So, I waited. I knew the perfect opportunity would roll around. And, people, of course it did. I enrolled in a class that meets in the late afternoon and has a treat schedule. It is my turn to feed the class tomorrow. My classmates are going to
Isn't there something lovely about a sweet loaf? It seems less sinister and unhealthy than a slice of cake because..well, it is shaped like bread. I think my love for sweet, loaf shaped desserts stems back to a childhood filled with delicious zucchini bread. My aunt would serve it warm from the oven, and we'd slather on cool, creamy butter. Now that is a quick bread memory.This is no zucchini bread, but it does find a balance between all the good things in life.The chocolate is so dark, the flavors so deep, that they flirt with bitter. But, only enough to balance out the sweet peanut butter flavor of that heavenly peanut-butter-cream-cheese spread. (seriously, with a name like that, could it be anything other than heavenly?) If you want to make it, but need an excuse, I can almost guarantee that this bread will make you instantly popular at your place of work (or study).
This delightful recipe is taken from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, which was written by Baked's Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. It came to me via my TastingTable NYC daily email.
Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut-Butter-Cream-Cheese-Spread
Adapted by Tasting Table NYC from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
3/4 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
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 to 72%), coarsely chopped
*I adapted this from the original recipe*
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 +1/6 cup granulated sugar
Butter and flour a loaf pan (9"x5"). Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put the brown sugar in a bowl, preferably a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Use the back of a kitchen spoon to press out any lumps in the brown sugar. Then, add the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with paddle attachment, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk and eggs together thoroughly. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract, beating together quickly. Once the liquid mixture is smooth and combined, slowly add the mixture to dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. The mixture should be on low and you should mix only until the ingredients have combined. Leave the lumps! Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the chopped chocolate bar in by hand.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, add cream cheese, peanut butter and granulated sugar. Use the whisk attachment to beat the ingredients together until fluffy and well-combined. Spread this mixture on the chocolate loaf and you are golden.