems with rising, so this might work...

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabaja

      I think the chips sank because the batter was too thin. Try not mashing up the bananas quite so much - leave them chunkier. Or, perhaps the chips could have sunk becuase you used an egg a size up from Martha's egg. Go down a size in the egg. Maybe they sank necause you measured your dry ingredients by volume and Martha measured by weight - or vice versa, but I doubt Martha would be measuring by volume given the choice between the more exact weight, and volume - the lazy cook's way to measure. Perhaps, although once again I'd doubt this, the chips might have sunk if you sifted and Martha did not - then you would wind up with less flour. But Martha ALWAYS sifts, I'm sure. Maybe the chips sank because Martha has a natural tendency to measure a rounded top cup and you are more careful to use a knife or something to even off the cup. But again, I doubt any solution that would have Martha being less obsessive than we mortals would be. Let's see, the chips might have sunk if you used cake flour, which is finer, and Martha used AP flour. Maybe they sank because you used a bigger, heavier sized chip than Martha's chips - perhaps Martha only uses Guitard or some esoteric little chips, where you and I might only know about the more prosaic, and perhaps heavier, Nestle's. Perhaps they could have sunk if you used bananas that were very ripe and thus more liquid than Martha's.

      How could they sink? They sank. Why would they have sunk? It is a fascinating mystery. My guess is that they sank due to a combination of factors: very ripe, perhaps too large, bananas mashed to the point of being liquidy, big eggs, conservative rather than generous measuring of dry ingredients, generous rather than conservative measuring of wet ingredients.
      Heh Heh Heh.

    2. i would also chop your chips. another thought: you might add ch.chips to 1/2 the batter-pour in. mix other 1/2 of chips w/ rest of batter; pour in. let us know what works!

      1. I was just researching this problem the other day! I don't bake, but I was curious as to why my mother-in-law's breads always seem to have the choc chips, nuts, fruits, etc. on the bottom of the loaf - 2 things I came across in reading: (1) the batter is too thin, try eliminating some of the liquid and (2) the fruit and chips are too heavy. One article said to use the mini chocolate chips, but I haven't come across anything regarding the fruit or nuts. Perhaps by just making the batter thicker would help?!

        1. For what it's worth, I saw a Martha Stewart show where she said the chips do sink to the bottom. She said it didn't matter if you coated them in flour or not.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            I think Martha is wrong. Uh oh, I hope that's not illegal to say, now that our emails are under scrutiny by the Feds. You'd think Martha's obsessiveness would have solved this problem. This chips all on the bottom is not aesthetically pleasing. It ruins the texture. My other post, plus other posters' suggestions give a number of ideas - try them all at once if you can - but I don't like chopping the chips - perhaps smaller chips - there's more besides just Nestle.

            1. re: niki rothman

              LOL, wrong??? Maybe just in stocks and insider trading but never on domesticity... Actually, I don't agree w/ her, I was just repeating what she said on TV so maybe it's just her recipe. I think it depends on the recipe and how thick the batter is as others have said. Since I've been using the C.I. recipe, I've never had problems with it. I don't always toss with flour, either--sometimes I don't want to deal w/ another bowl to wash.

              1. re: chowser

                I'm curious. She said that the chips do sink, but did HER chips sink? I don't really follow Martha's recipes and such, but on the rare occassion when I watch a show of hers, she'll sometime say things like "you can do this such-and-such way and it will be fine" but will then show you her version, which will invariably be perfect.

                1. re: Ali

                  I didn't watch the rest to see. I don't watch her show but I was channel surfing and caught that part. I remember thinking it was odd that she couldn't keep her chips from sinking. I really don't get her appeal. I saw a part of another show when she stuffed scrambled eggs back into the egg shell (where she gently tapped to top to remove the top and then had to boil the shell to make sure it didn't have bacteria). Why would anyone want that? It was way too complicated to do and would be hard to eat...unless you wanted to do scrambled egg shooters maybe.

          2. I read somewhere that if you lightly coat the chips with cooking spray before tossing in the flour the flour will stick to the chips better.

            1. I have a vague memory of there being a bit of a scandal when the recipes in her first cookbook (the comet she rode to fame and fortune)turned out to really be bombs when people started comparing notes on the real-world results. Apparently it was the beautiful photographs and the hype that made it so successful.

              2 Replies
              1. re: niki rothman

                I don't know anything about that, but I know that her recipes in general have the reputation of actually turning out very well, having been tested meticulously.

                1. re: Atomica

                  Indeed. One can dislike her manner, but her recipes are always reliable.

              2. Sometimes switching to bleached flour, if you were using unbleached, can help this problem. The bleached flour is more acidic and makes a batter that is better able to suspend the chips.

                1. You could try not mixing them in at all, and just sprinkle them on the top instead. Maybe they wouldn't make it all the way to the bottom if they started all the way at the top.

                  1. Hello, the best way to keep your chips from sinking to the bottom is to put them in a processor and crush them up. They will not sink to the bottom but will be all throughout your recipe, however you may want to add just a little bit more flour to your recipe so that your cake, muffin, etc won't be too heavy and sink in the middle. If you don't want to add more flour, I might would reduce the amount of chips the recipe calls for. Perfect every time.

                    1. I have never had a problem with chips, blueberries, raisins or etc sinking. I don't toss them in flour but I do add them at the very last moment, and pop the baked item in a preheat oven. I don't doubt that this happens, but I've not had this particular problem and I am not a great baker.

                      1. I make a banana chocolate chip bundt cake using a Carole Walter recipe and the chips never sink. The reason? She says to use mini chips, because the large ones almost always sink. All I know is, the mini chips stay nicely dispersed through the cake - every single time.

                        1. That other arbiter of all baking knowledge, Rose Levy Beranbaum, has you moisten the chips lightly (just barely) before tossing them with some flour. It worked in her golden Grand Marnier cake (in which they're moistened with a tsp of GM, I think is the amount).

                          1. what works for me is mixing the chocolate chips into the dry ingredients before blending them into the moist ingredients and to manually mix (using a spoon, spatual, etc) this also helps to not break up the chips.