a community blog of gastrophiles for all seasons

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Speaking of Gifts... Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

I did a trial run of this recipe this year, inspired in part by all the talk of P.Q. back in the fall. Next year, I'll probably do a batch or two of this and bake it in small loaf pans for gift purposes.

Recipe is from December issue of Cooking Light.

2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla pudding
4 large egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 (heaping per Carrie) cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 32 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

CALORIES 152(30% from fat); FAT 5g(sat 1.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 10mg; SODIUM 137mg; FIBER 1.1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.5g

Monday, December 20, 2004

Great Gifting

I've started a holiday tradition of making truffles for the ladies in the office. The best thing about doing this is that the recipe could hardly be more simple. However, no one believes this.

The basic recipe is listed on epicurious, and is infinitely modifiable.

2/3 cup whipping cream
1 12-ounce package (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) finely chopped unsalted pistachios

Bring cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Pour into medium bowl. Cover; chill until firm, about 3 hours.
Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Place cocoa, coconut and nuts in separate bowls. Roll truffles between hands into rounds. Roll 1/3 of truffles in cocoa, 1/3 in coconut and 1/3 in nuts. Cover with plastic; chill until ready to serve. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.)

This year, I substituted peppermint extract for the vanilla and rolled all the truffles in crushed peppermint candies. Good stuff.