Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Tea Bread

When I don’t have a lot of time to bake, which will be soon due to school starting next week, I usually find myself looking at quick bread recipes. You can do almost anything with a quick bread: it can have any combination of flavors and can be super simple or quite complex. And they are so quick to put together. Mix, pour in the pan and then bake about an hour and you have a perfect treat for the morning.

There are a couple of flavors that people don’t immediately connect to quick breads and chocolate is one of them. When you think of chocolate, you probably think of cake or cookies or candy, but not bread. I saw this recipe from Chocolate Pecan bread and it looked wonderful. With my love of hazelnuts, I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to have a chocolate hazelnut creation, so I substituted toasted hazelnuts for the almonds.

This came together quickly and it came out of the oven a beautiful, tall loaf with a gorgeous crack in the center. Some people might not like that, but I think it makes the loaf look more handsome. Be careful not to over bake this. I did mine for 60 minutes and any longer would have been too long. This is the perfect loaf to serve with tea; it isn’t too sweet or chocolaty. If you wanted to up the chocolate flavor, you could add some chocolate chips to the batter to increase the sweetness. Or drizzle with chocolate ganache to make this something special.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tea Bread

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup milk
About 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.

Cream the butter, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. On low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 3 additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in the chopped nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, until just set in the center.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before sliding a knife around the edges to loosen and remove from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Recipe from Life's a Feast

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