Double Chocolate Bread with Peanut Butter Spread

Feb 1st
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This bread is so completely tied to a memory that I feel I must share it with you. It involves babies and mothers and girlfriends – a trifecta of love, if you will.

I had Tessa when I was 27. Within five months, three of my closest friends also had babies (I know, awesome). For two of them it was their first, for one her second. All on maternity leave, the four of us got together once a week for about three months. There were no nap schedules, no bottles, no preschool pick ups, no highchairs. Just nursing covers and lots of chatter. The babies would do their nursing, sleeping, nursing routine and we would cuddle down and eat baked goods and talk – for hours. It was a time in life I will never forget, because it was once and done. It’s one of my rosiest memories, though, and this chocolate bread is a part of it. We ate whole loaves at a time.

This recipe comes together just like any other quick bread (banana bread, zucchini bread, etc.). Basically quick breads involve whisking dries, whisking wets, and gently combining and then stirring in any extras. SO easy. They’re called quick because they rise with the help of baking powder/soda, instead of yeast. This is a brownie masquerading as a bread. It’s fine though, because I’m telling you it’s a bread. You can make it with a clear conscience and eat it at breakfast, because I told you it’s a bread.

Double Chocolate Bread
recipe slightly adapted from Baked Explorations

3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

3/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

3/4 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 1/3 c. dark chocolate (bittersweet) chips or chunks

Spread

5 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter

1/3 c. powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I routinely use butter/flour spray and it works great. Also, I used a 10 inch pan with no problems.  You could even make this batter into muffins –  just fill each hole 2/3 of the way and bake for about 20 minutes.

2. Place the brown sugar, cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and mix until combine (with paddle attachment on standing mixer or regular beaters on hand held mixer).

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3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk, the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.

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4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined.

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5. Turn off the mixer and stir in the dark chocolate chunks by hand.

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6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

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8. To make spread, combine all ingredients and whisk well (or mix with an electric mixer) until smooth.

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If freezing: Cool COMPLETELY. Wrap in plastic wrap (maybe double plastic wrap) and then tin foil. Could freeze for up to 3 months.

If keeping around: Keep in an air tight container or wrapped in plastic and foil. Could last up to 3 or 4 days (good luck with that).