Black Forest Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Lump Bread for BBD #47

If you recall, I mentioned last time that I’m this month’s host for Bread Baking Day #47; Bread with Chocolate.  Of course, the host takes part too, so I’m submitting a fantastically deep, dark chocolate bread with dried cherries that are soaked in kirsch and big, lumps of chocolate.  It’s called Black Forest BREAD aka Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Lump Bread  (my take on it) since it’s a yeasty bread take on the famous Black Forest Cake that originated in Germany.

Remember, there’s still plenty of time to submit your yeast creation, sweet or savory, baked, fried, or whatever..with chocolate added in any form, up until March 1st, Midnight EST. You can read about it HERE!

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream CheeseSo, it all began when I was looking for an old cookbook a few days ago and came across a bread machine cookbook that I received as a gift, with a brand new bread machine, during the holidays back in 1994.  I used to use this book to death because it was chock full of incredible and unique bread recipes, like this Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Lump Bread (called Black Forest Bread in the book).  I still remember how much fun I had trying all the recipes during this bread machine phase of my young baking life.

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

This Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread was one of my favorites to make because everyone in the world loves dark chocolate (except me) so it was always easy to give away, which also aided in keeping my muffin top from spilling over and busting the zipper on my jeans.

I call the jeans in my closet without broken zippers ‘Survival of the Fittest’ (That one made it into Parade Magazine, chosen by Marilyn vos Savant. I was stoked, to say the least!)

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

It’s now out of print, but if you can find it somewhere., used or new, I encourage you to grab a copy if you have a bread machine and like to use your bread machine.  It’s the best bread machine cookbook I ever came across, to this day. It’s called The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever by Madge Rosenberg.

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

Look at the beautiful, shiny crust after it’s brushed, HOT, with the kirsch!  The kirsch soaks in and the crust remains, well, crusty,  A good thing, as one, famous Domestic Goddessss whose initials are MS, might say. Not to mention, the interior of the Black Forest bread is almost fudgy, while retaining a fluffy, light crumb.

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese
AGAIN, even though I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, the fudgy factor in this bread was just too hard to resist!


Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

I tried to be artsy, above. It never works. I’m photographically challenged.

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream CheeseAbove is the piece de resistance of accoutrements to this Black Forest bread; creamy, sweet, vanilla bean whipped cream cheese.  AND AGAIN, even though I don’t like dark chocolate, I wolfed down about 3 slices slathered with this spread.  I also ate some of it with a spoon.  Yes, I’m a glutton for almost anything edible with cream cheese on it.

Black Forest Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese

Look at those gorgeous dried cherries studding each slice, below. They plump up while the bread is baking, giving you a little juicy pop that’s unexpected.  I also gorged on the cherries, dipping them in the cream cheese spread, because, again, I’m a cream cheese glutton.

Drunken Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese (aka Black Forest Bread)Finally, the best part.  For those of you who don’t have a bread machine, I converted this Black Forest bread recipe to hand or stand mixer kneading and oven-baking.  I also added the chocolate chunks to the recipe – well chocolate disks, very large couverture disks I purchased a while back for a chocolate chip cookie recipe I never got around to making, just because I knew it would make the bread that much better.

As mentioned above, I also made a sweet vanilla bean cream cheese whip as a spread for this wonderfully moist and dense chocolate bread.  It’s a tasty, tangy, sweet emulation of the whipped cream in and on a Black Forest Cake.  Plus, why not add more calories?  Enjoy!

Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese aka Black Forest Bread

Drunkin' Cherry Dark Chocolate Lump Bread aka Black Forest Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: One 1.5 lb loaf
Recipe from The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever, by Madge Rosenberg, converted to manual mixing/kneading and oven baking, with my addition of chocolate chunks
  • ¾ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons kirsch or rum (optional, you can soak the cherries in any fruity liquid you doesn't have to be alcohol)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup good quality dark cocoa powder (I used Valrhona. You can use a basic supermarket cocoa powder, and it doesn't have to be dark - your call.)
  • 2¾ cups bread flour - if dough is too wet, keep adding flour until you have a soft and slightly tacky dough, but no more than 3.5 cups. Flour absorption depends on a lot of factors, like the weather.
  • 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoond salt
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ¾ cup good quality chocolate chunks or disks
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Spread
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small vanilla beans, split and scraped *
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • About 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Place dried cherries in a medium bowl with half the Kircsh or rum, or whatever soaking liquid you choose. Set aside until needed. They will plump and soften slightly.
  2. Boil water and stir in cocoa until uniform. Let cool until tepid, about 120 to 130 degrees F.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Using paddle attachment, combine and slowly pour in tepid cocoa/water mixture. Add softened butter and mix until it's blended in. Add the egg and keep mixing until uniform and brownie batter like.
  4. Slowly add in remaining (more or less depending on weather) flour until you have a slightly stiff dough that's easy to work with. Now, you can either switch to the dough hook and let it knead the dough until it's smooth and silky - slapping against the sides of the bowl cleanly, about 10 minutes, or dump it on a floured pastry board and knead by hand (therapeutic).
  5. Form the kneaded dough into smooth ball. Lightly grease a large bowl, and place the dough in it..turning to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or so, until doubled in size.
  6. When doubled in size, fold dough over on itself to deflate it, then place back on a clean floured pastry board, flattening it. Add the cherries with soaking liquid and the chocolate chunks or disks then fold the dough over itself several times to start incorporating them. The cherries and chocolate will keep popping out of the dough in a peek-a-boo manner with some falling out. It's ok, just keep pushing them back in and kneading. There will be cherries and chocolate chunks showing once you're finished, but that's perfectly fine..just stuff them back in with your fingers as best you can. You just want to make sure you get them evenly distributed throughout the dough. Let rise in greased bowl, covered, for another hour.
  7. Form dough into a loaf shape, and place in a greased and lightly floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until more than doubled..rising above the top of the pan - about 1½ to 2 hours. Could be less depending on how warm the area you keep it in, is.
  8. When the dough looks about ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. This is a very dark chocolate bread, so you can't tell by color. Another way to tell if it's done is to take it's internal temperature. It should register about 205 degrees F, but I don't like poking a hole in my bread. ;D
  9. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and place on wire rack to cool fully. Brush with remaining kirsch or whatever liquid you used if flavored over top of loaf. If you used water, don't bother. Slice up and enjoy!
Bread Machine Directions
  1. Freeze the chocolate chunks. Place all ingredients in the order suggested by your bread machine manual except the cherries and chocolate chunks and process on the basic bread cycle.
  2. At the end of the first knead cycle (it should beep) add cherries with soaking liquid and frozen chocolate chunks.
  3. Brush top of loaf with kirsch or rum after you remove the fully baked bread from the machine.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Spread
  1. In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla bean scrapings, then powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until uniform. Drizzle in heavy cream and continue beating on low speed until it's reached a nice, creamy, fluffy, spreadable consistency.
* Stick empty vanilla bean pods in a separate canister of granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar; great stuff!

I’m submitting this Black Forest Drunken Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread to Yeastspotting, a weekly bread baking showcase hosted by the uber talented Susan of Wild Yeast.

Drunken Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese (aka Black Forest Bread)

Drunken Soaked Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread with Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese (aka Black Forest Bread)


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50 Responses to Black Forest Drunkin’ Cherry Dark Chocolate Lump Bread for BBD #47

  1. As usual, I really enjoyed reading your story. It is so well written. I’m looking forward to part 6…

    That bread looks amazing! Something new to me…



  2. Dan says:

    Awesome bread and topping it with the vanilla been cream cheese it looks very delicious. Your story telling is really amazing and makes you really feel for the pain you must have gone through. Would have been nice for your parents to at least let you say goodbye and not leave in such a hasty manner. However, I certainly can understand not wanting a 15 yr old out and about. I really hope you have a smile on your face after your next post : ). Now can I have a piece of bread please.

