Looking out of the window, I feel elated. We are currently enjoying a gorgeous Indian Summer. The skies are bright blue, without a cloud in sight, a perfect backdrop for the rust, yellow and orange bursts of colors that surround us at this time of year. The sun wraps us in her warm rays and air is crisp.
To enjoy the glory of this Indian Summer we went for a lovely long trek in the Thüringian forest one weekend. The narrow paths that snaked along a mini stream were carpeted in gold and orange. Each time the gentle breeze would rustle the leaves, causing them to snow down around us.
I could not help it – I had to take of my shoes and walk barefooted on this carpet of gold. Soeren, who is all for twirling toes in sand, leaves and dirt, took my cue and untied his shoes. Holding hands we frolicked down the path, splashing every now and then in the stream. Tom laughed at us as we giggled and threw leaves in the air. Soon he too draped his shoes across his shoulders and joined us.
I have never done that before! Walking barefooted in a pile of leaves. For a girl who grew up literally on the beach this was an enchanting experience.
I've often seen Soeren and his friends make a cushiony bed out of leaves outside in the yard. Then they would squeal with glee and dive into the softness. Watching from the window I laugh at their carefree nature.
This time I was the one who jumped gleefully into the leaves. Leaving Soeren watching and laughing at me.
This sweet bread fits perfectly into the effigy of Autumn and rounds off the warm Autumn day in the forest. Pistachios, candied orange and bitter-sweet chocolate are embedded into the cake, kumquat marmalade hugs the top and spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon kiss the bread to make this an equally blissful experience.
Spiced Chocolate & Orange Bread
Printable version of recipe here.
400g all-purpose flour
200g + more butter, softened
250g Muscovado sugar
200g bitter-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
120g pistachios, dry roasted in a pan
50g candied orange, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons kumquat marmalade, substitute with orange marmalade
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Butter a loaf pan (30 cm long).
In a bowl whisk 200g butter, sugar, salt and spices until creamy and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time then the milk.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Using a rubber spatula incorporate into the batter.
Fold in the candied orange, chocolate and pistachios (reserving 2 tablespoons for the decoration). Fill the batter into the loaf pan. Bake in an oven, second rack from bottom for 65-70 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Take the cake out, allow to cool then remove from pan. In a saucepan warm the kumquat marmalade until slightly runny. Brush the marmalade on top of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Allow to set.
Serve with coffee. You can enjoy the bread spread with butter and/or some marmalade.
This bread is perfect for breakfast or in the afternoon as a decadent accompaniment to your cup of coffee. The spices in this cake are preparing me for my Christmas baking but with the sweet candied orange and tart kumquat marmalade it still very much provides an autumnal flair. Soeren took slices of this in his lunchbox everyday for three days in a row. Although it does get a bit dry, the aromas and flavors however intensified as it aged.
Anita of Dessert First is hosting this month's Sugar High Friday. An event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. Anita chose a very fitting theme for SHF - Spices. I hope she will accept a slice of this from me.
You might like these spiced creations from WFLH:
|Ginger Mango Bread|
|Peach and Cardamom Goat Cheese Tart|
|All-Spice Muffin Exotica|
From around the blogs:
- Taste and Tell - Lemon Nutmeg Scones
- Akshayapaatram - Tempeh - barbecue style
- Technicolor Kitchen - Chocolate Cinnamon Fingers
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
- Flexitarianism and New Age Diets by Deeba
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First