David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Spice Bread

PUBLISHED ON: 03.28.2010

Looks like a cake, tastes like a bread, well sort of, not really. If you like a not too sweet, looks dry but is not, well maybe, moist cake, then you are going to enjoy a flavor journey this cake bread has to offer you.

 I came across this recipe on Samantha’s Hungry Dog food blog www.thehungrydog.blogspot.com I was more intrigued by her post than the recipe. However, it was her post that motivated me to prepare this very unusual cake bread. Now, I completely understand her ambivalence with this recipe.  You can never quite put your finger on how to describe it.  Although, I do think Samantha in true form gets as close as possible by describing it as “more dense than cakey, calling to mind a brownie that got kidnapped and sold into the spice trade.”

The most intriguing part about this recipe is that you will like it but, you won’t know why. Fascinating.

The ingredients create a unique flavor combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and whole anise seeds in a cocoa rich batter. It creates a very dark, dense bread cake.  This dessert cake bread would pair up nicely with a good quality ice cream or fresh whip cream.

The recipe is easy to prepare but, it can make for a messy kitchen. Still, it’s worth the minimal effort with a few extra dishes to wash.

David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Spice Bread
Makes one 9-inch round cake

Ingredients:
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder (preferable aluminum-free)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon whole anise seed
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup sugar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, and butter that as well.  Dust the insides of the pan with a bit of flour or cocoa powder and tap out any excess.

In a double boiler or a large, heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter together, stirring until smooth.  Let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a large bowl.

In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.  Add the anise seed.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer or with a handheld mixer, whip the eggs, yolks, honey, and sugar until thick and mousselike, about 5 minutes, on high speed.

Fold half of the whipped eggs into the chocolate and butter.  Then fold in the remaining egg mixture.

Add the dry ingredients one-third at a time, using a spoon to sprinkle them over the batter and folding until the dry ingredients are just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels barely set in the center, but still moist.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Tap the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a rack.  Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to let the flavors meld.  Well wrapped, this cake will keep for about one week at room temperature, or one month in the freezer.

Enjoy!

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