Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

On a hot Saturday afternoon, a friend and I took a scenic drive along the countryside in Hudson, just off the island of Montreal. We headed to the outdoor market to stroll around, searching for unique finds among the rustic antiques and hand painted wooden signs. Some vendors set up kiosks selling jars of honey and home-made popsicles with original flavour combinations, like lime+avocado. This double-chocolate loaf is the kind of home-baked good you’d find at one of these summer markets.

The boys at Baked and I advocate a chocolate as breakfast philosophy. This loaf can be served for breakfast, or as a mid-afternoon snack. I prefer to eat a thick slice of this crumbly chocolaty loaf on its own, but you can also pair it with this tangy peanut butter cream cheese spread. You can double, even triple, this recipe. I had a sunken loaf because I removed it from the oven too early. Loafs can be tricky. Even if they appear baked on the outside, the middle might still be undercooked. Loaves freeze well. Cool them completely to room temperature, then wrap them tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminium foil. Freeze for up to two months. When comes time to serve them, place the loaves in the fridge for 8 hours, then let sit at room temperature for 4 hours before unwrapping them.

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Bon appétit!

Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations

Yields one 9-by-5-inch loaf

Ingredients:
•Double-chocolate loaf
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
•Cream cheese spread
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar

Instructions:
•Double-chocolate loaf
1)Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
2)In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the brown sugar, cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
3)In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended.
4)Add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla to the eggs and whisk until combined.
5)Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer and only beat until blended.
6)Stir in the chocolate chunks with a spatula.
7)Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. (I left my loaf in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes and it still wasn’t baked through.)
8)Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely.
•Cream cheese spread
1)In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
2)Add the sugar, beat until incorporated.
Refrigerate the spread for up to 3 days. Store the loaf in an airtight container or wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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