I'm quite familiar with quickbreads, probably the first things I've ever made since they are so simple. As I kid, my mom let me mix muffin batter. Being so excited to help, I'm sure I totally overmixed the batter, resulting in dense and heavy muffins and loaves. But now I know better. Barely mix wet and dry ingredients together, bake, you're done.
Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread
recipe source: Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
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.