April 19, 2011

simple, fast, yum

I am all for the "fast to cook, good to eat" category of recipes. Sure, sometimes it is fun to make something more elaborate and complicated that makes you want to call a press conference about. But other times, you just want to be in and out of the kitchen, and have more time to do other things (like find more recipes).

I love this Chocolate Chip Pecan Loaf Cake recipe from Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite. It is simple and fast to make (ok, you need to endure the 50 minutes it takes to bake, plus cooling time, but in the meantime you can take a relaxing bath, read the dictionary or  scrub the grout) and the result is pleasingly delicious. So you may not be too impressed that the loaf did not rise extremely high in its pan, but when you slice into this divine little loaf (which Clark described as "almost like a big, soft chocolate chip cookie in sliceable form"), you will regret that you did not double the recipe and made two loaves instead. The crust is incredibly crispy and addictive-- I had a good mind to remove the crusts and serve the rest of the cake- still very delicious- to my family, telling them I burned the crust, so sorry. And then, I would have to find a safe little corner and enjoy every crispy bit of the crust. It is that good. The rest of the cake contains chocolate chips and chopped pecans- what's not to love? And then you also use yogurt, healthy and good for you. I think this recipe deserves 100 points.

Heaven looks like this
 When I was slicing this cake, preparing for our afternoon tea, L saw it and exclaimed "Birthday cake!! and ran to get a candle...

and tried out different placements for the "birthday candle"...

I only made small changes in quantities to this recipe to suit my taste (less sugar, MORE chocolate chips, MORE pecans), this truly is a perfect recipe, I encourage you to try it. I think you will be hooked. I will warn you: it is hard to stop eating after one slice. You will keep looking for crumbs and when the crumbs have been wiped clean from your plate (and your child's) and the table cloth, you will start to grab the knife and keep cutting off slivers of a slice until you have eaten yet another. Do not think to bring this to a potluck because when you arrive you will regret that decision and want to keep the cake for yourself, and then you will have to arrive at the potluck empty-handed, but with tell-tale crumbs on your face. By all means, enjoy this wonderful cake.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Loaf Cake
Recipe from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

  • 1 cup sugar (I reduced to 3/4 cup, and used Rapadura)
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup, maybe a few chips more)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (I used 3/4 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and yogurt. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until completely combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until just combined.
4. Using a spatula, fold in the melted butter a little at a time. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature, right side up.


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