This is only the second recipe I have tried from the beautiful Baked Explorations book but already I can say that this is one of my favourite recipe books of all time. It's a big statement I know but of the two recipes I have tried, this Double Chocolate Loaf and the Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel Rum Frosting, both were absolutely flawless and I'm dying to make every recipe in the book.
This double chocolate loaf recipe was in the breakfast section of the book and anyone who touts the chocolate for breakfast philosophy is OK by me. The loaf is a quick bread not a cake and the chocolate flavour is so wonderfully intense and not at all too sweet. You can slice and serve plain but the peanut butter cream cheese spread takes this breakfast treat to a whole new level. You can even toast it before spreading!
A hearty slice of this with coffee and the morning paper is sure to start your day off perfectly.
Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread
For the Double Chocolate 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 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
For the Cream Cheese Spread
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
Make the Double Chocolate Loaf
Preheat the 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.
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.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, then add the buttermilk,oil, and vanilla; whisk until combined.
Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just until combined. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks by hand.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Peanut Butter 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.)
Serve the loaf plain or toasted, topped with the peanut butter spread.
The loaf will keep , in an airtight container or wrapped tightly, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This loaf is the ultimate gift. Double or triple the recipe, cool the loaves completely, and remove them from the pans. To give the loaves a nifty bakery look, wrap them in brown parchment paper, and then wrap them in plastic and drop them off to friends along with a card.
Such a lovely gift idea. I can't recommend this recipe enough, I thought the loaf might be too rich for me but it is honestly perfect and I adore this as much as I did the baked Bundt cake. I'm going to order Baked Frontiers a.s.a.p. these guys obviously know their stuff.