I have a few confessions to make.
- I recently stopped washing my hair with shampoo, and now I just use conditioner. My hair looks a frillion times better as a result.
- I am pretty neat in all areas of my life except my workspace. My workspace is a hopelessly cluttered mess, full of objects that do not have any meaningful relevance to each other save for the fact that I had, at one time, placed them there. For example, my workspace (which is to say, my bedroom) currently has, on the bed: A bunch of empty boxes I want to recycle for gifts, some full boxes of things I’ve received in the mail from Birchbox (Have you gotten one of these subscriptions? Delightful!), piles of unopened letters, Michael Rulhman’s Ratio, my Nikon D80 with USB cord still attached, a book on learning Korean, a menu for an Ethiopian restaurant, a half-finished baby blanket, some expired Loft coupons, the Verizon information packet to my iPhone, Amnesty International address labels, a cutting board, cupcake wrappers, black onyx cocoa powder, some Valrhona chocolates, and so many other things.
- Sometimes all I will eat for dinner is a spinach and mushroom omelet. EVERY DAY. FOR A WEEK. SOMETIMES TWO. This often happens because I am so doggone exhausted from work and don’t want to spend a lot of energy in putting something fancier together. Also, I really love eggs. A lot. They are nutritious and filling. I can’t seem to get sick of them. Omelets are the perfect food for us low-carb eaters. Sometimes I have an omelet for breakfast AND dinner. So there.
These confessions aren’t very scandalous (but possibly worry-inducing for my cholesterol). I’m sorry. I am not a very scandalous person. But given my preference for quick and easy, then this recipe will surely do the trick. Quick and easy – put together and baked in just one night. The result? Delicious, sweet, crunchy, chocolate-y, nutty, cocoa nibby bread. Have this as a sweet breakfast. Have with coffee. Have it on its own. Smother with butter or honey or honey butter or creme fraiche. Or whipped creme fraiche with a bit of sugar, because that is also delicious. And we only want deliciousness here.
Chocolate Cocoa Nib Pecan Bread
1/2 c melted browned butter (about 1 1/2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c creme fraiche
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 c all-purpose flour
2.5 oz toasted pecan halves, coarsely chopped (approximately 3/4 cup)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cocoa), coarsely chopped
1/4 c cocoa nibs, plus extra for garnish
turbinado (raw) sugar
Melt butter over medium heat until it begins to crackle and deepen in color, frequently swirling the pan to create an even browning. Once the butter is a uniformly amber brown, immediately remove the butter from the heat and pour into a heat-resistant bowl to stop the cooking process. You really, really, really do not want to burn your butter.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together creme fraiche, sugars, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time. Finally, mix in your browned butter. Fold all wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined, making sure to scrap the sides and bottoms of the bowl to incorporate excess flour. Don’t overmix.
Gently fold in chocolate, pecans, and 1/4 cup of cocoa nibs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the sides. Spread batter evenly in the pan. Garnish with a handful cocoa nibs and turbinado sugar. Bake from 45 minutes to an hour, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean when you stick it in the loaf.
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