  3. 5 Star Foodie says:

    You should really be publishing this in print, what a fascinating story! Your Jr. year sounds much like my own 🙂 The bread looks amazing, I absolutely love cherries & chocolate together.

  4. Sue says:

    Your bread is a beauty and sounds fabulously delicious! Can’t wait for the recipe

    You should write a novel, Lisa:) Your conch shell comparison?!? You are so talented in so many areas!

  5. Jamie says:

    Geeeez you are killing me!!! I want ALL the rest of the story next, you nut! And the bread is amazing!!! Amazing! And chocolate and cherry…. wow this has just given me a great idea for MY BBD bread!

  6. Oh you’re such a tease, I want the recipe for this! I love the idea of chocolate and cherry bread – so totally inspired and that vanilla cream cheese frosting takes it over the edge 🙂

  7. Winnie says:

    It’s the first time I see this kind of bread. what a unique and great idea.
    I like it

  8. Lora says:

    Loving this story…can’t wait for the next installment. That bread is outrageous.

  9. Jenni says:

    Oh this bread is amazing!! I have only just finished my own chocolate bread and now I want, no, need to make this! Amazing!!

  10. Shelley C says:

    I can’t wait for the recipe for that spread!! The bread looks delicious, too, but that spread would be DANGEROUS in my house… 🙂

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  12. daf says:

    on the hook again … I cannot wait to read the rest of this story …. the bread looks delicious … but I really really want to read the rest of the bad boy first love story … you are a wonderful story teller! the anticipation is killin’ me!

  13. shaz says:

    Oh Lisa, I need to knooowwww…please bring episode 6 along soon! Luckily there’s this beautiful chocolatey bread as consolation. Might see if I can get my loaf and send an entry in.

  14. samology says:

    wow Lisa.. Interesting story! You definitely have a flair for writing!! I definitely agree with you on the difficulty of transitioning from “I felt an intense pain” to suddenly “gradually mix in 1 cup of water on low speed”. lol.. And yes, your black forest bread looks very appetizing!

  15. Charu says:

    I came for the bread, now I’m here for the story. Hurry with Part 6!

  16. Jessica says:

    This should be a novelette in print..I’m so loving this! The bread is great too! I would love to try it with fresh cherry jam along with the cream cheese.

  17. Megan says:

    Seriously, you could write a novel. This is such a great narrative and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for part 6. I need to know if you saw him again and what happened!!

    Oh, and that bread looks awesome. Chocolate and cherries — always a good combo!

  18. Terra says:

    Some rum added too? Now that sounds like my kind of bread! This looks gorgeous:-) Hugs, Terra

  19. Laura says:

    Lisa, you are killing me! Hurry up with part 6, would you?

    Lovely bread, I love the color!

  20. Gail says:

    I love chocolate yeast breads, can’t wait to see the roundup. The cherries and chocolate chunks are such a great addition. Love the cream cheese spread too!

  21. Paaaaaaaart 6 pleeeeeease!!!!! I would however be happy to much on this bread while I wait 😉

  22. Valerie says:

    The suspense is killing me! And that chocolate bread looks amazing! I was just about to bake a chocolate loaf (first thing I’ve baked in weeks), this is good motivation!

  23. Mary says:

    I could tune in every day for another installment of this story! I can’t wait for part 7, but I’ll try to console myself with that fabulous bread. Dried cherries are so expensive here, but I think I need to splurge and make some of this. Or at least drink some Kirsch…

  24. This bread looks to die for – all I can see are cherry chunks and chocolate 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Two Twix Fudgy ‘Whities’

  25. Priscilla says:

    Holy chocolate cherry bread – we have to wait for Part 6!! I literally laughed out loud at “Ejaculation Proclamation”‘ classic 🙂 Delicious bread and vanilla spread!

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  27. Sophia says:

    Awesome bread! Awesome story!

