Friday, July 24, 2015

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bread


Sometimes, usually when ordering soft-serve ice cream, I can't decide if I want chocolate or vanilla. I mean, chocolate is always a yes, but occasionally I like the idea of vanilla. But to go all vanilla means I get no chocolate, which seems kind of wrong in a lot of ways. Which is why I thank my lucky stars for the genius that invented the swirl. The clean, fresh sweetness of vanilla without sacrificing the rich goodness of chocolate all in one delicious treat. Which is exactly the best description for this quick bread. A perfectly tender crumb with all the loveliness of both chocolate and vanilla, not to mention a pretty little swirl when you cut off each slice. It might seem like twice the work since you need to make two batters, but you get two loaves out of the deal, so there's a nice return on investment (yes, I supposed you could split the recipe in half, but then you won't have a loaf to share with someone).

I'm back at it with my favorite little Food Network Magazine booklet, 50 Quick Breads. So far I've made nine of the recipes, (eleven if you count the chocolate and vanilla recipes separately, but I've never actually baked them individually). Plus there are at least three more on my soon to bake list, and a handful that I'm waiting for fall (pumpkin, baked apple and sweet potato-pecan, anyone?). These breads really are quick to mix up. I made these two loaves after Logan when to bed the other night. Dishes were done, they were out of the oven and cooled well before I crawled into bed myself. Plus it gave me something to look forward to in the morning, since waking up can sometimes be tough depending on how well Logan sleeps. No modifications to the recipe--it's perfect as is! Slice one loaf up for your house and then freeze the other, or gift it to a friend or neighbor "just because" and make their day.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bread


Ingredients for chocolate batter

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for vanilla batter

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Begin making chocolate batter by whisking together sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until combined and mixture is pale yellow.


In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt and baking soda.


Stir flour mixture into sour cream mixture until just combined. Set aside while preparing vanilla batter.


For vanilla batter, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.


Beat in eggs, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually stir in milk.


Stir in flour mixture until incorporated.


Lightly grease two 8 x 4 inch bread pans. Transfer half of each batter to each pan, one on top of the other. Note: I put half the chocolate on the bottom of one pan and half the vanilla on the bottom of the other, then alternated what was on top. I had a little too much chocolate batter on the one loaf, so I topped the other with a little extra.


Using a knife or spatula, swirl batters together by inserting knife into batter and "cutting" the length of the bread pan, taking care not to use a mixing motion.


Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 to 65 minutes or until tops are set and gently golden, and a tester inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean.


Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire rack for an hour. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing. Wrap in foil and store in an airtight bag.


Makes 2 loaves.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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