Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

December is usually a month of ‘laissez-aller’ where the stress of the holiday season and rushed shopping can only be alleviated by ingesting vast amount of candies and upping the sugar intake in anything from your coffee to your favourite alcoholic drink. It’s in this spirit that a breakfast bread of this calibre can fit in your morning routine without seeming excessive and will start you off nicely, ready to tackle anything from the bitterest cold to the craziest mob.

Chocolate for breakfast is a philosophy I totally embrace and so will you after tasting this double chocolate loaf, which as you’ve guessed not only has chocolate in the dough but also chunks of it scattered throughout. The chocolate flavour is intense but not too sweet and the bread is wonderful on its own, toasted with butter, or for the ultimate treat smeared with the peanut butter cream cheese recipe featured here.

Have it with a nice cup of coffee while reading the morning paper or scarf it down after your office’s Christmas party, either way will be delightful. It’s so easy to make too that I’d recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and offering them as gifts to your gourmands friends, they’ll only love you more…

Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

Adapted from Baked Explorations
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 2.5 hours
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
 
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 350ºF 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.

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