This post is sponsored by Stonyfield as part of my participation in the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club.
February is known for a lot of important annual celebrations and fun holidays, and 2016 is turning it up on the party front thanks to Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl, and Chinese New Year joining the regulars: Ground Hogs, award shows, and you better not-forget-it-even-though-its-been-over-for-10-days-VALENTINE’S DAY. It was a no brainer when I heard that Stonyfield is partnering with Divine Chocolate to celebrate love this February that I should use it as an opportunity to celebrate something that I love, too.
Divine Chocolate is co-owned by the 85,000 farmer members of Kuapa Kokoo, the cooperative in Ghana that supplies the cocoa for each bar of Divine. As owners, they get a share in the profits, a say in the company, and a voice in the global marketplace.
Divine is not only doing good for the world, but their chocolate does seriously good things for your taste buds, too. We found a handful of Divine bar flavors at our local Hannaford and decided on three to take home with us: Intensely Rich 70% Dark, White Chocolate with Strawberries, and Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts.
I was inspired by something I love very much when day-dreaming-up this recipe: US PRESIDENTS!!! Totally on point since February is also host to several important days in Presidential History, including but not limited to the best holiday to the world of THS – President’s Day!! Though it’s not an off-of-work holiday for my office, the past several years I’ve tried to bribe my coworkers into celebrating with me by bringing in POTUS Day treats for the group.
Here’s a ramble-y explanation of how this recipe came together: I have made a few variations on one of FDR’s favorite birthday cakes in the past; a recipe featuring the mighty “with their powers combined” WOAHS! of rich chocolate and smooth coffee. And I’m well experienced in using Greek yogurt in baked goods, and the Stonyfield Smooth & Creamy Whole Milk yogurt I keep well stocked in my fridge [I use it in cooking ALL THE TIME] was sure to make the same moisture magic.
When it came to the major flavor players in this POTUS loaf game, the coffee and the vanilla, I went with two favorite powerhouses. A favorite bean of so many people we know, including my Dad who gifted us this batch, Raven’s Brew was a must for the coffee element. This coffee is so silky smooth with a deep, dark flavor, which seemed like a great pairing for the chocolate in the cake and the Divine milk chocolate featured in the topping.
As for the vanilla, years ago we were gifted some Watkins extracts and flavorings from a regular visitor to the coffee shop, and since then the brand has been a go to for pure vanilla. Using quality spices and ingredients really take your dishes up a notch.
This loaf cake is a simple recipe, but what really knocks it out of the park is the ganache. The process for making the topping couldn’t be easier, and yet adding it totally elevates the cake loaf. Using a decadent, quality chocolate like Divine brings the topping to A+ status in my book. Just look at that chocolate, glazy goodness!!!!
Chocolate Java New Deal Celebration Loaf with Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache
- 6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 C sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 3/4 C all purpose flour
- 1/2 C cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 6 oz. plain, Whole Milk Stonyfield yogurt
- 1/2 C brewed STRONG coffee, chilled
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Divine Chocolate Bars, chopped into small pieces [I cut each tiny square into 2-3 pieces]
- 1 c heavy cream
PREP STEP: make sure your butter is at room temp and your coffee has been brewed and chilled.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by lining with parchment paper.
- Cream butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs and fold together. This is your batter base.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- In another bowl, whisk yogurt, coffee, and vanilla.
- Alternating between the two and adding about 1/3 of each mix at a time, fold the dry mix and wet mix to the batter base. Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven; cool in pan for 15 minutes.
- Remove from pan and place on rack; let cool completely.
- Make the ganache:
- Put chocolate pieces in a heat proof bowl, while heating the heavy cream on the stove over medium low until it’s slightly simmering.
- Pour cream over chocolate and let stand 6-8 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Cool completely, whisking on occasion.
- Once ganache is cool, immediately spoon over top of loaf.