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Chocolate Cherry Soda Bread

Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder regular or dutch process is fine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sweet dried cherries chopped into quarters
  • 1 pint sour cream 16 ounces I used light
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • extra flour for dusting
  • Topping ideas: sweetened cream cheese nutella, sliced almonds, butter, powdered sugar, jams/jellies, peanut butter, almond butter etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a 9" springform pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the cherries, separating any pieces that are stuck together and tossing to coat with the flour mixture.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together sour cream and eggs until fully combined. Whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  5. Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a sturdy spoon until combined. Batter will be thick and sticky. (See the Irish Soda Bread post for more pics of the process.)
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle top with enough flour so that you can pat the batter down evenly in the pan without it sticking to your hands. I probably used about 2 tablespoons.
  8. Make a shallow "X" in the top of the batter with a sharp knife.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool, slice and serve. Store at room temperature, well wrapped in foil.

Recipe Notes

*I think this bread is best on day one, and still good on day two. After that, it begins to dry out, although toasting it can bring it back a bit. I haven't tried it, but I'm pretty sure it would freeze well. I would wrap it tightly in foil and put it in a freezer bag.

*If you decide to change the cocoa amount, just make sure your cocoa plus flour equals 3 1/2 cups total. So if you back down the cocoa from a half a cup, you'll need to replace that with flour.

*I cut my cherries with kitchen scissors in quarters so that they would be about the size of large raisins.

*I didn't take this extra step, but you could also soak them before baking to plump them up. Just cover them with hot water or orange juice or even flavor the liquid with some type of brandy, whisky or liqueur for extra flavor. Liquid should be hot or you can heat liquid and dried fruit in microwave or on stove top. Drain very well and add to recipe.

Recipe adapted from Irish Rosie's Irish Soda Bread

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