Going down memory lane with some chocolate and orange quickbread

by Sunita on February 8, 2010

It all started with a photo. While dusting the other day, I came upon a picture. It was in a small album along with many other albums filled with many other photographs; photographs of Rengoni and Agastya through the years, photographs of our wedding from nearly a decade ago), well, even of photographs from my childhood as well.

I put aside the dusting cloth and took up an album. Leafing through them, all those memories came flashing back. I picked up another and then another. It was as if  I had this sudden urge to go through all of them. The faces of me with my  parents, siblings, cousins, other relatives, friends, were all staring back at me. I paused, took in the first picture, then the next,and then, the next, and before long, I had spent a good couple of hours, squatting on the carpet, albums strewn all over. Some of the photos made me smile, some made me wonder, and some even made managed to make me cry. Some of the  people in those photographs, including my deuta (father) were not in this world any more; many others had moved to other places. Every photograph took to me to different locations; amazing isn’t it? Moments, precious moments, and how they come flashing back?

Did I look like this? I almost forgot about that dress! How beautiful it was! If someone heard me, they would have probably thought that the best place for me would be the mad house . But, I didn’t care. This was my own little precious time, lost in the years gone by, thankful for all that life has offered, thankful for all those people that I came into contact with. With all the smiles and tears that have filled the path of my life’s journey, I realised that I wouldn’t want to change anything. Loving parents, talented siblings, great friends, I couldn’t ask for more. It would be greedy to do so!

And the journey continues, the memories are still being made; I now have a life partner to hold my hand through the rest of the journey, the kids make me smile ( and at times try my patience;-)), and I still have friends I’m glad to be in the company of. Yes, I murmured to myself for quite a while that day, squatting on the carpet, laughing and crying at the same time; and thinking  about some of the faces with whom I’ve lost contact, and wondering where in the world they were.

And then reality struck! Oops! The kids would be waiting for me to pick them up in fifteen minutes. I was back to the present in no time at all; a hurried change of clothes, warm clothes piled on, and I raced with my bike to their school. Phew! That’s what happens when you try to get lost in the past and you’ve got kids to pick up from school, and chores to be done around the house :-)

Earlier on, during the first half of the day, I had baked these beautifully moist and spongy orange and chocolate mini loaves. Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite combinations and I loved the way these loaves turned out. I was thinking of sending them over to dear Jamie who is hosting Monthly Mingle for this month with chocolate and bread as the theme. Quick breads are allowed, and so this is going to make it’s way there. But, as they are making their way to a party, I dressed them up a bit. I covered the top with some dark chocolate ganache ( without cream) and topped that with some slices of grilled oranges. There! It’s now ready to go to the party.

What’s needed-

6 tblsp of whole wheat flour (atta)
50 gms of dark chocolate, chopped
grated zest of 1 orange
5 tblsp of fresh orange juice
4 tblsp of light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
7 tblsp of milk
3 tblsp of sunflower/vegetable oil

For the topping-
50 gms of dark chocolate
5 tblsp of milk

For the grilled oranges-
4 slices of oranges, halved
a little brown sugar for sprinkling on top

How to-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and grease two mini loaf pans (4 and 1/2 inch by 2 and 1/2 inch).
  2. Rub together the flour, zest, baking powder and soda. Mix in the chopped chocolate.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the milk, oil, sugar and orange juice.
  4. Tip in the milk mixture into the flour mixture and fold in till everything is just moistened.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two pans and tap them against the counter smooth the top.
  6. Place the pans in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about  25 minutes or till the top is lightly browned. A tooth pick inserted through the center of the loves should come out clean, except for some melted chocolate.
  7. Cool the loaves in the pan for a minute and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  8. For the topping, melt together the chocolate and the milk , and stir till smooth and soft. Spread roughly over the loaves and top with the grilled orange.
  9. For the grilled orange, arrange the slices on a lined tray and sprinkle a little sugar over them. Grill them till browned.

These loaves were a huge hit in our home, and I hope it will be in yours too. The crumb was an absolute delight and so was the topping.

Just got an email from the Foodbuzz editorial teamCongratulations: You Made the Foodbuzz Top 9! Chocolate and orange quickbread made the Foodbuzz Top 9 today!” Thank you, you made my day!

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mona February 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Memories, good and bad, that is what life is made up of. Like it is said in one of my fav songs from an old bollywood movie ‘Golmaal’, – ‘Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai .. Ho Sake To Iss Mein Zindagi Bitaado .. Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala hai ..’
The loaves look fab!

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2 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Thanks Mona :-)

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3 Neeta February 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Gorgeous cake and beautiful pictures…..I’m not a big fan of chocolate and orange together, but this would make me give it another try for sure :-)

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4 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Oh do give the combo another shot, neeta; I hope I’ll be able to convert you :-)

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5 Sarah, Maison Cupcake February 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm

This looks and sounds amazing, chocolate and orange are one of my all time favourite combinations.

