A few questions for you to mull over today:
Why use one kind of chocolate when you could use two?
What the heck should you do with that half can of leftover pumpkin puree?
Is there a nicer feeling on a cold night than putting on clean pajamas after a hot shower?
Probably, yes, there are many nicer feelings than number 3 implies, but I still think that sensation is right up there amongst all the other good ones. And as we know, it’s the little things in life that we should remember to stack together—those piles of moments color our days.
Now as to numbers 1 and 2, should you find yourself with extra pumpkin puree (which somehow I always manage to do), make this loaf. Use two kinds of chocolate (cocoa powder and chocolate chips). Use three if you like! Use four even! Kidding, let’s not go too wild, but I do think that a mixture of chopped bittersweet and semisweet chocolate would be lovely, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs on top would not be a bad move.
And if you don’t have extra pumpkin puree, pick some up just to make this. It’s worth it. I like to use canned pumpkin (make sure it is pure pumpkin with nothing else added—you don’t want canned pumpkin pie filling), but butternut squash puree will work just as nicely.
Unlike other chocolate quick breads (like banana or zucchini), I don’t think that anyone would be able to identify the pumpkin flavor in a blind taste test. The pumpkin simply serves to make this cake exceptionally moist without making it gummy or too sticky and dense. It also adds an earthiness that highlights the chocolate in a really nice way; I find this loaf to be much more rich-tasting than a plain chocolate loaf.
Double Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf
Makes one 9” x 5” loaf
1 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup (198g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup (170g) pumpkin puree
3/4 cup (148g) vegetable oil
1 cup (170g) dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with parchment paper (or lightly grease the pan).
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda, and espresso powder (if using).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the pumpkin with the eggs and vegetable oil until light in color, at least 3 minutes on medium-high.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined, making sure no dry spots remain.
Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 1 hour (start checking at 50 minutes—depending on your oven, it might take less time or could take up to 1 hour and 15 minutes). You want a tester inserted into the center to come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.