Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Coffee and Chocolate Loaf

I made this loaf for my husband in honour of his birthday. Made it a little earlier than the weekend so he could have it to take away on his weekend fishing trip. I am not a coffee-fan, hence why I have avoided any of these recipes for a while, thought it was high time one was made and what a perfect excuse as a coffeeholics birthday.

I did a quick read through of the recipe and noted that the coffee needed to be boiled and cooled in advance so made up a small strong cup and left that to settle on the side. I then noticed I was missing a few ingredients and so had to pop off down to tescos to stock up.

Back from my trip and set about making up the sugar and butter base for the loaf. This loaf varies from the usual ones, in that it uses soft light brown sugar instead of the normal caster variety. Once the sugar is creamed with the butter you add the eggs one at a time and then the remaining dry ingredients until everything has been incorporated and is lovely and smooth. The cooled coffee is added to the milk before going into the batter with the dry ingredients. I did use a strong instant coffee but even so the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of coffee in the whole recipe.

I decided to add milk chocolate chips to the loaf and hand mixed them in once the batter had been made and was about to be poured into the (already greased and dusted) tin. I then decorated the top of the loaf with a few extra chocolate chips and into the oven it went for about 65 minutes, about 5 mins over the stated cooking time. Only cooked it a little longer as when put a skewer in to test it came out a little dirty. It was only after I had cooked the loaf and it was cooling that I remembered I had put the chips inside and so it was probably dirty from going through a melted one of them! Durr!

The loaf had risen quite a bit over the top of the time but had stayed in shape and once it was cool enough to handle, I tipped it out, which worked perfectly, and placed it into the rack to cool. Found that the loaf tin retains the heat for some time so takes the loaf itself longer to cool if left inside it.

The making of this loaf went well. I said in the previous blog that my scales finally gave up and I had to buy some cheapy ones just whilst I waited for my new shiny ones to come through from a magazine subscription (they were a free gift worth £14.99!) As it typically happens, a few days after I bought the cheap ones, having held out for a good month or longer with the busted ones, the new scales turned up at my door. I have to say they are rather nice though, a cyan blue colour and very sturdy. So the cheap £6.99 argos ones had their life cut short, battery removed and stored away on the top, so they cannot look at me forlornly, as a back up if I ever need it.

My husband came home as the loaf was cooling and said it smelt delicious, which I had to agree with even with the obvious coffee smell. Even though I cannot stand the taste I do love the smell of coffee, weird isn't it. He was anxious to try some but I scolded him as it was still hot and said he had to wait until his fishing trip and birthday the next day, so as soon as it was ready I wrapped it in clingfilm and packed it away with the rest of his food so he wouldn't be tempted.

Husband called the next day from his pitch at the lake and said the loaf was nice. It was very moist inside but with a nice crumble and crust to it. Did say the coffee taste wasn't as strong as he expected and it was mainly the chocolate that came through. I did think only 1 tablespoon wasn't much, especially compared with the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe, so think next time I make this I will add a little more coffee to the milk to get a stronger flavour. Other than that he loved the loaf and was wholly disappointed when he discovered the next morning that some errant mice had snacked away on it too. Next time he will guard his food a bit more closely I think!

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