Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chocolate with Francois - Chocolate Nut Loaf

So, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I did bake the Chocolate Nut Loaf that Leslie of Lethally Delicious picked for January. The bad news is I am just now getting around to posting about it.  Better late than never as they say. :) My apologizes to my fellow CWF bakers for not posting on time. As always, my crazy schedule keeps me pretty busy. Some weeks I don't see my hubby for days on end. He goes to bed before I get home from Starbucks and I get up after he has left for work. Depending on my mood that can be a good or bad thing. :)

But, back to the recipe.

I looked over the recipe to see what if any ingredients I needed to buy. I keep a pretty well stocked pantry, but occasionally need one or two items. For this recipe I needed the pistachio nuts, almond paste, and hazelnuts. No problem I thought. I will just pop into Kroger because they always have the odd ingredients I need. Yeah, right! Not this time. No hazelnuts, no almond paste, no pistachios. Okay, let's try Food Lion. Nope, not there either. Okay, how about Walmart? Ah, pistachios, but no paste or hazelnuts. By now I am tired, grumpy and running out of gasoline! I decided I would try and be creative with what I had on hand at home.

The first thing I did was make my own almond paste. Or at least I think I did. :) I took some blanched almonds, powdered sugar, corn syrup, water and processed it in my food processor. Since the recipe called for such a small amount I figured my homemade stuff wouldn't affect it much.

The next thing I did was use pecans in place of the hazelnuts. Having all three nuts for the loaf I proceeded with the recipe.

Like Leslie, I have one of those beater blades that scrapes the side of the bowl for you while it is mixing the ingredients. If you don't have one you should really invest in one. They are wonderful and I wouldn't be without one. (I sure used "one" a lot in those two sentences!) :D

I really hesitated when I read the part about 20!!! tablespoons of butter. 20?!? Sure seemed like an awful lot of butter (Paula Deen I am not!) but I trusted Francois knew what he was doing and went ahead and did as the recipe stated.

My loaf baked for about 55 minutes. It smelled wonderful while it baked. Of course, anything chocolate smells wonderful while baking. I found waiting for the loaf to cool in the pan until room temperature and then cool completely before trying it a bit taxing, but being made to be patient is good for me from time to time.

Once sliced I decided it was worth waiting for. I zapped it in the microwave just to warm it up a tad, and the hubby had his with whipped cream on it. It was moist, chocolate-y, nutty and very satisfying. I love nuts in my baked goods and having three different ones, each with it's own texture was great. Along with the chocolate chips with was one rich and yummy loaf. I am not sure how much better it would have been with hazelnuts. Maybe, if I ever find any, I will try this again. But, it was just fine like I made it this time.

Thanks again, Leslie for a great pick. The hubby and I both enjoyed it.


  1. Looks beautiful! Love the changes you made. I made my own almond paste too. I didn't even try to find it because I knew I'd never use it again.

    Glad hubby liked it :)

  2. WOw, looks fantastic. I would love a slice.

  3. Wow, this looks better than any of the loaves I've seen! I think I'd actually prefer pecans to the hazelnuts, because pecans are a favorite, but the hazelnuts were good, too. I'm so glad you managed to fit this one in with all you have going on. Thanks for baking with me!

  4. Looks great! I love the combination of nuts and chocolate too.


Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.