Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sweet Indulgences - Chocolate Cherry Almond Cake Bread {Low-Fat}

Since I'm a huge fan of chocolate and cherries, I wanted to create create a cake bread that combined the two.  And, something about using almond extract always reminds me of baking Christmas cookies.  I played around in my pantry and created this Chocolate Cherry Almond Cake Bread recipe ... and wow, I LOVE how it came out!

It's almost a cross between a brownie and decadent chocolate cake.  I used cake flour to make it spongier and chose low-fat ricotta to tap into my Italian roots. Great gift for the holiday and you can be sure I'll be giving it to family and friends!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cake Bread {Low-Fat}
recipe by:  Laura Jolna
Prep Time:  15 min
Cook Time:  35 min
Makes:  Approx 2 loaves

  • 2 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried bing cherries
For icing:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk or sift together cake flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda & baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  • Using a Kitchenaid mixer or hand mixer, combine brown sugar, ricotta, eggs, canola oil, buttermilk, and almond extract;  mix well.  
  • Add flour mixture to wet mixture a little at a time and mix until well blended.  Do not overly beat mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  • Pour batter into two 8" bread loaf pans coated with canola oil spray.
  • Bake for 35 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes;  remove from bread pans and cool completely.  
  • To create icing, mix ingredients together in a pyrex bowl with a whisk.
  • Drizzle icing on top when cake is cool.
  • I use the disposable 8" eco-foil or ez-foil bread pans and they make a HUGE difference in how the bread comes out.  With a larger, commercial pan, the edges of the bread tend to cook more quickly before the center is done and half the bread comes out tougher.  The key to evenly moist bread is using two of the smaller disposable pans.  And, I wash and reuse them so they are super economical and environmental friendly!
Don't miss my other cake bread recipes .... they are all low-fat and yummy.  I bet you won't be able to eat just one slice!  

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download the recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.
Have a sweet day - Happy Baking!

Image via:  Bella Bella Vita (not the best shot I've ever taken ... terrible lighting, but I couldn't miss posting this during the holidays!  New Year's Resolution #1 - take photography class)!

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