I've done the fairly healthy cranberry bread. Twice. Now it's time for something a little more adventurous. A little more decadent.
One of my first blog posts was for Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Bread from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. I looked for a different recipe to use this time around - not because I didn't love Rose's, but for the sake of comparison - but couldn't seem to find anything else...
You can get away with eating this bread for breakfast - as I did this morning - but it also makes a lovely, somewhat rustic dessert. You could top it with a chocolate sauce, a coulis, whipped cream or ice cream. If you don't have fresh cranberries, dried would work, as would other fruits; pears, raspberries, blackberries... it is infinitely adaptable. What about a swirl of dulce de leche in place of the fruit? Or peanut butter? Oh my, I'm getting a little carried away! But I can't help it. This bread is so good that you'll want to try every combination imaginable so you have an excuse to make it again.
Chocolate Cranberry Bread with Chocolate Chunks
adapted from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + more for dusting
3 tablespoons boiling water
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (4.5 oz) cake flour or 4.5 oz unbleached white flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (4.5 oz)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
x13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into small, not fine, pieces
1 cup fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan. Make a paste of cocoa powder and boiling water. When it is cool, add vanilla and eggs, and whisk until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, stir to combine. Add butter and 1/2 of chocolate mixture to dry ingredients. Mix on low until all dry ingredients are moistened, then turn up to medium speed and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 1/2 of remaining chocolate mixture, beat for 20 seconds. Repeat with second 1/2. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir in chopped chocolate and cranberries. Pour into prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for about an hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely before slicing. Dust with cocoa powder, slice and serve!