Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mocha Nervosa Walnut Bread

In case I haven't mentioned it before, me and my wife's favorite TV show (for now) is Frasier. We came late to the program, only discovering it after it began reruns on Lifetime Television. I'm not sure what it is about the program that appeals to us, except that it's funny! It's adult humor without being smutty or risqué and we really appreciate that. We've purchased all of the DVD's that are currently available (Frasier fans take heart: Season 9 is due out May 7th!) and even branched out into other tied-in merchandise.

Something that just arrived in the mail is Cafe' Nervosa: The Connoisseur's Cookbook an eclectic collection of recipes ostensibly from Frasier, Daphne, and the entire crew. I love to cook and I'm always on the outlook for new recipes and this is a fine collection of some really interesting ones.

The book is divided into four sections, Man Can Live by Bread Alone (breads and desserts); Let's do Lunch (small, relatively simply meals); Just Bring Two Forks (ornate, you-better-think-about-it meals); and Some Like it Hot (coffees and drinks). Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes and bits from the show. The book also has an index for quick lookup. At 108 pages, it's not a huge book, but well written and just quirky enough to keep your interest. And the recipes are easy enough that almost anyone (that is, me) can do them without getting lost or having to travel to Trader Joe's for some obscure ingredient.

So, this last weekend being New Year's Eve, and since holidays mean cooking to me, I dug through the recipes and came up with Mocha Nervosa Walnut Bread:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (for this recipe I used Nestle's holiday colored dark chocolate M&M's - the red and green ones!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Combine sour cream, eggs, and butter in a large bowl; stir well. Add flour mixture to sour cream mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels and walnuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.

(The recipe says to use a single 9x5x3 inch loaf pan - I don't have any that big, but a couple of standard loaf pans worked just fine.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack; removed from pan, and let cool completely.

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