My family just doesn’t trust me and I don’t know why!! Ok, I do have an idea….

I just finished baking a new recipe, a chocolate loaf. My son Mark saw it on the kitchen counter and right away asked me “what is it and what’s in it.” So I told him chocolate chips, cocoa powder, some applesauce, some spices and flour. But then he said “No, really, what did you hide in there – is there any green stuff?” Green stuff means zucchini, which does show up in some of my baked goodies. Note to self – for future recipes that have zucchini, peel it so no one knows it’s there!

I swore up and down that no green stuff was added – no funny ingredients. He ate it, liked it and then said “Ok, now tell me what’s really in it!” I told him whole wheat flour and he was happy with that answer. Tamara came over for dinner, saw the loaf and started with the 50 questions about the ingredients too. She reluctantly took a piece, then another small little one, liked this new recipe, but still wanted to know what I added to it. Jarred wasn’t home, but I know he wouldn’t have eaten it – he only likes what he knows – my Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf!

After the guessing game of “What’s in the loaf” was over, I finally confessed and told them the ‘secret’ ingredient was pumpkin purée and my kids were okay with it, it wasn’t too strange!

This loaf happens to be delicious and the different spices give it a really nice flavor. If you don’t care for a particular spice, just leave it out. Did you notice that there’s not much oil in the recipe? That’s because the applesauce and pumpkin purée are a healthy substitute for the fat and make it a little more healthier. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!

Do you ever bake with pumpkin purée? I’d love to hear about it.
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below!

Double Chocolate Loaf

(Inspired by Isa Chandra)
Yields about 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbs. coconut or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbs. boiling water, divided
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Put the applesauce, oil and cocoa powder in a separate mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add 1/3 cup of boiling water to this and mix well so it resembles a smooth chocolate sauce. Add the pumpkin purée, sugar and vanilla and mix well.

Put about half of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and gently stir until blended; then add 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir again. Add the rest of the flour mixture with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir until smooth. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes; use a cake tester/ toothpick to check if it’s ready.

Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert the pan and place on a serving dish. Enjoy!

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