Working with the Unknown

People love to give me things that they have bought and have no idea what to do with. I almost always never have to buy saffron because someone almost always seems to buy it, not know what to do with it, and then gives it to me. So my friend bought some Mexican chocolate and she wasn’t sure what to do with it, and well, neither was I. Ibarra Chocolate is primarily made for making hot chocolate I found out but that seemed a little too boring for me. It has a weird texture, almost like a Crunch bar and has a super strong cinnamon taste to it. I decided to experiment and try to come up with something to compliment it. I chose to make a quick bread/coffeecake type concoction. I also half way through decided that I should take one third of the batter and add 1/3 cup of pumpkin to it and drop the pumpkin randomly throughout. Oddly enough, most of the pumpkin coloring faded away in the cooking process. I think next time I will make it with an all pumpkin batter.

On a side note, many of my friends made comments on how happy there were to read my last post with the suggestion on what to do if your cheesecake cracked and so I plan on trying to come up with something for each recipe from now on that could go wrong and how you could possible fix it. I’m sure there will be many repeat ideas and somethings will simply be un-fixable, but I will do my best to come up with solutions to your food problems.

As it would have it I made two loaves, one large, one small. The large one turned out beautifully but the smaller one after a night of sitting out sank in the middle. This got me to thinking what would I do. I would slice it into pieces and let it sit out and get a little stale. Then I would make a bread pudding egg mixture and dunk the bread into that. Bake them off and top them with a nice chocolate sauce that was maybe spiked with cinnamon schnapps and some whipped cream with some pumpkin spice in it.


Cinnamon Chocolate Pumpkin Whatever Bread

4 oz semisweet chocolate

4oz Ibarra Mexican Chocolate, grated with either microplane or regular grater

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 TBSP vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 oz unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

2 cups sour cream

1/3 cup pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine the chocolate chips and grated Ibarra chocolate in a food processor. Chop medium fine. Add the brown sugar and 1tsp of vanilla. Process until just combined.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

4. Cream together the butter, sugar and remaining 2 tsp of vanilla until they are smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, on at a time, blending after each addition.

5. Add in a third of the flour mixture with one cup of sour cream. Mix to blend. Repeat with a third mroe of the flour and the last cup of sour cream. Lastly, mix in the remaining thrid of the flour mixture. Mix until you have a smooth batter. Take 1/3 of the batter and put it into a seperate bowl. Add the 1/3 cup of pumpkin and blend together.

6. Grease a loaf pan. Spread one third of the plain batter into the pan(it might be sticky). Drop a couple TBSP of the pumpkin batter. Sprinkle 1/3  of the chocolate mixture. Repeat making 2 more layers using up the reamining ingredients.

7. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan.

All text and images on this site have ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Copyright (c) 2006 by Peabody Rudd.




  1. So what’s the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, a winner? Alsl would you e-mail me, please, I’ve got something for you! AK

  2. Havin’ people give safron is a problem I’d like to have!! lol

  3. hehehe although this does sound delicious, I think my favorite part of it is what you named it. ha!

    Hey.. since you are nice enough to give out advice.. can I ask a question? Okay, I’m going to say that you are okay with me asking a question. *cough*

    I need a from scratch caramel cake recipe. Not like a yellow cake with caramel frosting but a caramel cake.. is there such a thing? Any help you can give is greatly appreciated! Thanks :D

  4. I’ve got that same chocolate sitting in my cupboard! I tried to make ice cream with it once but failed because I didn’t fully melt it and it turned out grainy and not very good at all. This looks like a much better use for the chocolate.
    And I’m very happy to hear that you’re going to be posting more ways to fix mistakes. Your creativity fuels mine.

  5. Pumpkin whatever bread? I just recently made some pumpkin muffins that were REALLY good but I added blueberries to them. This was yummy but they started getting that rancid taste (only is certain areas of the muffin,not the whole thing, mainly around the blueberries) fairly quickly. Do you think that the blueberries are what contributed to this?

  6. Reading your blog is my newest guilty pleasure. It’s like eating without the calories. I love the pictures!

    I also like your “gone wrong” idea.

  7. Here’s another idea for Ibarra:

    If you made the bread entirely pumpkin would you omit the sour cream?

  8. Claire- berries tend to mold quickly and so the blueberry most likely did make your muffins go rancid.
    Rebekah- I would still add at least a cup of sour cream because I would only use one cup of pumpkin.
    Lis- I sent you a recipe and went ahead and made it today. I will put it up later tonight.

  9. Way to experiment! I must learn to be more adventurous in the kitchen. But then I can just come here and see what you do …


    Lovely cake!

  10. I too have a sad box of Ibarra in my pantry awaiting recipe inspiration…. Here’s the recipe for fancy Mexican brownies that led to this dilemma: They are a lot of work, but get gobbled up quickly.

  11. Hi Peabody
    In your ingredient list you mention 4oz of semi-sweet chocolate, but in your directions you say combine the chocolate chips and the grated Ibarra Chocolate. Which one is it a 4oz semi-sweet chocolate bar or 4oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips.


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