Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Pumpkin Spiced Latte Bread

Okay, so I hate to admit it but I am one of "those people." You know the type, the people who go pumpkin crazy in the Fall. Yup, I'm one of those. Even in California's version of Autumn we pumpkin people get super excited because technically it's pumpkin season. Even in 90 degree weather we'll order a pumpkin spiced latte (PSL), hot please, from Starbucks just because we can. We all go a little crazy baking and cooking pumpkin themed meals and desserts. It is the way of the pumpkin... 
Good thing my husband, family, and friends love pumpkin as much as I do! 
Here is my latest obsession, PSL turned dessert: PSL bread! 

Doesn't it look divine and Autumny? Yum, yum, yum!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract2 tbsp instant coffee
2 large eggs, room temp
1/3 cup yogurt (I used Greek yogurt but any other type will be okay)
2 cups pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie)

12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces 
* You can use chocolate chips!
1 cup heavy cream
optional 3 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Gather all you dry ingredients.
I forgot to photograph the salt! Just don't forget to add it to the bowl and all will be well! Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl add butter and sugar. Beat together on medium speed until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).

Now incorporate, one at a time, the vanilla, coffee, and eggs.

In a separate bowl mix together the canned pumpkin and yogurt.

Mix in 1/4 of the dry ingredients into the egg/ sugar mixture. Once its incorporated add 1/4 of the pumpkin/ yogurt mixture. Continue alternating between the two until both have been fully incorporated.

Now I've made this PSL bread multiple ways: bundt cake, loaf, stacked cakes, even muffins. I just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Today I've decided to make it as a loaf (9"x5" loaf pan).
Prep loaf pan by spraying with non-stick. Add batter to prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the middle rack of the oven. Sometimes it's necessary to add a little extra time, so keep an eye on the bread and adjust accordingly. Although baking is an exact science, ovens often vary.

While the bread bakes prepare the ganache. I love ganache! Honestly I'm not the biggest frosting fan, it tends to be cloyingly sweet and overwhelming. Ganache is always a good substitution. 
The first time I attempted a ganache I didn't realize it's usually meant to be more of a glaze, rather than a frosting. I blame the recipe because they identified it a frosting yet didn't provide instructions for cooling it so it would firm up. It was delicious, but oh so runny, and I thought I had made a mistake somewhere in the recipe. After talking to a baking enthusiast co-worker I understood a ganache is meant to be soft and runny, though it can be made firm. I'm now a convert. I love to use a good ganache in place of the regular powdered sugar frosting. 
In this recipe it's the perfect topping to this PSL bread. You can skip it if you'd like, but it's dark chocolate love and why would anyone want to skip that? Why, I ask you???? 
Place chocolate pieces or chips in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate. 

Slowly stir until completely mixed and glossy. Add coffee, if using. Personally, I skipped the coffee this time around. The PSL bread has plenty of coffee flavor on it's own.
Note: You can also substitute flavored liqueur for the coffee.

Allow ganache to cool before pouring over bread. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. When you like the consistency (I usually wait until it's thick but pourable) pour over bread.

Doesn't it look purrty?
Have a slice and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

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