Sunday, December 22, 2019

Chocolate Chip Nut Loaf

I believe it was Latin America that first came up with the cinnamon chocolate flavor combination. Today, you can find cinnamon hot chocolate along with several recipes that make use of this wonderful flavor combination.

This particular recipe is one of those. It is a sweet loaf bread made with sour cream which guarantees that the bread is moist. Also, it has chocolate chips in the batter.  If that is not enough, there is a layer of cinnamon and walnuts which adds a tasty sweet crunch.

If you have never tried the chocolate cinnamon flavor combination, you have been missing out. If the flavor combination is new to you or an old favorite, this recipe is a good example of how delicious the combination can be.

Chocolate Chip Nut Loaf
adapted from Food Network 

Cinnamon Sugar blend
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non stick spray. Using a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with eggs and beat for 3 minutes until they are foamy. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. Then blend in melted butter and sour cream until incorporated into batter.

Using a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients into the sour cream batter. Once no dry streaks remain, blend in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter in half. Scoop one half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the batter, reserving 3 tablespoons for the top of the loaf. Then carefully sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the cinnamon layer, making sure layer is even and covers the whole surface. Then scoop out the rest of the batter and smooth it over the walnut layer. Lastly, sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar.

Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest in pan about 5 minutes then invert twice so the loaf is face up. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tips and Notes:

1. The original recipe states use 2/3 of the cinnamon sugar blend in the center and the rest on top. The sugar on top remained dry so a lot fell off when inverted. I decided it was best to use more in the center layer than on top, so the recipe was changed.
                             **LAST YEAR:Peanut Butter Cut Out Cookies**

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Praline Bundt Cake

One thing about it, pecans are a favorite in our house. I always have to have a big bag kept on hand for baking. We have a place close to us that sells in bulk that has their own website, so it makes it convenient.

Having a cake with the flavor of pralines is a southern treat. This cake has cream cheese and sour cream in it which makes it quite moist.  Crushed candied pecans also makes a great crowning touch. Since I have yet to know anyone that hates pecans, I feel that this cake is at home on any dessert table.

The cake pan was sprayed with non stick cooking spray and it fell right out with no issues. It did rise above the center hole about an inch so it has a thick bottom, it would not sit flush with the cake plate. However, it did not detract from the general appearance or taste of the cake.

If you are looking for a southern dessert, you have landed on the right post.

Praline Bundt Cake
adapted from Southern Living

1 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz dark brown sugar
8 oz sour cream
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
chopped sugared pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans in a single layer in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Spray the interior of a 10 cup bundt pan with non stick cooking spray.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl when necessary.  Once mixture is smooth, add brown sugar in increments, beating after each addition until blended. After all the brown sugar is incorporated add one egg and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat process for additional eggs.

Using another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add 1/3 of sifted ingredients to butter mixture and blend with a wooden spoon. Then add half of the sour cream, mixing until incorporated. Repeat process ending with dry ingredients. Stir in toasted pecans and vanilla extract until evenly distributed. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan and lightly tap on counter to get rid of any air pockets.

Place pan in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Place cooling rack over wax or parchment paper. Remove cake and leave in pan for 20 minutes to cool. Then invert cake onto rack to finish cooling.

After cake has cooled, prepare icing. Fill a saucepan with brown sugar, butter and milk and place over medium heat. Stir as the butter melts down. Let the mixture come to a boil and then set your timer for one minute. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved then stir in vanilla extract. Then spoon over cake and let drip down sides. Sprinkle surface with candied pecans.