Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Clock’s ticking…

Chocolate Cherry Quick Bread

My cherries arrived about a week and a half ago and I know they can’t last forever.  They’re still holding up pretty well, but I have almost two pounds left!  This evening I made a light and tasty quick bread using some of them.

The complementary flavors that come to mind when I think of sweet cherries are almond and chocolate.  I wanted to incorporate these flavors, but I also wanted something that would be easy to make and that would freeze well.  I decided on a chocolate quick bread with ground almonds, which I had on hand, and of course cherries.

 I found a recipe for Cocoa Quick Bread in Nick Malgieri’s How to Bake and used that as a starting point.  I upped the amount of cocoa slightly, replaced the spices with almond and vanilla extracts, and added the almonds and cherries.  I used nonfat sour cream, which resulted in a light but moist bread.  Using the regular sour cream would give you a richer bread.

I enjoyed a slice of the still warm bread this evening with a little leftover cherry chocolate chip ice cream.  Once the bread has cooled completely I plan to wrap the rest of it and stash it in the freezer.  I’ve been eating too much sweet stuff this past week with all the celebrating.  It’s time to get back to more careful eating!

Chocolate Cherry Quick Bread

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa (not Dutch process)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup almond meal (ground almonds)
2 large eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cup sour cream (I used nonfat)
1 1/4 cups quartered sweet cherries

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Butter and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in almond meal.

Whisk eggs in another bowl and add sugar.  Whisk a minute or two until light.  Whisk in oil and sour cream.  Stir wet ingredient into dry ingredients – do not overmix.

Put batter in prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes and then turn loaf out onto rack and finish cooling.


santos. said...

i have a pound of cherries that are on the verge as well; i'll definitely try this.

i forgot to mention in my post about the spanish lunch that we had a similar cocoa cake topped with slivered almonds and cherries on the side. it was store bought, but lovely. i'm sure this will be just as nice!

Cathy said...

Hi Santos - In an earlier iteration of this idea, I tried putting a single cherry stuffed with a little marzipan in the middle of a small brownie cupcake. Sounded great (and tasted great), but it was impossible to get them out of the muffin tin without falling apart. I might try again some day, by just adding some chopped cherries and ground almonds to my brownie batter (and forget making little muffins). Let me know how you use up your cherries!

Anonymous said...

I have a quantity of dried cherries and dried cranberries and I want to make a simple chocolate/cherry quick bread...but all of the recipes I see call for either fresh cherries or maraschino cherries from the bottle.
I'm going to try this recipe after having soaked the dried fruit in some white grape juice.

Cathy said...

Hi Renzo - I would think you could substitute the dried cherries in just about any quick bread recipe. In fact, I'll bet if you look you'll find recipes for plain chocolate quick bread and you could just throw them in there. Hope you enjoy this one!