Spiced Chocolate and Orange Bread

Spiced Choc Orange Bread (01) by MeetaK

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.  

Spiced Choc Orange Bread (03) by MeetaK

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
5 eggs
100ml milk
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. 


Spiced Choc Orange Bread (02) by Meetak

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:

MangoGingerBread 01 framed Ginger Mango Bread
Peach Goats Cheese Tart 01 framed Peach and Cardamom Goat Cheese Tart
Mufins Exotica04 All-Spice Muffin Exotica

From around the blogs:

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. This is a lovely idea Meeta...the orange, chocolate and spices are a perfect medley. Glad that you are enjoying feeling like a kid again!...LOL

  2. That chocolate bread sounds wonderful! I especially like the pistachios on top of the bread - beautiful, and surely delicious!

  3. What beautiful bread!
    And what a glorious romp in the leaves. I just came in from getting the mail and our temp has dropped 15 degrees since I got back from my hair cut.

    I have curds and whey!

  4. Meeta, you just make it sound all the more appealing to all my senses except I wish I could touch and taste your bread.
    It just feels so good to be like kids again, no? Doing stuff that we would think twice as adults.
    Enjoy the beautiful weather out there, here we are already feeling the brunt of the winter to come.

  5. We are having one of those fall days today - the kind that makes you want to go jump in a pile of leaves! And this bread looks so perfect and delicious!

  6. Very jealous...it's cold and rainy here in Boston! I miss summer :( But this bread might make me feel a little better...


  7. Perfectly delicious with all the chocolate,spices and orange.I am imagine the aroma that would have wafted while baking an drooooooling.
    If I have a piece then I too will be a kid again.Its nice to be a kid especially with your kid.Also happy to know that its nice weather there,here we r 'fall'ing quickly into winter

  8. Beautiful flavors. Love the pistachios!!

    I love rolling on the colored leaves during fall with my kids. (no fall here in Texas:-( ).

  9. this bread looks awesome - it's got that perfect moist texture from the pictures and wonderful combination of ingredients :) x

  10. Hi !

    I have been reading your blog for quite some time time ! I am absolutely hooked ! Your photos are so enchanting. thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes !


  11. Although we're supposed to have spring, it feels rather autumnal and chilly at the moment - so I should jump to the occasion and make this unusual cake!

  12. Beautiful -- this has all the colors of the autumn leaves in one loaf! In fact, it's a perfect match for the trees I see out my kitchen window at this time of year, so of course I'll have to bookmark and make this. And then I need to have a tea party, so I can share it!

  13. It's just funny to read your excitement walking barefooted on leaves, while it is not so uncommon thing to do to me. I grew up in the forest in Sumatra, and I've had these barefooted feeling since I was a kid: mud, leaves, twigs, pebbles, sand, you name it hehehe... Lovely looking loaf there too, Meeta. Would love to come over and have an afternoon tea while barefooted...

  14. This bread is so..... elegant! I love to have one pop up in my kitchen!

  15. Hi Meeta,
    Please collect the award at my blog. U deserve it!



  16. Fall is the best. Your bread looks outstanding. I love how it is studded with so many tasty things.

  17. Your bred/cake even looks like fall with the flecks of orange and dark brown. I love jumping inot a pile of leaves, as long as they are not too old and brittle. Fun to be a kid at times.

  18. What a luscious bread! It looks wonderful! Very fragrant and mouthwateringly good!



  19. What a gorgeous looking bread.
    And yes, at times, it is nice to let loose the child in us :-)

  20. It’s good to know that I’m not alone when it comes to writing articles about quality, good food. And I love sharing good recipes too
    I’ll better check the archived posts from your site. Ciao! Just dropped by to say hi!

  21. Wow that bread looks so yumm.
    Wish we had nice weather here,

  22. hiya!! lovely bread! looks so soft n perfect! yummy!!

  23. Wow! What a loaf ? Its too gorgeous to be eaten Meeta! But u disspointed me by not posting pics of the stream and the leaf bed. Please do.

  24. Meeta such a nice and lovely looking cake and perfect blend of combis..love to have it

  25. Sounds like a fun day outside...and that bread also sounds fantastic. The photos of the sliced loaf got my mouth watering, and I tend to be picky about the orange/chocolate combo

  26. Oooh, yum, that looks wonderful Meeta. And absolutely perfect for right after running around barefoot through a pile of leaves - with a nice cup of hot strong cocoa perhaps?

  27. Hi Meeta,

    Definitely this bread is perfect not only for breakfast or afternoon..for the entire day; I'd love to have a slice right now :-)

    It has a great blend of delicacies pistachios, chocolate and the spices jazz up even more the same!!

  28. Your description of walking in the leaves makes me nostalgic for crisp fall days. Around here fall is a soggy event and you don't dare jump into a pile of leaves as it's bound to be full of slugs.

  29. Enjoy the glorious weather for me, please!!! It's FRRRREEZING here!!

    Lovely bread!! :0)

  30. I love each and every ingredient here, Meeta - and they are wonderful together... I can only dream of this bread!

  31. Lovely post; the pictures look very autumnal and I loved the writing :)

    This bread is much like the spicy Christmas breads I like to eat, the difference being mainly the chocolate and pistachios.

  32. Chocolate and orange, what a lovely combo!

  33. Beautiful photos, poetic prose and inspiring recipe. Thanks!

  34. Mee, your narration was beautiful! I've just unofficially named you the queen of pistachios :) I love every single recipe you use them in!!

  35. A perfect bread for every hour...

    I love the orange chocolate pairing and by your beautiful pictures it sure looks divine!

  36. That bread looks good! I really like the orange, chocolate and pistachio combo!

  37. Thank you all! Wonderful responses - something told me you would like this bread. That walk in the forest really made me think why I had not done that before! It was refreshing and inspiring.
    I hope to be sharing pictures from that walk with you soon!

  38. Fall in the north definitely sounds more beautiful than here! We don't get as much golden tones during the Australian fall season. Just brown, and so lacking in romance. I should really try walking barefoot on the golden carpet of falling leaves some time. Sounds like so much fun!

    That bread looks so moist and delectable! You're making me hungry!

  39. What's not to love about this fantatic cake...I love everything about it & it's eye candy too. Wonderful in every way Meeta!

  40. This cake is absolutely delicious! I have it sitting on the kitchen bench with one slice missing. Soon there will be more missing. Everybody in the household agrees - it's delicious!

    I used hazelnuts instead of pistachios because that's what I had at home. Thanks for this lovely recipe! :)

  41. Wonderful ingredients and lovely looking loaf.Simply awesome.

  42. Such wonderful flavors bundled up in this delightful bread. It sounds delicious.

  43. that looks soo lovely .. loved those pistachios on top

  44. Wat a combo...no doubt its a real feast for chocolate lovers like me..Tempting clicks Meeta..wat a way of presenting the dish..j'adore..

  45. Oh yes! Perfect for picnics, and the necessary coffee breaks throughout the day! :)

  46. I knew I was missing something for breakfast!! Wonderful!

  47. I love the image of your family walking barefoot through a forest of leaves. That bread looks so pretty with pistachios and chocolate!

  48. thank you ladies for feedback. i think this can be enjoyed anytime of the day. just dig in!

  49. Looks just gorgeous topped with the nuts..

  50. Now this something I think would be perfect for the rainy weather and the pots of tea I've been enjoying.

  51. I am smitten with the flavors in this cake, Meeta.


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

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