Friday, April 6, 2012

Midnight Cella Loaf

This particular sweet bread or loaf is named after the confectionery manufacturer that created chocolate covered cherries.  The name of the company is Cella's Confectionery Inc.  The candy manufacturer started out in 1864 and then was eventually sold to the Tootsie Roll company.  I find it strange that I was unable to find a picture of their facility on the internet, located at 327 West Broadway in Manhattan. However I did find some pretty cool vintage pictures of the area.

Their candies are different than most chocolate covered cherries.  They are 100% liquid filled while the other brands have a cherry and some fondant inside.  

The loaf is very rich and moist.  In fact, it has to be chilled before slicing to firm up so it will not be sticky and fall apart in clumps.  Other than a decadent chocolate batter, there are hidden bursts of other flavors as well as variable textures inside. Each piece is studded with chunks of almonds, chocolate chips and dried cherries.  Not just any dried cherries, but ones that have been soaked in creme de noyaux. If you do not have that liqueur, you can always use amaretto instead.

Also, for all those that celebrate, I wish you a wonderful Easter weekend!

Midnight Cella Loaf
by flourtrader

1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dutch cocoa
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup or one stick of butter
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked for 6 hours or overnight in 3/4 cup almond liqueur and then drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan by generously greasing the inside and lining the bottom with parchment.  Then grease the face up side of the parchment.

In a medium size bowl. sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.
Then cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This should take about 2 minutes.

Beat the cocoa into the butter batter until completely blended.  Beat in one egg for 30 seconds and then add the second egg, beating again.  Add 1/3 of the sifted ingredients and blend with a wooden spoon.  Pour in 1/2 of the buttermilk and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding and blending the sifted ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the sifted ingredients.

Then fold in the nuts, cherries and chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.
Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean.  Loaf should be done in 55-60 minutes.

Remove and let cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Then invert onto plate and remove parchment paper.  Invert again so loaf is sitting as it did in the pan.   Cover cake with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.  Then it is ready to slice and serve.  Store loaf covered in fridge.
                          **LAST YEAR:: Banana Foster Cupcakes**