  28. Renata says:

    The bread looks fantastic! I have never made bread with chocolate, now I want to!
    Cant wait for the final (?) chapter of your story. You do know how to hook your readers, Lisa!

  29. I’m still giggling over what you said in class…oh my gosh…so funny! It’s interesting how you could be doing the most random thing like making chicken soup and be brought back to the scent of someone you know. And I get what you meant when you said he didn’t smell like chicken soup. ;)I CAN’T WAIT for part 6. You’re torturing us:) looks so good~!xxx

  30. Liz says:

    Oh, yeah….you’ve converted my favorite cookie into an amazing bread!!! And I can just feel the teenage angst…and I both gasped and giggled at your History outburst…too funny! Can’t wait for the next installment!!!

  31. Kat says:

    Loving this story..have subscribed to your blog so I know right away when the next part is up. Oh, it helps that your recipes and photos are delicious too!

  32. Mary says:

    Execelent post! Want to try the bread and cream cheese dip!

  33. Kita says:

    I love the dark look of this bread. The dough is somehow sultry in its color with the cherries peaking through.

  34. John says:

    Just wanted to pop in and tell you that I love your blog. Your writing is terrific..this story really demonstrating that. Great desserts too!

  35. That is the most decadent quick bread ever. And waiting desperately to read part 6!!!!!!!!

  36. I love the chocolate-cherry combination and this bread looks delicious Lisa! Wonderful recipe and lovely photos. Thanks for sharing! You have a beautiful blog and I’m glad to have found you.

  37. Emily says:

    So I came to your blog because I saw one of your pics on FoodPornDaily… and now I am hooked on your story! Can’t wait to hear the end 🙂

  38. Wow! I am totally hooked to this story… And that bread looks SO delicious!!! Love the picture of that chocolatey dough! Looks fabulous and chocolatey… I want to try this recipe! Now I am heading over to read Part 6! Yay 🙂

  39. Dinavia says:

    This bread look so good! I love Black Forest Cake, so I know I’d love this bread! The cream cheese spread is perfect with it! Keep the story coming, I’m going nuts..I want the encounter!!

  40. Bunkycooks says:

    The cake looks awesome!! On to the next installment!! 🙂

  41. Shandra says:

    I tried making your bread and the top cracked, it took an hour to bake and when I try to slice it, it falls apart on top. Do you have any advice? I did bake it in a glass loaf dish. Do you think that made a difference?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Shandra – this bread, texture wise, does tend to fall apart a little when not cut with s super sharp bread knife (the cocoa seems to be the culprit), but as for the cracking, other than the bread splitting down the middle when baking, there should be no cracks. I’ve never made it in a glass baking dish, so yes, that could be the problem. I wish I could be there to make it with you step-by-step, since that’s the only way I’d know for sure. Did you like the flavor? 🙂

      • Shandra says:

        Oh yes…delicious! It split down the middle while baking like you mentioned. So maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be? I used dark Cap Mrgn for the rum and I used cranberries instead of cherries since that’s what I had on hand. My local farmer’s mkt has a choc cherry bread that I am trying to recreate as they charge $10/loaf. I tried the Zingerman recipe and it was just okay. Yours is better. One more thing, is it supposed to be a very wet dough? When I took it out of the bread machine to go into my dish, the dough was almost pourable.

      • Lisa says:, it’s not supposed to be a wet dough as you can see in the photos. It should firm and ‘kneadable’. This recipe was originally created for a bread machine, but I adapted it for manual bread making/baking since many don’t have bread machines. I think I need to go over my directions again since I was sure I mentioned adding enough flour to get a soft, but firm dough. Cranberries in lieu of cherries sound great, especially for the holiday season!

      • Shandra says:

        I did use a bread machine on the dough setting so maybe that was my problem. I will try it again… Thanks!

  42. Made this, ate it and reporting back – it’s awesome!

    • Lisa says:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Amy! It was the first bread machine bread I ever made! I think I need to start making it on a more regular basis 🙂

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