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Recipe: Chocolate Spice Bread

This quick bread is packed with chocolate flavor. Avoid overbaking, which could dry it out.

To serve, cut the bread into thin slices and accompany with preserves or marmalade.

Raspberry preserves and ginger marmalade are especially good with it.

Keep the bread under a cake dome or loosely wrapped in plastic wrap if you are serving it the day it is made. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to keep at room temperature for up to 4 days; wrap well and freeze for longer storage.

Adapted from “The Modern Baker,” by Nick Malgieri (DK Publishing, 2008).

Chocolate Spice Bread

Makes one 8-1/2-inch loaf (12 to 16 slices)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

1-1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)

1/3 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process or alkalized), sifted after measuring

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

2/3 cup low-fat or regular sour cream

Lightly grease an 8-1/2-by-4-1/2-by-2-3/4-inch loaf pan with a little unsalted butter, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper cut to fit; butter the paper as well.

Position a rack in the middle level of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl or on a large piece of parchment or wax paper.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl to break them up, then whisk in both sugars. Whisk for a minute, or until the mixture lightens, then whisk in the 5 tablespoons of butter and the sour cream.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture all at once; gently whisk until smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top, pushing the batter evenly into the corners. Bake on the middle oven rack for 35 to 40 minutes, until the bread has risen and a toothpick or a narrow-bladed knife inserted into the center of the bread emerges clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the bread and let it cool completely on the rack. When ready to serve, transfer to a cutting board.

NUTRITION Per 2-slice serving (using low-fat sour cream): 266 calories, 5 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

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