Maybe you've been as in the weeds as I've been the past few months. Maybe you feel like you've had not a minute to yourself and certainly not a handful of hours to come up with pretty plates of a variety of Christmas cookies. Maybe.
But I failed to generate any Christmas goodies last year due to a certain life-altering, takes months to recover from event. I couldn't fail two years in a row. Which is how this Mocha Swirl Bread came to be. Festive, indulgent and easy to wrap. And in less than 20 minutes I was able to generate eight little breads and then pop them in the oven while I got on with the rest of my life!
It's deeply coffee tasting and simple to swirl. The cornmeal lends a textural crunch, which I love but some could do without. (My guess is there could be a simple flour swap if this isn't your thing.) The bread itself is not overly sweet which means the glaze gives it a nice balance without sending it over the the top to saccharine. And it wraps up so merrily to send out to friends.
Mocha Swirl Bread with Espresso Glaze
Taken from Portuguese Girl Cooks
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 1 tablespoon boiling water 3/4 cup greek yogurt 1/2 cup cornmeal 8 tablespoons (4 oz or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder 2 teaspoons boiling water 1 tablespoon greek yogurt 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso powder in the boiling water. Set aside and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the yogurt, cornmeal, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Divide half the batter into another bowl and add in the dissolved espresso and cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla and mocha batter, creating a checkerboard pattern. Create 3 layers of this pattern. Run a knife or long skewer through the batter, using a swirling motion, to create the marble effect.
Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from loaf pan, and cool completely on a cooling rack.
In a medium bowl, whisk the espresso powder and boiling water until dissolved. Whisk in the yogurt. Then whisk in the sifted powdered sugar until smooth. If the glaze is too thick add in a few drops of water and mix. Spread the glaze onto the cooled cake.