With several types of chocolate, the loaf is rich without being overwhelming. The dairy (buttermilk, yogurt and melted butter) keeps it moist. And it has just enough almond flavoring and crunch to add contrast to the rich chocolate “base.”
This almond chocolate loaf recipe is an adaptation of a chocolate buttermilk bread recipe from a marvelous blogger, Roxana of a trEATs affair. In turn, Roxana adapted hers from The Kitchn’s buttermilk quick bread recipe.
The quick bread technique is a common thread in all three recipes. (That technique calls for mixing all the dry ingredients, including leavening, together, then adding the wet ones just until combined.) Roxana added yogurt to the buttermilk and melted butter. That added dairy gives the final product a texture that is more cakey than bread-like. I decided to avoid the bread/cake distinction and simply call it a loaf.
This moist chocolate almond loaf recipe calls for two ingredients that you may not have on hand – buttermilk and Greek yogurt. Don’t despair if you don’t have one or both. There are easy substitutes for them.
Easy Substitutions for Buttermilk and Greek Yogurt
- For buttermilk (from The Kitchn)
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar or 1 and 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar to a cup of whole or 2% milk, stir, and let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes, or
- Thin out 3/4 cup of yogurt or sour cream with 1/4 cup of water, stir, and let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes.
- For Greek yogurt
Moist Almond Chocolate Loaf
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose
- 3/4 cup baking/unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup demerara (turbinado) sugar Also known as "sugar in the raw"
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt Alternatively, strain 3/4 cup "regular" yogurt to drain out approximately 1/4 cup of liquid
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup bittersweet &/or semi-sweet chocolate I mixed semi-sweet chips & bittersweet cut into small chunks
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds Equal to approximately 1 ounce
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, i.e. flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients. First, lightly beat the egg. Then add the buttermilk, yogurt, melted butter and almond extract, mixing until well combined. When you're done, you have two bowls, one with dry ingredients and the other with the wet ones. (The only ingredients left aside are the chocolate chips/chunks and the slivered almonds.)
Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, with a circular motion from underneath up to the top. Do not overmix; you just want to moisten the dry ingredients. The batter is quite dense.
Add the chocolate chips and chunks in two batches, folding in the first, then adding the second. They should be dispersed but do not mix vigorously.
Spoon the batter into the greased pan. Gently even out the top.
Spread the slivered almonds over the top and gently press them in, just enough so that they don't slide off.
Bake the loaf for 45 - 55 minutes, until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Cool the loaf in the pan. When the pan is cool enough to handle, gently slip a knife around the edges and tip it over onto a wire rack. Put the loaf right side up and let it cool completely before slicing.