Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf


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Let me just put this out there right away: this picture does not do this loaf justice. The how-to-use-your-new-DSL-camera class doesn’t start until April, so I’m still using the automatic setting, and I baked at night, so there was no natural light to work with. So understand that the dark blob you see before you is not representative of the joy that lay within it.

There were missteps along the way with this one, too.

I’ve been going to a meditation class once a week, and one of the things we talk about is mindfulness. I realized — recently — that one of the most mindful things I do is bake. I’m very focused on the sounds, the smells, the textures and tastes, the process, the subtleties of mixing, whisking, and folding, pouring or scooping. And of course, right after I make this discovery, I try to bake a chocolate loaf and watch tv with Nathaniel at the same time. But I’d promised him we’d watch the rest of Worst Cooks In America that night, and I figured I could watch from the kitchen, and it would all work out fine. Which is sort of did. Kind of.

It started out well. I got to break out my special baking cocoa that I’d picked up at some specialty store a while back, I’d been itching for a chance to try it.


See? It’s a special blend.

That went into a bowl with the other dry ingredients: flour (whole wheat white), sugar (cane sugar), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I whisked. So far, so good.

dry ingredients, whisked

I think that’s where the Worst Cooks were being taught how to cut up a whole chicken, which was pretty funny, but I stayed focused. Mostly.

In another bowl, I collected the wet ingredients: yogurt (low fat vanilla), egg, and canola oil. Then I added the coffee, freshly brewed and made by Dave, who has a true talent for coffee-making and did me the favor of making it nice and strong (or “stwong”, as Juliet would say).

pouring coffee

I used a spatula to mix, making sure I was thorough. That was easy to do while watching tv, even though the Worst Cooks had discovered that the chickens they’d be cutting up still had heads and feet.

liquid ingredients

I poured that into the flour mixture, mixed well, then added the chocolate chips. The recipe said to use half a cup, but I opted for mini chocolate chips instead and put in about a third of a cup.

adding mini chocolate chips

The batter looked dark, rich, and delicious, and tasted good too. I poured it into a loaf pan.

batter in pan

I put it in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. And that’s where things got dodgy.

First, I did a nice clean-up and put everything away, and then I had another look at the recipe just to verify the baking time. That was when I noticed an ingredient on the list that I had not seen earlier: vanilla. I tried to blame the blog itself, but I couldn’t: it was right there in the list of ingredients AND in the directions. Oops.

The loaf seemed done after about 30 minutes, but after I’d had it cooling on the rack for maybe five minutes or so, I decided it wasn’t actually cooked through enough, and I put it back into the oven. I know this isn’t a smart way to bake, but I was expecting it to continue to cook in the pan and that didn’t seem to be happening, so back in it went, for another five minutes or so, maybe more.

I confess I was losing faith. I hadn’t been paying attention, I’d missed an ingredient, and I’d messed up the baking time. But I forged onward, and when I felt it was done, I took it out of the oven and after a few minutes, popped it out of the pan. It was still a little delicate, which is why I didn’t move it from the corner of the cooling rack it landed on right away.

loaf on corner of rack

Thirty minutes later, Bridget & I were ready to taste it. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t turn out very well, with no vanilla and erratic stop-and-start baking, but I cut it open anyway and I admit it looked pretty good.

loaf cut open

Guess what?

It’s delicious. It’s so delicious that it’s completely gone, and I made it yesterday. It was rich and dark and sweet without being too sweet, and moist, and crumbly, and wonderful. I brought some to work, and left it on my desk with a knife and some napkins when I went off to a meeting. When I got back to my office there was a small cluster of people in there wiping crumbs off my desk, oohing and aahing, and gobbling up cake.

So it all came out well in the end, and I’ll make it again, and I’ll try it with vanilla but I’ll know that it’s pretty lovely without. It’s rich without being even remotely heavy, and the only issue I had with it was how much of it I wanted to eat. Fortunately, it’s only about 4 P+ a piece. And maybe the vanilla yogurt made up for the missing vanilla in the recipe.

Oh, and this was another gem from The Teenage Taste blog I found a while ago. I still can’t believe the author is a junior in high school. She has my admiration.


My version of Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf (adapted from The Teenage Taste)


3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat white flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup fresh brewed coffee, strong is good
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease or spray a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat together the coffee, yogurt, egg, oil, and vanilla if desired.

Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the dry one, and mix well. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once it’s out of the pan, let it cool for an additional 30 minutes.

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