I love chocolate. I mean really love chocolate.
One thing I have learned while spending many hours baking with chocolate in the kitchen is that it really shines when you add a contrasting flavor like coffee, salt, cayenne or cinnamon to bring out its richness.
Chocolate and cinnamon is a super flavorful and unexpected combination.When I first tried Mexican brownies (a fudgy brownie with cinnamon and a touch of cayenne) I was hooked on its sweet and spicy flavor.
This bread echoes those Mexican brownie flavors and is reminiscent of a sweet treat my favorite coffee shop used to carry. Needless to say, a thick slice is a perfect partner to a cup of coffee or tea.
Here’s how you make it:
Cream together butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix together the wet ingredients in another.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
Divide the batter between two prepared 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.
Make the spice topping in a small bowl by combining sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle it on the two loaves.
Bake at 350 F for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the loaves comes out clean. The top is crackly because of the sugar spice topping, so make sure to insert the toothpick all the way in to be sure it is baked through.
Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
Makes two loaves
For the batter:
3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), softened
3 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (To make a substitute, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 2 cup measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir vigorously.)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the spice topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cocoa
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 9 x 5″ loaf pans (or spray with Baker’s Joy).
2. Make the batter: With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a medium bowl, mix together the buttermilk (or substitute), water and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, but do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
4. Make the spice topping: In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger, cloves and salt and sprinkle it on the two loaves.
5. Bake at 350 F for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the loaves comes out clean. The top is crackly because of the sugar spice topping, so make sure to insert the toothpick all the way so you are sure it is baked through.
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