Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chocolate Olive Oil Loaf

I just saw Giada De Laurentiis as the spokeperson for a hair product advertisement on TV.


Wait. I thought she does food? So what's with the hair? I'm confused. Never mind.

I'd love to do an advertisement for this dark hunky chocolate loaf. I'd be like "Rich, dark, decadent and moist. It's a loaf that satisfies that chocolate twerk while delivering a mysterious and subconsciously nutritious flavour of olive oil."

Nailed it.

Just like this recipe is awesome at being delicious - it's a hammer and my taste buds are the nails.

Banana bread is old news. Chocolate bread is the new black.

Using olive oil was the smartest decision I've ever made since deciding to stop wearing bell-bottom jeans and elastic choker chains. They both have such complex personalities but together they make so much sense. Bell-bottoms and chokers are just wrong. No. Let's not allow mental images of grade 9 class dance to resurface...

Just like a sure-fire quick bread recipe, this Chocolate Olive Oil Loaf uses the simple method of 1) mix dry ingredients, 2) mix wet ingredient, and 3) mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

The feature of this recipe is a double dose of chocolate: dark chunks and heaps of cocoa.

TIP: Do not over mix the batter to ensure a very soft and tender crumb. The batter will thicken as it rests so pour it out and bake it as soon it is ready.

TRICK: Mixing sugar into the dry ingredients (vs. mixing it into the wet) helps to prevent the gluten in wheat flour from getting over developed. This makes for a very tender loaf.

TIP: Use a good quality olive oil, such as extra virgin, and make sure it is fresh. Rancid olive oil will taint the whole darn thing. To prevent oils from going off, store them in a cool dark place and keep them tightly sealed. Heat, light and oxygen are major culprits of rancidity.

It's not often I stray from butter so have faith in this collaboration.

Chocolate and olive oil are real and righteous. Let's get all over this like peanut butter on toast.

Chocolate Olive Oil Loaf
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf

¾ cup (175 ml) full fat sour cream
½ cup milk 
1 large egg 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
1 2/3 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour 
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder 
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar 
½ cup (110 g) packed brown sugar
½ tsp salt 
120 g/4 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang along the long sides. Spray the exposed short sides with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, egg, olive oil and vanilla extract; set aside to infuse while you prepare the other ingredients.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Add both sugars and salt and whisk to blend evenly so that there are no lumps. Stir through chocolate chunks.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in sour cream mixture. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan using the overhanging parchment and let cool completely on rack before slicing. This cake is very delicate when warm.

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