To make up for my absence over the past week - we took a trip to NYC to see Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and others perform at Radio City Music Hall - I give you chocolate bread. Oh yes, chocolate bread. I am insane for chocolate, and any excuse I can find to eat it with more frequency, I'll take! The first time I ever had chocolate bread was in NYC at a restaurant called Balthazar. When I lived in NY after college, my friends and I used to go to there for breakfast. Balthazar is a rather pricey joint, and the only thing we could afford on the menu was a basket of assorted breads, but it was enough. The basket contained fruit focaccia - something I'm hoping to attempt in the coming weeks, brioche, a sticky bun, and chocolate bread. While in NY this past weekend I took my husband there, and was inspired to make some of the heavenly food when I got home. I believe Balthazar's is a yeasted bread, but I did a quick bread version. It is delicious, and I will be making it often. Very often. Here is the recipe.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip (though I used chunks) Bread
adapted from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbum
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour *or* 1 1/4 cups minus 2 1/2 tablespoons sifted unbleached white flour plus 1 1/8 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350. Butter loaf pan, line bottom of pan with parchment, butter parchment, and lightly flour entire pan. Whisk cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Let cool. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Set aside. In mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cornstarch if not using cake flour. Mix until combined on low speed. Add 1/2 chocolate mixture and all of the butter. Mix until dry ingredients are moist, then turn up to medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 1/2 of remaining chocolate mixture, beat 20 seconds. Repeat with last of the chocolate. Scrape down sides of bowl. Fold in chunks of chocolate. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place on middle rack of oven. Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack before slicing. Yummy...