Chocolate Spice Bread

I have been living the sweet life in Paris for the past week, having an amazing time sampling pretty much all Paris has to offer.  Today was a bonus, as we were walking through The Grand Epicerie sampling different treats they had out to try.  I am in love with Paris. Don’t get my wrong, I love Seattle, but this is really where I belong.  Without my husband and younger daughter though, I am just not whole, so we are heading back tomorrow to join them in the wonderful city of Seattle, our home for now…  Who knows what life will bring in the future, but I know Paris will always be there for me to visit if nothing else.

Since it is my last day in Paris, I thought it was only fitting to post this incredible recipe that I found in David Lebovitz’s book, The Sweet Life in Paris.  I made this bread the other weekend – my husband’s birthday weekend.  Every year I make him a wonderful chocolate cake – usually something special.  This year though I was sick, and just not feeling well enough to do much of anything.  I couldn’t let his birthday go though without something chocolate – so I decided on this cake.  It was simple, and combined chocolate and cinnamon, his two favorite flavors.  This was a hit, the cake was dense and extremely delicious.  The best part was that it lasted for days – he had to go on a business trip the day after his birthday, and when he came back – it still tasted good.  Now that is a cake.

So, if Paris is not in your future, why not try this cake?  I love how the title says that it is a bread, which just means you can have an extra piece…

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
  • 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (preferable aluminum-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole anise seed
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, and butter that as well.  Dust the insides of the pan with a bit of flour or cocoa powder and tap out any excess.  In a double boiler or a large, heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter together, stirring until smooth.  Let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a large bowl.

In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.  Add the anise seed.   In the bowl of a standing electric mixer or with a handheld mixer, whip the eggs, yolks, honey, and sugar until thick and mousselike, about 5 minutes, on high speed.  Fold half of the whipped eggs into the chocolate and butter.  Then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
Add the dry ingredients one-third at a time, using a spoon to sprinkle them over the batter and folding until the dry ingredients are just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels barely set in the center, but still moist.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Tap the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a rack.  Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to let the flavors meld. Well wrapped, this cake will keep for about one week at room temperature, or one month in the freezer.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate Spice Bread

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