Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Bread

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If your name is Caroline King, there’s a good chance you have a serious chocolate addiction. We won’t pretend we are the only ones “afflicted” with this “problem” so let’s just say that this is the latest in super rich, dense, chocolatey satisfaction. I can’t remember how I came across this recipe, but I’m so glad I did. It’s slightly adapted, but significantly delectable.

Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Bread

Dry ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (approximately two medium)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half dark)

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half dark)

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly spray and line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving the ends long so you can lift the cake out for slicing after it has baked.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Sift the cocoa powder to get rid of any clumps. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale and smooth. Beat in the butter and vanilla, then fold in the zucchini.
  5. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet, in three stages, blending just until incorporated after each addition; careful to not over-beat.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  8. To make the ganache, heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes, then stir until glossy and smooth. Refrigerate until cooled and spreadable, stirring every 10 minutes until desired thickness (for me, that was approximately 25 minutes).
  9. Once spreadable, frost the bread. The recipe makes a LOT of ganache, so I frosted the sides as well.

-CK 1.0

Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Copious Chocolate Chips

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We recently had a big family event + Mother’s Day, so it was so fun to have us all together to celebrate. As always, we need to celebrate with food and I was asked to bring a lil’ something. I had a surplus of bananas, and wanted to make a banana bread, however—I wanted to add the two best ingredients to go with that—peanut butter and chocolate. I know, I know, I’m predictable. But at least deliciously so? I know that I already posted the divine Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cake, BUT bread is a whole different machine, right? It’s something you can feel good about eating for breakfast or a snack, and with all the all the peanut butter and banana, because it’s totally good for you, right? RIGHT? Just nod along and make and eat this tasty form of denial.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Copious Chocolate Chips

Yield: One 9-by-5-inch loaf + a small little loaf (mine was a bit too full for just one loaf)

1 1⁄2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 mashed bananas
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup cream
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour. Remember you will have enough batter to make a mini loaf or 5-6 muffins, if you pour it all in one loaf pan you’ll have a big over-flowing mess.

In a large bowl, whisk together 11⁄2 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda.

In another large bowl, whisk together the bananas, oil, eggs, cream, and peanut butter. Toss the chocolate chips in the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, then stir the chocolate chips into the banana mixture.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ever so gently until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

The loaf can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container or wrapped tightly, for up to 3 days.

adapted from Baked Elements

 

Best Banana Bread

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Toasted Banana bread may or may not be one of the best, most perfect foods there is. Especially when your mom made it and sends it with you for you big move. Being able to crack this open and eat this really made me feel at home during the big adjustment. We, as a family, have tried many banana bread recipes over the years—but this one by Tyler Florence is the whole family’s favorite. It has killer flavor and the texture is what dreams are made of: moist deluxe on the inside and a bit crispy on the edges. And bonus—when you toast this delicious bread and add a little butter, it puts it way over to top to magical perfection.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas (I like two of them to be frozen and thawed)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s no mistake, it’s typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy the smell, toast the bread, and thank your lucky stars you get to eat this glorious treat.

Chocolate Babka

 

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chocolate babka

I have been intrigued and intimidated by the twisty beautiful sweet bread known as the “Babka” for some time now.  I talked myself out of attempts to make it assuming it would we way too hard and should probably be left to the professionals, but you guys, I did it, and IT WAS AWESOME!  I’m certain that if I can pull this off, you can too, so don’t wait as long as I did and seriously just make this, you’ll be so glad you did!  I did enlist the help of my favorite food blogger @smittenkitchen Deb Perelman who gave super helpful step by step instructions and tips.  I can’t say I strayed to far from her recipe, but I’m excited to mix it up in future batches.  I’m sure you could make this with a cinnamon spice filling that would be epic or even something fruit-ish like with raspberry jam and cream cheese.  Listen to me getting all excited about the babka possibilities of my future.  Please enjoy!

Dough –

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast

grated zest of half an orange (you could also do a lemon, but orange was sublime)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup water (cold is fine) and up to 1-2 tablespoons extra if needed

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter at room temperature

 

Filling –

4 1/2 ounces (130 grams) dark chocolate (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips)

1/2 cup butter (cold is fine)

scant (means, not all the way full) 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but awesome)

 

Syrup –

1/3 cup water

6 tablespoons sugar

 

Make the Dough

  1. Combine the flour, sugar yeast and zest in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add eggs and 1/2 cup water, mixing with the dough hook until it comes together; this may take a couple of minutes.  It’s okay if it’s on the dry side, but if it doesn’t come together at all add some extra water a tablespoon at a time.
  2. With the mixer on low add the salt and the butter, a spoonful at a time, mixing until it’s incorporated into the dough.
  3. Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes until dough is completely smooth; you’ll need to scrape the bowl down a few times.  After about 10 minutes, the dough should began to pull away from the sides of the bowl.   I needed to add a few extra tablespoons of flour to help this process along.
  4. Coat a large bowl with oil – I used the mixer bowl by taking my dough out for a minute and greasing it down then plopping the dough back in.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.  (don’t worry if it doesn’t look like it doubled, it won’t rise as much as you think – but it will still work!)

Make Filling IMG_9871

  1. Melt butter and chocolate together until smooth.  Stir in powdered sugar and cocoa; mixture should form a spreadable paste – but it’s not super thick – it thickens up as it cools.  Add cinnamon if desired.

Assemble Loaves

  1. Coat two 9-by-4 inch loaf pans with oil or butter and line the bottom of each with a rectangle of parchment paper.  Take half the dough from the fridge (leave other half chilled).  Roll out on a well-floured counter to about a 10 inch width (side closest to you) and as long in length.  So about a 10×12 inch square or thereabouts.
  2. Spread half of the chocolate mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around.  Brush the end farthest away from you with water.  Roll the dough into a long tight cigar and seal dampened end.  Keep as cold as possible – I put my cigar in the freezer while I rolled out the other half.  IMG_9876
  3. Repeat these steps with the other half of the dough
  4. Gently cut log in half right in the middle, then cut your now two logs length-wise right down the middle opening them up and lay them next to each other cut sides up.  Do the same with your other cigar/log of dough.
  5. Pinch the top ends together and gently lift one side over the next, forming a twist, keeping the cut sides up because they are so pretty.  Pinch at the other end once you’ve made your twist.  Don’t stress out if it isn’t perfect – it will all look great and taste amazing and the next rise will hide mistakes for you.
  6. Put your twisted dough into the prepared loaf pan and repeat with other dough.
  7. Cover with damp tea towel and let rise a good 1 1/2 -2 hours at room temperature.  Pre-heating oven to 375 towards the end of your rise.

Bake and Finish Cakes

  1. With oven at 375 – Remove towels, place each loaf on the middle rack of your oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, but you can check doneness at 25.  Mine needed the full 30.  My first I took out too early and it was a bit undercooked in the middle.  If your babka is done you will feel almost no resistance when you push in a toothpick or cake tester.
  2. Make syrup while babka’s are baking.  Bring sugar and water to simmer until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool a little.  As soon as your babka’s leave the oven, brush the syrup all over each.  It will seem like too much, but will taste perfect.
  3. Let cool about halfway in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way (not something we had the patience for but suit yourself).

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen 2016