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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Double Chocolate Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday. And to celebrate, I obviously needed to bake up something that I normally would not bake on a random "I want dessert" type of day. So, I turned to my fabulous new cookbook, Baked Explorations, of New York Baked fame, to help.
I absolutely love reading cookbooks. I love reading the side stories that the writer is telling. I love reading the list of ingredients. I love reading about how to prepare the food. Of the 200+ pages in the book, I think I am interested in making all but one of the recipes, and this is mainly because I had to draw the line somewhere. But I kept returning to one recipe in the "breakfast" category: the Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread. I love chocolate. And I love peanut butter. And I love quick breads. So, I knew this was the one.

Woah. This bread was delicious. Though, arguably, I do not think that I would really call it a bread that I would want to eat for breakfast. The ingredient list is beautiful for a dessert, but I can't really say the same for breakfast! I've made chocolate bread before, but never with this much chocolate. But I'm not going to lie - I really didn't mind all of the added chocolate. Truthfully, I probably spent about $20 just on the chocolate alone. (When I go big, I go BIG!) I've been advocating for good quality chocolate ever since I made the NY Times cookies. Sorry Hershey's. You simply can't cut it in some of these recipes. Try this bread/cake for your next special occasion. It is absolutely worth it!
*The bread freezes beautifully. I actually cut our loaf in half so we wouldn't eat it in one sitting! I'm waiting for the right time to defrost the other half. After writing this post, it might be today.
Double Chocolate Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting
from Baked Explorations
Yield: 1 loaf
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona), sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
Cream Cheese Spread
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
  2. Place the brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Press out any lumps with the back of a large spoon. Add the cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, then add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; whisk until combined.
  4. Turn the mixture to low and slowly stream the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just until combined. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks by hand.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Spread: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated. (If you are not using the spread immediately, place it in a ramekin, tightly cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.)
  8. Serve the loaf plain or toasted, topped with peanut butter spread. The loaf will keep, in an airtight contained or wrapped tightly, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*Freezing bread is incredibly easy: let the loaf cool entirely to room temperature and just wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminum foil. You can freeze bread for up to two months. Bring the loaves back to room temperature by way of your fridge for 8 hours, then let sit at room temperature for 4 hours before unwrapping the loaf.

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