Good evening everyone! I hope you’ve all been well. We are heading off to New Zealand tomorrow (I know – crazy, exciting and very last minute) to spend Easter at one of my favourite places in the world, Queenstown (please, any hot tips for the town and surrounds would be very welcome as it’s years since we’ve been). It’s all a bit hectic trying to get organised and to the airport (AIRPORT) in time. But before I go, here’s a quick little Easter offering.
This coming weekend means many things to many people. To me, it’s a special time to hang with your favourite people, cook and share meals with them. It’s also one of the very few, maybe only, times when it’s totally and widely accepted as acceptable to eat chocolate loaf for breakfast.
We shared this one in thick slices at the end of last week’s food photography and styling workshop (which I will be blogging about very soon), and I had to stop myself from saying ‘oh yummmmmm’ too much and sounding like I was loving myself at all sick. The recipe was very closely adapted from one in an all time favourite cookbook Huckleberry* and it’s particularly great because it can be wrapped up and kept for a couple of days after baking. If you are heading away to stay with family and friends, this is what you should cook and take with you.
Double chocolate loaf
1 cup plain flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup strong espresso coffee, cool
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped (the best quality you can lay your hands on)
140g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Now whisk the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla in a large jug and set aside. Melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water until glossy and smooth and let cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, followed by the coffee, buttermilk mixture and finally, gently, fold through the melted chocolate. Spoon batter into your prepared loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top feels firm and the loaf is beginning to pull away from the tin’s sides. Let cool on a wire rack before wrapping tightly and keeping at room temperature for up to four days.
We served this with a good sprinkle of sweet dukkah, goat’s curd and a drizzle of honey and it was just delicious. Thanks to the multi-talented Luisa Brimble for styling this one so beautifully! Makes one regular loaf, I’d suggest doubling it and making two, one for the freezer or a friend.
*www.huckleberrycafe.com – sorry for the old school link – for some reason unable to add it into the text as usual tonight?!