A Chocolate XXX Easter Indulgence for the Grown Ups
For the sweet tooths, Easter is a time for strips of marshmallow eggs, doughy hot Cross buns with raisins, and tooth-chipping candy coated chocolate eggs. Enough to keep the kids buzzing for hours!
This dense, triple chocolate bread, based on baker-extraordinaire David Lebovitz ‘s recipe, is made with three types of dark chocolate: Dutch process cocoa, melted dark chocolate and dark chocolate chips! Orange adds to the heavenly aroma and gives this bread an Easter twist.
Adding the walnuts may sound over the top here, but they actually provide a nice contrast to the richness.
It’s wonderfully indulgent and perfect eaten warm, with a cup of coffee or a glass of vanilla milk which balances the richness. There isn’t much sugar in this recipe and I think it’s best classified as an ‘adult’s only’ treat.
Use less bitter chocolate if you prefer. This is a no-knead bread, with a thick batter-like consistency, just factor the rising time in before you go about making it.
The bread is best eaten on the day it’s made, store in foil in a air tight container and you can freeze slices too. Leftover bits can be used in a bread and butter pudding, which I have made too, served with single cream.
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1 packet active dry yeast (approx 2 1/4 t)
5-6 T muscovado or treacle sugar (or brown)
85 g dark chocolate (at least 70 % cacao or less if you prefer)
60 g butter (salted or unsalted)
2 t instant coffee granules
1 extra large free range egg
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup best quality cocoa powder
2 cup white bread flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate chopped finely
6 slices orange preserved in syrup, finely chopped (optional)
100 g walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
1. The milk should be luke warm. Pour the milk into the bowl of a kitchen mixer or a large bowl if not using a mixer. Add yeast, one tablespoon of sugar and leave to rest for 10 minutes somewhere warm. When there are a few bubbles at the surface it’s ready.
2. While this is happening, heat the 85 g of chocolate and butter in a bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water. Stir with a spatula to remove any lumps, until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Add the rest of the sugar, coffee granules, salt, egg and vanilla to the yeast in the bowl and mix well.
4. Add half of the cocoa and flour to the yeast mixture. Stir, add half the melted chocolate. Stir and add remaining flour and cocoa. Stir again and stir last of the melted chocolate in. If using the kitchen processor, use dough hook and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Or do by hand with a silicone spatula. You will end up with a thick, sticky batter.
5. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours. Grease a 23 cm loaf pan.
6. Mix the chocolate chips and chopped orange pieces into the batter with a spatula, until folded through. Pour half batter into tin. Lay nuts (if using) evenly over this bottom layer. Add remaining dough over nuts. Cover and leave to rest for an hour, again in a warm place.
7. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and bake bread for 35-40 minutes. It’s ready when you tap the bread and it emits a hollow sound. Allow to cool a little in tin before turning out on a fine mesh wire rack. Serve warm with creme fraiche or double cream.
I was commissioned by Food 24 to create this post.