I began baking these Wednesday. I'll be packaging up 15 loaves to give away during teacher/staff appreciation week at school next week. And some for us too, if Katie has anything to say about it.
Have you noticed that all my sweets lately have been chocolate? Really, if it doesn't have chocolate in it I just don't want to waste my time. Maybe my body is trying to tell me something important. Oooooh, maybe my chocolate levels are dangerously low. Maybe they've fallen out of therapeutic range.
Yeah, that's it - I'm baking chocolate recipes for my health. Let me tell you - it ROCKS living in this fantasy world of mine!
OK, now that you're scared, wanna go bake something?
This is what you'll need:
2-1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips
You're looking at that weird-looking stuff in the measuring cup, aren't you? I'll bet you're thinking,
"Why is Karenpie putting salsa in chocolate bread? Gross."
Yes, that would be gross. And it isn't salsa, it's pear sauce that I'm substituting for applesauce. The pear sauce produced during my canning fest last fall. The pear sauce over which I slaved for my dear children who won't eat it to save their lives. Ungrateful little . . . okay, I admit it. I won't eat it either. Too grainy. It's only suitable for eating when you don't know you're eating it.
I also need to point out the Taco Bell wrappers in the background of the above picture. Let's get a better shot of my kitchen, shall we?
Here's the big picture - messy kitchen counter and all. See, I'm much too busy blogging about food to actually feed my family nutritious meals. It's a good thing I have my priorities straight.
Back to the chocolate bread.
Cream the butter and sugar together. It should take several minutes and will turn a light golden color. It will look very - ready for it? - creamy. While this is going on, measure the flour, soda and baking powder into a separate bowl.
I should tell you I doubled the recipe in these pictures. When you see me using too many eggs, in the pictures coming up, don't say to yourselves, "What a doofus. She did it wrong." Because you'll be wrong and you'll feel bad about calling me a doofus. Even though it's probably deserved.
Here's the thing - as much as I love, love, LOVE my new mixer, I've found it's too big for certain things. Things like creaming butter and sugar together if I'm using only one stick of butter. So, bummer - I have to make twice as many loaves of chocolate bread because my mixer is big.
Seriously, any advice from those of you who use a 6-qt KitchenAid? (Anonymous Dudey? You still out there? You have one of these big boys, don't you?) Do you have a hand-mixer for smaller recipes? Not that I'm complaining about making double batches of chocolate bread - that's what my garage freezer is for. But still.
Back to the recipe - add the eggs to the creamed mixture, one at a time. You'll need to scrape the bowl frequently, to get it thoroughly mixed.
Add the vanilla . . .
. . . then the melted chocolate. Will you look at that? I mean, WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT? That's therapy, that's what it is. Get me a straw, man.
When it's all incorporated, it'll look like this. Scrape the bowl again, getting all the way down to the bottom because creamed butter and sugar is still hiding down there and you won't know it until you put the batter in your pans to bake.
Then you'll feel like a doofus.
Next, you'll add some of the applesauce, then some of the flour mixture. Keep alternating between the two until everything is mixed in.
Finally, fold in the mini chocolate chips and give it a good mix.
Divide between 2, greased 9x5 pans or 6, greased mini loaf pans . The batter will be very stiff and heavy. Bake at 350 degrees - 30-35 minutes for the minis or 1 hour for the regular size pans. Stick a toothpick in the middle to check. It should come out clean.
Cool the loaves in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Once they're completely cooled, you can glaze them with a yummy frosting. I took no pictures of this part of the process. I was too busy being a doofus and feeding my kids fast food. Here's the recipe:
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. butter
5 t. water
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
Melt the chips, butter and water in the microwave. Heat them in 30-second intervals, stirring between. When it's melted and smooth, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. This will be a fairly runny frosting. I used a fork and drizzled it over the tops of my cooled loaves.
See? Beauty. You could probably do the same thing just by melting chocolate chips and drizzling those over. That'd be simpler. I'll try to remember that the next time I'm NOT BEING A DOOFUS.