Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread (recipe)
Normally, I avoid doctors’ offices like the plague. I have this fear of walking out with more symptoms than I came in with. Two weeks ago, I was feeling really crummy so I finally headed to urgent care. I have to admit, it wasn’t half bad! In fact, I was pretty pleased with the whole arrangement. Who knew urgent care is the place to be on a Monday night?! The nurses apologized for the wait and asked if I needed anything. The waiting room was empty and quiet and stocked with current magazines. What is this, a medical spa?! I thought of my husband at home, putting four kids to bed and sank deeper into the sweet sound of silence.
I was most excited about the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens, just sitting there with this amazing picture of Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl Cake on the front cover. For the first time in my life, I felt totally disappointed when I was called promptly back to the exam room. And don’t even get me started on the staff! They were so thorough and attentive, making calls and asking a million questions. The magazine was just out of reach on the counter. I walked out with a prescription but no recipe. The injustice of it all!
The next day I searched for the recipe/magazine, sending out mass texts, looking online (it wasn’t on the BHG site yet), and stopping at three different stores, like the obsessive weirdo I am. No dice.
Three days later the doctor’s office called. They wanted me to come back for a different prescription. My husband offered to make the trip for me. “Thanks, but I need to look for a recipe.” (He didn’t even blink because this is a totally normal connection in Emily world. I love that man.)
When I got there, I skulked around the entire building, looking in every waiting room for that dang magazine. Nothing. I finally tracked it down at the library. Obsessive + persistent for the win!
In one week, I made chocolate pumpkin bread three times. By the last loaf my kids just walked through the kitchen and said, “What are you making, Mom? Chocolate bread again?” Yes, yes I am. I started with the recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bread from Bright Eyed Baker. Then I made the BHG recipe from Joy the Baker. The BHG recipe is delicious, but I wanted it to be less like cake and more like bread. The final loaf was a cross between the two, combining my favorite parts of each (less oil, less sugar, dark chocolate, more spice).
I’m pretty happy with the results, swirled layers of spiced pumpkin and rich chocolate bread. It is dense without being heavy and flavorful without being annoying.
So the next time you find yourself in urgent care on a Monday night, look for me! I’ll be in the corner, with a cup of tea and a stack of Bon Appetits.
Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bread
makes 1 loaf
2 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
½ t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil or melted butter
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
¼ c. plain yogurt or sour cream
2 t. vanilla extract
3 oz. (1/2 c.) dark chocolate
3 T. cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan (around 5×8″) with non-stick cooking spray or melted butter.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. Add the oil/butter, canned pumpkin, yogurt, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Meanwhile, place the 3 ounces of chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder.
- Split the dough evenly between the two mixing bowls. Add the melted chocolate to one of the bowls and stir until incorporated.
- Layer the two different batters into the prepared loaf pan, alternating between pumpkin & chocolate; smooth out each layer before moving to the next. Once all batter has been added to the pan, drag a butter knife through the loaf pan to cut through the two batters. (I drag the knife two times along the length and three times across the width of the loaf. The thick batter makes this a little tricky, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to give you a neat swirl when baked.)
- Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, add a glaze, if desired (I just thinned 3-4 T. of powdered sugar with a splash of milk and drizzled it over the top).
Got dark chocolate? Amazon has you covered with this Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate, 6 pack for a good price. I know there are worse things in life than running out of chocolate, but I can’t think of any of them right now. Stock up for covert eating and holiday baking!
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