Consider how admirably convenient this combination of ingredients is – pumpkin, chocolate, and a plethora of intoxicating fall spices. Depending on your dining habits, this can work well for both breakfast and desert. Rather, consider this a convenience food of sorts.
Dark Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour OR whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
one 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup safflower oil
3 cups raw cane sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
three 3 oz bars dark chocolate, chopped
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9×5″ loaf pans. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients, from the flour through the salt.
2.) In a separate large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, and sugar. Beat eggs, one at a time, into pumpkin mixture, and then the stir in the vanilla. Add 3/4 cup tepid water to pumpkin as well as the chocolate chunks. Stir to combine.
3.) Add dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes; until golden. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Spring is almost here. And I have several cans of leftover (and much loved) pumpkin puree in my cabinets. Pumpkin puree has been my standby this past winter – a guarantee of a pleasant evening. No need to worry about chopping your finger off wrangling a pumpkin into submission on the cutting board. Pumpkin Bread and Turkey Pumpkin Chili in the depths of a Chicago winter were truly life-saving.
My newest cookbook addition, Good to the Grain, listed an intriguing recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins made with whole-wheat flower and dates. This is my pantry-clearing adaptation.
Jeweled Pumpkin Muffins
one 14 oz can pumpkin puree
butter, for muffin tin
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon Saigon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup cranberries
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10 spaces of a muffin tin with butter. Whisk buttermilk and yogurt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.) In another large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add egg and half of the pumpkin, and continue to beat until thoroughly combined.
3.) Add flour mixture and beat until partially combined, then add buttermilk mixture, and mix until combined. Add cranberries and the rest of the pumpkin, and mix until just combined.
4.) Spoon batter into greased muffin tin and bake for 35-40 minutes; until golden.
This recipe was adapted from Good to the Grainby Kim Boyce. Published by Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, New York; 2010.