Spiced Chocolate and Orange Bread

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.

I’ve often seen Soeren and his friends making a cushiony bed out of leaves outside in the yard. Then they would squeal with glee and dive into the softness. Watching from the window I laugh at their carefree nature.

It wasn’t until a recent walk in the forest that I could not help it: I had to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot on the carpet of gold at my feet. This time I was the one who jumped gleefully into the leaves, leaving Soeren watching and laughing at me.

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I’ve often seen Soeren and his friends making a cushiony bed out of leaves outside in the yard. Then they would squeal with glee and dive into the softness. Watching from the window I laugh at their carefree nature.

It wasn’t until a recent walk in the forest that I could not help it: I had to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot on the carpet of gold at my feet. This time I was the one who jumped gleefully into the leaves, leaving Soeren watching and laughing at me.

This sweet bread fits perfectly into the effigy of Autumn and rounds off the warm Autumn day in the forest. Pistachios, candied orange and bitter-sweet chocolate are embedded into the cake, kumquat marmalade hugs the top and spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon kiss the bread to make this an equally blissful experience.

This bread is perfect for breakfast or in the afternoon as a decadent accompaniment to your cup of coffee. The spices in this cake are preparing me for my Christmas baking but with the sweet candied orange and tart kumquat marmalade it still very much provides an autumnal flair. Soeren took slices of this in his lunchbox everyday for three days in a row. Although it does get a bit dry, the aromas and flavors however intensified as it aged.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC (347°F). Butter a loaf pan (30cm long).
  1. In a bowl whisk 200g butter, sugar, salt and spices until creamy and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time then the milk.
  1. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Using a rubber spatula incorporate into the batter.
  1. Fold in the candied orange, chocolate and pistachios (reserving 2 tablespoons for the decoration). Fill the batter into the loaf pan. Bake in an oven, second rack from bottom for 65-70 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  1. Take the cake out, allow to cool then remove from pan. In a saucepan warm the kumquat marmalade until slightly runny. Brush the marmalade on top of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Allow to set.
  1. Serve with coffee. You can enjoy the bread spread with butter and/or some marmalade.
Veggie Gnome
This cake is absolutely delicious! I have it sitting on the kitchen bench with one slice missing. Soon there will be more missing. Everybody in the household agrees - it's delicious!

I used hazelnuts instead of pistachios because that's what I had at home. Thanks for this lovely recipe! :)
OCTOBER 24, 2008 9:46:00 AM GMT+02:00
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
Beautiful -- this has all the colors of the autumn leaves in one loaf! In fact, it's a perfect match for the trees I see out my kitchen window at this time of year, so of course I'll have to bookmark and make this. And then I need to have a tea party, so I can share it!
OCTOBER 23, 2008 2:21:00 AM GMT+02:00
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