Hi everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Sorry I was away while my virtual kitchen was under renovations and I am now back to share this amazing-looking Cranberry Chocolate Loaf that will have you doing the twist in your kitchen…lol ! So get comfortable and feel free to take a tour and scroll around.
There is something so magical by taking a few simple ingredients, which you probably already have on hand and transforming them into an incredibly delicious sweet bread. In texture it is much like an Italian Panettone but less drier on the inside, more brioche-like. The filling is a chocolate, cranberry and pecan mixture that once rolled into the dough creates a pretty swirl into each slice. Alternately you can also spread it with your favorite jam! I’m thinking raspberry jam and then sprinkled with some mini, dark chocolate chips would work really well. Ohhh! Will have to try that next!
Drizzled with icing, this sweet bread makes a spectacular centerpiece for the holidays or just enjoy it on a crispy-cold day, curled up in front of the fireplace with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
If you try it, do let me know how it turns out. I would love to hear from you 🙂
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it stand for 10 minutes or until it is frothy.
In the meantime, heat the milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Whisk 2 of the eggs in a small bowl, add it to the yeast mixture and whisk some more. Add in the milk mixture and whisk again. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Place the dough on a lightly floured workplace and knead for 10 minutes, adding in enough of the remaining flour as necessary til the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm draft-free place until it has doubled in size, for about one hour.
Grease a 10 inch spring-form pan and set it aside.
For the filling, mix the sugar with the corn syrup in a bowl and stir in the cranberries, chocolate chips and pecans.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a slightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into an 18 x 11 inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, pressing it slightly into the surface. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the filling. Starting at the long edge, tightly roll up the dough and place it seam side down. Cut the dough in half lengthwise. Keep it cut side up and start twisting the halves together like a rope.
Place the twisted dough in the prepared pan, shaping it into a ring. Pinch the ends together to seal. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and let it rise again until doubled in bulk for about 1 hour.
Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the dough. Bake in the center of a preheated oven (350*F), for about 35 minutes or until golden.
Loosen the bread from the pan by running a knife around it. Remove from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
For the icing, mix together the icing sugar, milk and butter and drizzle over the bread.
The bread is at it’s best served the same day while it is still warm, but can also be wrapped and stored for one day. Any leftovers the next day, can be portioned out wrapped in paper towels and warmed in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds, it will come out tasting like it had just been baked 🙂
Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices.
This recipe was adapted from Canadian Living Magazine.