Need a challenge? This chocolatey pumpkin bread is your next baking project
The moment temperatures begin to drop, I find myself craving the pumpkin flavour and aroma that define autumn. It seems pumpkin is everywhere you turn this time of year - on every porch, in every latte. That popularity extends to baked goods, too, with plenty of recipes spotlighting everyone's favourite gourd.
So it came as a surprise to me that when I set out to find my perfect pumpkin bread formula as a college student, I was unable to track down a version that had everything I desired.
I was looking for a bread with prominent pumpkin flavour in every bite, a blend of fragrant spices to fill my home, and a dense and chewy interior with a crackly crust - one accomplished in this recipe with bites of caramelized sugar and cinnamon that make for a satisfying crunch. I wanted the recipe to be simple enough for my sad college kitchen with minimal counter space and baking tools.
And, finally, I wanted chocolate. Lots of it.
After scrolling through dozens of recipes to no avail, I set out to create this elusive treat myself. My room-mates, always eager to eat pumpkin and chocolate, were willing participants as I worked through dozens of iterations until I landed on the equation that follows. It has been a staple of my chilly-weather baking ever since.
Intensely Chocolatey Pumpkin Bread
(Makes 1 Loaf/ Serves 8-10)
A pumpkin classic gets packed with seasonal spices and lots of chocolate. Try it with salted butter for breakfast, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
2/3 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups (270g) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (85g) lightly packed light brown sugar, or more as needed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (220g) pumpkin puree
Generous 1 3/4 cups (225g) flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more as needed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees with the rack in the middle. Grease a 23-by-13-cm loaf pan with vegetable oil.
Chop about 1/3 of the chocolate chips into small bits, then return them to the remaining chocolate.
With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater attachment, combine the granulated and brown sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin purée and 2/3 cup of oil and mix on low until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, allspice and cloves until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated and no bits of flour mixture remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle extra brown sugar and cinnamon on top, if desired.
Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, and a cake tester or wooden pick produces only chocolate when inserted into the bread.
Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
To unmould, run a knife around the perimeter of the loaf pan and invert the pan. Slice the bread and serve at room temperature.
The Washington Post