Buttermilk Quick Bread with Chocolate, Cranberries, Orange & Walnuts
My sisters both went home to Rhode Island this weekend, visiting from NYC and DC, and I was stuck in Boston with work and too much homework. They posted silly pictures to my facebook to let me know they were thinking of me. One was from our favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Depot. I worked there for eight years, and my mom runs the place, so it has naturally become an extension of our kitchen/living room. My dad drops in on his way to work and again on his way home. It's the homework spot, the lazy day spot, the let's meet before we go to dinner spot, and there is a constant stream of New Harvest Coffee available.
When I am missing home, my parents, and my sisters, I am also missing The Coffee Depot. When Sunday Bake Day rolled around this week, and I found myself miles away from the family reunion, I dedicated my time to recreating a Depot favorite: Orange Cranberry Walnut Bread. Having a taste of home, and some pictures on my news feed, made me feel as if I wasn't so far away.
As an intern at Culture this fall, I have spent a good amount of time reading about buttermilk. I found out what buttermilk is, how to find or make it, and how to use buttermilk in my kitchen. So when I went to recreate the Quick Bread, naturally I decided to jazz it up with some buttermilk. I also added chocolate because, well, because it's chocolate. I made this a few times and sampled out to friends because sharing is caring, folks! Plus, I wanted to get it just right. Below is the perfected recipe.
I would also recommend icing it with an orange juice and confectionary sugar reduction, or melting some chocolate in a double boiler and drizzling it on top. EIther addition makes it just a bit more festive for a holiday dessert. I prefer it unadorned because I like to think, after having it for breakfast everyday this week, that it is an equally healthy substitute for yogurt or oatmeal.
Buttermilk Quick Bread with Cranberry, Chocolate, Orange & Walnuts
1/3 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tbs. bourbon (optional)
2/3 c. buttermilk
6 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. 2 tbs. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour (can be substituted for wheat flour)
1/2 c. cake flour (if you dont have cake flour, dont stress, you can use all purpose here too)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. fresh sliced cranberries (I found slicing them to be enjoyable but I can see someone arguing the alternative; feel free to throw them into a food processor)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2/3 c. dark chocolate chopped
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak cranberries in orange juice and a splash of bourbon for half hour. Strain cranberries, reserving liquid. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together orange juice, bourbon (from reserved liquid), orange zest, buttermilk, butter and egg. Add sugar, mix til smooth. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture with rubber spatula until completely combined. Gently stir in cranberries, chocolate, and nuts. Immediately scrape batter into prepared(oiled, parchment-ed, or use non-stick) loaf pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 18 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 38 minutes longer. Cool loaf in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. Serve for dessert, breakfast, snack time...ENJOY!