Loretta Paganini: Chocolate Bread 12/11/12

10:25 AM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
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2 cups honey

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup golden raisins

½ cup mission figs, chopped

½ cup chopped dates, pitted

1 cup Marsala wine

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs

1/2 cup apricot jelly

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup candied orange peel

1 cup toasted almonds

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

8 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped

Decorations:  Candied cherries, candied orange peel, toasted almonds

Steps and Procedures:

1.       In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, heat the honey, sugar and water. Cook over low heat until sugar melts. Remove from heat and reserve.


2.       Soak the raisins , figs and dates in the Marsala wine. Sift the flour with the baking powder, cocoa and salt into a large bowl. Slowly pour in the honey mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon.



3.       Stir in the cookie crumbs, jelly, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla extract. Add the raisins, figs, dates, orange peel, almonds, pine nuts, chocolate and Marsala, as needed, to the mixture and combine.


4.       Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and reserve. Preheat oven to 350°F.


5.       Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Decorate with candied cherries, orange peel and almonds.


6.       Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake tests done.


7.       Remove cake from the oven and cool before serving.




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