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6 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I love the combo too :-)

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7 Hélène February 9, 2010 at 1:15 am

These pictures are really nice. What a great dessert!

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8 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Thank you Helene :-)

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9 Asha@FSK February 9, 2010 at 1:18 am

I love chocolate and orange!! infact that’s the only combination I eat dark chocolate! :) ) mmm… i can just smell the cake in my mind!!

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10 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Well asha, now you can bake it too and eat it ;-)

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11 Bethany February 9, 2010 at 2:06 am

loove the combination well done! I wish I had a slice to go with my cuppa! hugsx

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12 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Thanks Beth, wish you were nearer ; hope you’re having a fab time :-)

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13 Melanie February 9, 2010 at 2:07 am

Lovely photos and orange and chocolate sound delicious.

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14 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Thank you melanie, I love the combination too :-)

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15 Nachiketa February 9, 2010 at 4:52 am

ahhhhhh….. memories….. sounds like such a lovely day…. am a photo person too…. had gone to my grandparents place recently and a walk thru thir house is like a snap shot in time cause it’s so full of our pictures… all the children n grandchilren… :-)

the shortbread is all dresed to go… hope it gets the prize for being ‘best dressed’ :-)

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16 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Nachiketa, yes, it was nice stealing a little time away from the humdrum of the present life and geting lost in the past for a while :-)

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17 prathibha February 9, 2010 at 5:24 am

just 6 tbsp atta??
are those heaped ones or levelled ones?
how big loaf will we get for the above quantities??

THose cute loafs look super delicious..loved d texture..cant wait to try soon,,

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18 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm

yes, just the six; you must have noticed that i had pointed out that these were mini loaves (4 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 inches). You could spoon the batter into cupcake moulds if you like too, might yield about 6-8 medium sized cupcakes.

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19 Nilufer February 9, 2010 at 7:32 am

wow sunitha, ur pics r superb…they really make me wanna bake….!!!!!

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20 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Nilufer, thanks, and go on, whats stopping you from baking?

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21 Nirmala February 9, 2010 at 9:05 am

I too do this sometimes! Most wonderful way of whiling around the time ;) These loaves are simply superb! Many blogs rave about the choco orange flavor combo but I have never tried it!

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22 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Nirmala, you should give this a try sometime, i absolutely adore it :-)

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23 Su-yin February 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

I got really excited when I saw that first photo as I thought you’d slathered the bread with nutella. Got a bit excited there, hehe. Chocolate is equally as delightful though (if not more!). ;)

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24 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:15 pm

LOL, but yes, it was equally delicious :-)

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25 deeba February 9, 2010 at 10:29 am

SCREAMING GORGEOUS … Chocolate & orange are right up my street! I love what you did with them Sunita…utterly divine.

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26 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks Deeba, and yes, we did love it a lot :-)

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27 Alka February 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

its amazing how quickly time flies right? life just keeps rolling with it.. and it was really refreshing to read.. especially the making memories part.. how true! :) I have never had a chocolate and orange combo, the pics make me want to jump into it.. yumm!

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28 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Alka, yes, time does fly by in the flicker of an eyelid. You should try the combination sometime, we adore it :-)

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29 Mowie @ Mowielicious February 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Great combination hon – sounds and looks divine. I owe you an email, which I will reply to in a bit. Getting there… getting there! =)

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30 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Thanks Mo, and thanks for the email too, got it! :-)

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31 hudsondebb February 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm

These sound fabulous!
I love how those grilled oranges look on top.
But I too am surprised at 6 T flour for 2 loaves; is this correct?

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32 Sunita February 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Thank you, glad you like it. And yes, 6 tblsp of flour it is; after all, as i have mentioned in the post, these are 2 ”mini” loaves (4 and 1/2 inches by 2 and 1/2 inches)

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33 The Chocolate Priestess February 10, 2010 at 2:24 am

This looks great. How difficult was it to bake but not burn the oranges. I could see those burning in my oven.

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34 Jeanne @ Cooksister! February 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Are you sure we aren’t related? During the summer when I had fridays off, I would tell Nick in the morning of all the things I planned to do that day. He’d get home in the evening and ask me what I’d done, and it would turn out that I had spent 2 hours going through an old photo album (all our albums arrived from South Africa in August after being separated form me for 7 years!), picked some blackberries and sat in the sun. We take photos because we need to be reminded where we came from and whet we experienced in order to fully appreciate where we are now. If my ouse burnt down, the only thing I would die trying to save is my photos, and maybe my diaries!

LOVE these loaves – so very decadent!

