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A Valentine’s Day Chocolate Strawberry Loaf for People Who Don’t Care for Valentine’s Day

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most touchy feely person. I love my friends, family and husband and would jump in front of moving pain inducing objects for them, but when it comes to all the typical lovey dovey stuff, it just ain’t me. When I see another romantic comedy on tv, I get the sudden urge to roll my eyes so hard they’re likely to fall out of my head and all those diamond ads they’ve been pushing lately make me gag with disdain. On the other hand, I think flowers, chocolate and random acts of affection can be just swell, I just don’t like the forced obligation of cramming all of these things into one day because that’s what your “supposed” to do. Have you figured out how I feel about Valentine’s day yet? 😉

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be hosting any anti-valentine’s day parties anytime soon and if you’re the type who embraces such holidays, have at ‘er. To each their own, right? I much prefer just treating it as another day. So my prediction for this Valentine’s day will be an evening of me and P watching new episodes of Parks and Recreation and The Office  and then me tending to the various fermentation projects I’ve got started in the kitchen, all and all a good night. Oh, and there may also be some chocolate involved, you can’t forget about the chocolate.

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Even filled with my slight contempt towards Hallmark holidays, there’s one thing I can get on board with, the overwhelming abundance of chocolate everywhere! Chocolate that’s usually mixed with some sultry punch of red or pink. I adore finding any excuse to bake AND I love chocolate AND I like red things that go with chocolate, so it was only inevitable that I would give in to this lovely little Valentine’s incentive and make something chocolaty to share with you all.

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This rich dark chocolate loaf seemed like the perfect accompaniment to such a chocolate inspired occasion. Dutch processed cocoa powder adds a delicious richness to the cake and enhances the dark brown color. I know you all don’t have access to such an ingredient, so if you’d like to use your regular cocoa, go ahead, just make sure you read the notes below as you’ll have to adjust the leavener. Not something I would normally do, but I even went out and bought some out of season strawberries to add a touch of color and fruitiness to the cake. The strawberries totally make this loaf even tastier then it already is. Raspberries would also be epically delicious.

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY LOAF

  • Servings: One 9x5 Loaf
  • Print
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (see below for a natural cocoa adjustment)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional)
  • Additional strawberries and chocolate chips for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with oil and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together the soymilk and apple cider vinegar, set aside to let curdle.
  3. Mix together the flax seed and water until well blended, set aside until gelatinous.
  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the margarine until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flax seed mixture and beat well, then the espresso powder, soymilk mixture and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven.
  5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt, pour into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spatula until well-blended but do not overmix. Fold in strawberries and optional chocolate chunks.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth batter and top with additional strawberries and chocolate chips or chunks.
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  8. Place pan on the lower rack and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, if the top seems like it’s browning too fast, loosely cover with some tinfoil.
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  10. Cool in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack. To fancy it up, serve with whipped coconut cream and fresh berries.

  11. Notes:

     If using regular cocoa powder, you’ll want to use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and no baking powder.


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16 thoughts on “A Valentine’s Day Chocolate Strawberry Loaf for People Who Don’t Care for Valentine’s Day

  1. Cadry's Kitchen (@Cadryskitchen) says:

    What lovely pictures! That loaf looks so good! I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about Valentine’s Day either way. My husband and I will be exchanging cards, but that’s about it. The prices at crowded restaurants are always so jacked up on that day, I’d rather save my evening out for a time when it would be quieter and less expensive! Cut a slice for me, please! 🙂

  2. Julia says:

    I’m not partial to valentine’s day either, but I do love that it has given me a great excuse to chow down on tasty treats such as your delicious chocolate loaf! I’ve never baked using strawberries and love the way you think!

  3. Joey says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the last comment- whatever you think of Valentine’s day, if it gives you an excuse to make loaves like that one, I’m all for it!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Oh man that looks amazing!

    I am right there with you on the romantic comedies. I hate them all so very much, even the funny ones. I can’t watch them without complaining and eye rolling.
    However, I love Valentine’s Day.. all holidays actually because it gives me an excuse to eat more food than usual and bake holiday themed baking.

  5. Allysia Kerney says:

    I’m one of those people that DO care about Valentine’s day…it’s fun to have a romantic holiday (though I hate spending money on crap and going to restaurants on v-day). But I’m all over that lovey-dovey stuff, ha ha. 🙂 This loaf looks crazy amounts of good, and so pretty with the strawberries.

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      Boo Valentine’s!! lol.
      Well from what I can see, you and Mike have got the lovey dovey stuff down pat. Yeah, the kitschy crap they try to sell on V-Day annoys me so much, but I’m also a total clutterphobe.
      I could totally get on board with the fancy home dinner like you guys did…it was pretty cute :).

  6. Too Cheap for Pine Nuts says:

    Every time I come browse your blog I just want to make so much of the stuff you post about. I was just thinking about strawberries this morning and how fantastic it is that in only a couple weeks they’ll be in season here.

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