Chocolate Sourdough Bread

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

I have to thank my friend Kate in Chicago for kindly sending me a lovely care package of sourdough starter and for sharing this recipe. Thanks, Kate!

I had always wanted to use a sourdough starter for homemade bread, but never had before this. It can be a touch daunting for all the details on keeping the starter ‘fed’ before the day you intend to use it, but luckily Kate also sent me a great set of instructions to follow. You can find some helpful instructions on the King Arthur Flour website.

This loaf of sourdough filled with chunks of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate turned out to be delicious. I ate a slice for breakfast toasted with a touch of Bumble and Brown each morning the week I made the bread, though it’s also good without any extra fuss as well.

Check out the Chocolate Sourdough Bread recipe (and others) on Kate’s section of the Instructables website. You can use your own homemade sourdough starter, purchase some at the store, or, if your lucky like me get some from a friend.

Have you worked with sourdough starter before? What was your favorite recipe?

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

I had been collecting a number of chocolate and peanut butter dessert recipes on Foodgawker over the last few months in anticipation of my husband’s birthday this year. Last weekend I asked him to pick one for me to make for an early birthday treat. He chose this Peanut Butter Cup Cake.
This was a very simple recipe that starts with a boxed devils food cake mix, eggs, buttermilk with chopped miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups mixed into the batter. The “frosting” is a chocolate and peanut butter ganache that is poured over the cake and sets for a minute before adding more chopped peanut butter cups for decoration. I didn’t go overboard with the decorative candy pieces. The cake had plenty mixed into the cake itself and I felt that really piling up the candy on the sides of the cake would overdo it here.
I usually prefer to bake a cake from scratch, but the buttermilk that was added gave the cake less of an “out-of-the box” taste. As if you couldn’t guess from the name, this cake was very rich and begs for a glass of milk to go with each slice. I’m not much of a chocolate cake fan myself, but I have to admit, this one was pretty darn good, even for non-chocoholics. Those that do love chocolate cake gave it rave reviews when I brought it to a barbecue this weekend. I think it also develops better flavor when it’s in the fridge for a couple of days. I seemed to like each slice better as another day passed.
I don’t want to think about how much each slice weighed in at calorie-wise, but for a once-in-a-while treat it’s worth the nutritional price!

Check out the recipe here: Peanut Butter Cup Cake recipe

Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars

I adapted a Cooking Light recipe for Raspberry Oat Bars to use up what I had on hand, so they turned into Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars made with cherry preserves and bittersweet chocolate chips. Using preserves instead of jam I needed to add a bit more than what was called for in the original recipe, but the chunks of cherry were a nice addition. I also loved the contrast of the bittersweet chocolate with the sweetness of the brown sugar and tartness of the cherries. I think this one is a keeper:

Cherry Chocolate Oat Bars

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 16 servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 15 oz cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside. Combine sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture, and stir until well blended (mixture will be crumbly.) Remove 3/4 cup of dough; toss with chocolate chips. Set aside. Press the remaining dough into an 8-inch square baking pan, and spread evenly with preserves. Sprinkle with chocolate chip mixture. Bake at 375° 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.