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35 Sunita February 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I’m sure we ARE related :-) I love going through old photo albums, and yes, I too would try to save them instead of any other material possession.

Glad you like the loaf :-)

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36 Judith February 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hi Sunita,

I was so enticed by your post and your pictures of this beautiful dessert that I decided to make it for Valentine’s Day. But to much disappointment, it didn’t come out anywhere nearly as well as yours. I have to be honest and ask you if you’ve double checked this recipe because something was terribly off. The batter was way too runny and seemed like it need a lot more flour. It also only filled one loaf pan (and not even half way). I’m so confused. I triple checked the recipe to make sure that I didn’t mess up but I followed it to the T. It was disappointing. Can you please recheck the recipe and let me know how to improve it? I would still like to make it because it looks delicious.

Thanks for your help.

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37 Sunita February 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hi Judith,

Firstly, I am sorry that your cake did not turn out great.

Secondly, as soon as I saw your comment, I went to check the recipe again. In fact, as we are on an orange high nowadays, I MADE another loaf. And yes, as I made just one of the loaves, I halved the ingredients, and that means just 3 tblsp of the whole wheat flour ( I always use atta). I was nervous that I might have made a mistake, but the loaf came out perfectly. The batter filled nearly 3/4ths of the pan and the loaf rose as it should. In fact I was waiting for the loaf to cool down , so that I could slice and taste before replying to your comment.

The given recipe makes two ‘mini’ loaves ( as I have already mentioned in the post). The batter may not be very thick, but you need not worry about that. I hope you give the loaf another go and have a better result this time round.

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38 Judith February 15, 2010 at 12:06 am

Thanks for your reply Sunita – then I’m really not sure what went wrong. By 3 tblsp you mean tablespoons right? It seems like a very silly question but not sure what else would go wrong. Another problem was that the dough fell apart upon contact and did not rise at all. *sigh*

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39 Sunita February 15, 2010 at 12:28 am

You’re welcome, Judith. Yes, 3 tblsp is indeed 3 tablespoons ( for one mini loaf). The loaves should rise beautifully, they even have the trademark crack that are seen on the top of loaves. I am so sorry you are finding this hard, wish I could somehow show you, they are so moist and lovely. And no, no question is ever ’silly’.

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40 Jamie February 15, 2010 at 8:08 am

Oh Sunita, the bread is so beautiful and mouthwatering! The inside does look moist and so flavorful, but those grilled oranges with the slather of chocolate is amazing! Thank you so much for baking this for my Monthly Mingle! This will definitely be one of the first breads to be snapped up and swallowed down! Great recipe! And how touching going through old family photos. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it is so emotional, both the happy and the sad.

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41 Megan February 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Oh my goodness… this is definitely my kind of bread. It looks so moist and so studded with chocolate. I love the way you grilled the oranges to put on top, and that extra layer of chocolate makes the whole thing. Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite combos.

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42 Sunita February 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Thanks Megan, maybe you could give it a try. We absolutely loved it :-)

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43 Claudia February 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm

This looks scrumptiouos – I love orange and dark chocolate together – how grand! So pretty… you are building memories even as you leaf through older ones…

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44 Kashmira April 28, 2010 at 3:46 am

Sunita,
I tried making these as muffins. They turned out great the first time, and I tried them two more times, with disappointing results :( They did not rise at all, and were very oily. Any clue what I might be doing wrong?
They looked and tasted more like halwa than anything else.

Please help!

Thanks,
Kashmira

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45 Raji August 17, 2010 at 9:39 am

baked this lovely bread today and it turned superb.tried for 1 loaf as this is the first time iam baking with atta.the bread didnt rise much but is great in taste.
thank you.

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46 Aditi January 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

Hey tried the recipe, it is out of the world!! It did not rise enough but I’m certain that it was something I did/did not do. I have a habit of un-intentionally digressing from recipes.
Can’t wait till my parents try it!

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47 Jayashree March 12, 2011 at 3:56 am

Hi Sunita !!
Greetings!! Have been browsing your website for the yummy recipes and beautiful pictures off late!! Everything is just so fab !! :-)
This is the first one i tried today..Followed the exact measurements.The batter was too thin and the choc chips settled at the bottom.The cake did rise in 20 minutes a formed a crak and later formed a dent. After 45 mins, the knife inserted dint come out clean. Later i thought that it would get burnt and removed it. It tasts like a pudding and yummy !! But i was expecting a bread like the one you got ! I’ve read the above comments mentioning that a few of them turned out like mine.. Anyways, I shall try again and let you know !!
Kudos for everything !!!
Adieu !!

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48 Manasa September 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

This is by far the best that has come out of my oven:). Super guilt free. Absolutely loved it. I skipped the chocolate and added a small beetrot grated. Sunita u r my baking godess now on. Than you :)

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