Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Harvest Pumpkin Loaf

It was in the fall of 1984 that I learned the true deliciousness of pairing pumpkin with chocolate. How do I remember the time so well? That day is burned on my brain. My first-born son was 14 months old, sitting in his high chair waiting for an afternoon snack. My mother had just baked up a new recipe from Southern Living Magazine called Harvest Pumpkin Loaf and brought over a small section for us to enjoy. I cut a thin slice, broke it up into small pieces and put a couple on Christopher's tray. He picked the first piece up with his tiny fingers and put it into his mouth. In an instant the other two followed and he asked for more. Did I say asked? Demanded was more like it, and he punctuated this demand with a bang on his tray with his open palm. Wow, I thought, breaking off more hunks, I'd better taste this, it must be good. It was! I continued to feed him piece after piece until his cheeks were as full as a squirrel preparing for a long winter. "More!" he cried. "More!" pieces falling out of his mouth and back onto the tray with each demand.

Ready for the oven with the streusel on top.
Since that day, making this loaf has become a fall tradition. It is equally appropriate as a breakfast loaf as is it for dessert. I like it warmed because it makes the pieces of chocolate gooier. I made two new adjustments to it this year, one of which I liked, the other I didn't. I decided to add a streusel topping before baking. I liked this a LOT. Who doesn't love streusel? I also thought that instead of using regular size chocolate chips that I'd use the mini morsels in order to get a wider distribution of chocolate. Eh. I didn't care for this too much. Yes, the chocolate was more widely distributed, but when it comes to chocolate, I think I'd rather have the bigger chunks.  Oh, I also dusted the top with powdered sugar before adding the glaze.  I thought this made it look so much prettier.  See for yourself.

Out of the oven, cooled, and lightly dusted with powdered sugar.

HARVEST PUMPKIN LOAF

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup mashed pumpkin
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup pecans, divided

Glaze:

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon half and half
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Loaf: Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine next 7 ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels (I use the mini morsels) and 1/2 cup pecans. Spoon mixture into a 9"x5"x3" greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle top with remaining pecans. Bake at 350ยบ F for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with glaze. Yield: One loaf

Glaze: Combine all glaze ingredients, stirring until; smooth. Yield: 1/4 cup.
The finished loaf with the addition of the glaze.
Basic Streusel Topping

½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ stick unsalted butter
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.




ENJOY!

Plate: "Autumn Splendor" by David Harden, gift


4 comments:

Dee said...

Looks delicious, chocolate & pumpkin! Mmmm. Love that streusel topping.

Pattie T. said...

It's really good either way, I just thought I'd try something different this year. If you want a loaf that's not quite as sweet, then just omit the streusel (but not the glaze).

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I don't think I've had chocolate with pumpkin. What a great idea. I'll definitely give it a try.
Sam

Pattie T. said...

Do try it, it's a surprisingly good combination. I just tried a drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce on a scoop of Edy's Pumpkin Ice Cream. OMG!