Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chocolate Cranberry Bread

This recipe is essentially a reworking of Isa's chocolate chunk mini-loaves over at the PPK. Since we're not really desserty people at my house, I rarely bake sweets qua sweets, but with the sugar reduced and the substitution of cranberries for the chocolate chunks and cherries of the prototype, this dense, not-too-sweet loaf provides the perfect way to eat the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree for breakfast. (It's delicious fresh from the oven but it also makes ridiculously good toast spread with a little peanut butter, jam, and/or my current obsession, ginger preserve.)

Chocolate Cranberry Bread
~ 1 cup dried cranberries
~ 1 cup boiling water
~ 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
~ 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. each: baking soda, salt, cinnamon
~ 1/4 tsp. mace or nutmeg
~ 1/2 cup applesauce
~ 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
~ 1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
~ 1 teaspoon each: vanilla extract, almond extract
~ Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
~ Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them; allow to stand for 15-20 minutes, until the cranberries are plump and the water has turned a lovely shade of pink.
~ In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and mace or nutmeg. Drain the cranberries (reserve that pretty cranberry liquid!) and toss them in the flour mixture to coat.
~ In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, peanut butter, almond milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Bring the cranberry liquid back to a boil (I do this in the microwave) and pour it over the whole mess. Stir well to combine until you have a smooth, chocolatey mixture.
~ Make a well in the flour mixture and gradually the add the chocolatey stuff, stirring to incorporate but be careful not to overmix.
~ Pour the batter into your waiting loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes (more or less), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
~ Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack for 10-15 minutes before cutting. 


  1. Oooooh Theobromalicious!

  2. Love to make this! Looks delicious! 2/5 cups of flour? Is the correct?

    1. Whoops - nice save! That should read 2.5 cups (as in two and a half). Fixed now; thanks!