Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread

Hello, I’m Chris, and I’m a compulsive baker. I genuinely enjoy baking, but I have a love-hate relationship with carbs- so it’s quite a problem. But, some of my best memories are baking with or for people that I love. Getting a divorce, I have a bourbon chocolate cake recipe that will make you forget your devil of an ex. Birthday party for your 4-year-old, I make a vicious dinosaur cake that will be the envy of the neighborhood. Selling a house? My chocolate chip cookies will get your home sold stat. Seriously, I find baking to be both cathartic and a genuinely lovely gift for the people I love.

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Earlier this year I traveled to Utah with my friends (shout out to The Drinking Darlings). We had an Instagram friend that had set up a tour of High West Distillery for us. Colin and his brilliant wife Keeley met us at the distillery, introduced us to the owners, took the tour, and then proceeded to invite us to their home for dinner and cocktails. At this point, I had established that they were not serial killers, and I’m always up for food (basically any serial killer could lure me with the promise of prosciutto). The evening turned into one of those soul-warming nights that you only get from a sincere and genuine connection with genuine and amazing humans. I was stunned at their kindness, and the spread of food they provided was fit for royalty, but what stuck out was that Colin had made homemade bread. Mouthwatering, crunchy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside bread. It was such a beautiful gesture and a great addition to the meal. I think it was significant to me because I know how bread can be. The dough can be fickle and time-consuming. Baking bread from scratch is a sheer act of dedication and art. Yes, making bread is an art (fight me). And this stranger, that had extended an immense amount of kindness to me already baked a loaf of bread- for me (actually it was for everyone, but I wanted to devour all of it myself). Colin and Keely have a home that is built for entertaining, but they have the hearts for connection. I am eternally grateful to know them and excited to revisit them.

I’ve thought about that bread for the better part of this year. The kindness, the meticulousness, and just the act itself left an imprint on me. So, when I saw that Jennifer Garner baked the Bread Bible’s – Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Bread, I knew in my heart I had to make. This bread is just about everything I love in the world- carbs, chocolate, chocolate chips! I mean, does it get any better than that? No, it doesn’t. The answer is no. Anyway, the recipe is below, I, of course, added 2 tbsp of bourbon- but I would add more next time. The bread isn’t too sweet, but it is hearty and warm. You can see Jennifer Garners #pretendcookingshow about this bread here, and you can follow Colin and his bourbon adventures here. Here is the recipe directly from Jennifer’s Instagram!

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Recipe

The Bread Bible Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredient:

3 Tbs plus ½ Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbs boiling water

½ Tbs pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 ½ cup sifted cake flour

¾ cup plus 2 Tbs sugar

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

13 Tbs unsalted butter softened

3 Tbs chocolate mini chips (or in my case the entire bag of mini chips)

Directions

• Preheat oven to 350F

• Whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temp, then gently whisk in vanilla and eggs.

• In a mixer bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add half the chocolate paste and the butter and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add remaining chocolate paste in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the bowl. Fold in mini chocolate chips.

• Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.

• Bake for 50-60minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200F (The bread shouldn’t start to shrink from the sides of the pan until after removal from the oven.)

• Set the bread on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread and invert onto an oiled wire rack. Reinvert so it is top side up and cools completely.

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Christy Cates