I am beginning to feel like a bit of a hypocrite. After spending the majority of the summer in a heat induced stupor, I was ready for fall. I was ready to embrace wearing pants and drinking hot beverages, going outside without breaking into a sweat, and sleeping under the bed covers instead of on top of them. I often whined about the heat of summer to anyone who would listen until I couldn't find anyone to listen to my grievances anymore. I secretly wished for snow and cold winds as I sat in front of an industrial fan.
And now, on the first real day of fall weather, I must eat my words.
This morning was genuinely cold. In the middle of the night, I had pulled the covers up to the tip of my nose, trapping the heat under the blankets. When my alarm went off with a loud beep, I snaked a hand out to turn it off and immediately brought it back into the warmth of the blankets. The shock of chilled air was unexpected. I groaned audibly, wanting to stay beneath the covers forever, dreading the moment when I would have to leave the sanctuary of my bed. After a few minutes of indulging myself, I finally pulled off the covers and crawled out of bed.
Breakfast has an uncanny ability to lure me out from the land of dreams.
Even though my body may not be ready for the shock of crisp air, my taste buds are more than ready for autumn to arrive. I'm looking forward to roasting freshly picked apples in the oven with a little brown sugar. I'm looking forward to devouring warm rice pudding, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Most of all, I'm looking forward to eating anything and everything with pumpkin (so much, in fact, that I jumped the gun and started stocking my cupboards with cans of pumpkin early this year).
After making most of this Pumpkin Espresso Bread disappear in less than a day, I feel like beginning autumn baking early was an excellent decision.
Pumpkin Espresso Bread is the quintessential loaf of autumn. With the flavors of my favorite coffee house drink in mind, I infused espresso into pumpkin bread batter and topped the loaf with a brown sugar espresso crumble before baking. In the oven, half of the crumble soaks into the top of the bread while the other half stays sweet and crunchy on top. The pumpkin bread is incredibly moist, with a tender crumb, and strong flavors. I would be surprised if this lasted more than a day in your house.
Pumpkin Espresso Bread
Yields 9 x 5-inch loaf
Pumpkin Espresso Bread
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 cup (245 grams) canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (59 ml) milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, baking soda, espresso powder, spices, and salt. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Brown Sugar Espresso Topping
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, espresso powder, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.