Bakery worthy recipe right here you guys! And pretty darn healthy too. It's my Chocolate Coffee Dessert Bread and it's my new obsession. I shall eat you (the bread) all up and when you are all gone, I will make another. I'm now the God of all vegan chocolate dessert breads. Whoa, ego check. That's rude. Here's how I became said God. We have so many leftovers you guys. So many. Todd and I aren't what I'd call massive eaters. Don't get me wrong, I freaking love food. Like, going to the grocery store is literally one of my favorite things to do. I. Love. Grocery. Shopping. There's no way you looove grocery shopping if you don't have delicious thoughts of food that continually preoccupy and intrude your mind on an hourly basis. I guess it makes up for my extreme aversion to every other possible type of shopping out there. Whether it's for clothes, home, beauty, or what have you. But especially the clothes. What I'm trying to say is that we just don't eat food in gargantuan amounts. What does this have to do with this dessert bread? I'm getting there.
Okay, loads of leftovers. In our house, that means it's obviously time for me to make something sweet! I wanted to make a bread (being easy was a requirement), but it had to be kind of dessert-like (obvs), it had to have chocolate (duh), annnd it had to be somewhat healthy (I know, I know). Finally, I settled on a chocolate coffee dessert bread. This bread was a total experiment and I knew that if it completely flopped, I'd have no post for today. I made peace with that and went on my merry way.
Why was this bread such an underdog (or All-Star depending on your viewpoint)? You'll find out. Firstly, no chicken eggs. Flax seed eggs are used instead. Vegan baking can be tricky, especially if you've learned to bake using non-vegan ingredients. I also used two parts all-purpose flour and one part whole wheat pastry flour, to add a bit of nutrition. Next time I make this, and there will be a next time very soon, I'll try it with only whole wheat pastry flour. No canola oil. People get all sketched out by using olive oil in baked goodies. I pretty much always use olive oil (or coconut oil) because canola oil is just straight-up dodgy, you know? I've never really had an issue baking with it, unless the dessert is very delicate with regards to flavor. Other tastes overpower any potentially offending note from the olive oil, in my experience.
But that's not all I did. Nope. The big undertaking was using almost entirely dates to sweeten this dessert bread! I'd read up about how 1 cup of dates can be blended with 1/2-1 cup water to make a date paste that can replace 1 cup of sugar. However, I'd never really tried it and honestly I had to really Google the shit out of it to find the ratio. Surprise, it's pretty much one to one. I use dates in my smoothies and the like, but I'd never flat out used it as a substitute for sugar when baking.
I wish I had discovered this earlier! Check out the graphic below on dates kicking sugar out of the park with a big, nutritious punch to the face! Dates have almost half the calories, cup for cup compared to sugar, 12 grams of fiber and a whole lotta potassium. So next time, try using dates instead of sugar in your baking!
Have you tried the Google food comparison thing? Just type in any two foods with "vs" in between them into the Google search bar. I discovered this on accident one day by typing in "yam vs sweet potato"...and now I'm addicted to. You should definitely go try it. Moving on, since there's already 1 cup non-dairy milk in this recipe, I decided I would blend the dates with that. I wasn't sure if the bread would be sweet enough, so I added 2 Tbsp. of vegan sugar just to be safe. My sweet tooth told me to do it. I was also a little scared that the bread wouldn't rise for one reason or another. Let's just say this bread was loads scary and there were many leaps of faith taken by yours truly.
But oh boy did my boldness pay off. This bread has the absolute perfect texture. It's dense but not brick-like. Fudgy but not goopy. Moist but not wet, and crumbly but not in excess. There's a rich, chocolate flavor that's balanced by the coffee and since this bread isn't exceptionally sweet, those deep flavors are really empowered.
Wholesome Chocolate Coffee Dessert Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Notes: This bread can be as sweet as you'd like, or not! Feel free to add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to sweeten the deal, or additional sugar.
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 cup sweetened (or not) coconut or soy milk
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, packed (about 17)
- 2-4 Tbsp. vegan sugar (optional)
- 1-2 packets of instant coffee granules (2-4 grams)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- small bit of powdered sugar
In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed and the water. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
In a pyrex measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, and vinegar. Allow to rest until ready to use, at least 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F and coat a loaf pan with a nonstick cooking spray.
Add the blender ingredients to a blender. Now add the flax mixture and the milk mixture. Blend on high, until the dates are pulverized into a smooth paste.
Then, transfer to a cutting board and dust with powdered sugar. I don't have a fancy sifter, so I just use my mesh strainer.
Bob wasn't pleased that he didn't get any of the bread. No chocolate for dogs, Bobbeldore!
Listening to: Keren Ann – End Of May
German Word of The Day: Coffee --> Kaffee (pronounced: kaffee or kaff-E) So, not that exciting...but now you know!
Good Deed of The Day: Take action and sign this petition to tell the Department of Justice to hold BP accountable for dolphin deaths due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf. The author is the Environmental Defense Fund.