makes one loaf, baked in a pan measuring 8½” x 4½” x 2¾”
(Note: the loaf bakes best in a loaf pan with a capacity of 1.5 L which is a little bit more than 6 cups of batter. Opt for a glass Pyrex loaf pan rather than a metallic pan, which tends to over darken the cake. My pan measures 8½” x 4½” x 2¾”)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, diced
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (if using fresh pumpkin puree, strain well in cheesecloth)
2 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. dark chocolate, melted/slightly cooled (I use Trader Joe’s 60%)
Grease the bottom and sides of a glass loaf pan measuring 8½” x 4½” x 2¾” (1.5 L capacity) then line the bottom with parchment paper; lightly grease the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, and orange zest. Stir in the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; then add the pumpkin puree, sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla (mixture may appear separated). With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture in three additions. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Remove half of the batter to separate bowl; fold cooled/melted chocolate into 1 bowl of the batter until combined.
Alternately drop spoonfuls of light and dark batters into parchment paper–lined loaf pan. Using a small paring knife, gently swirl batters to marbleize. Smooth the top of the loaf using a small offset spatula. Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350° F oven until loaf tests clean with a knife, about 70 minutes. If the loaf needs more time, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, cover the top of the loaf with a sheet of parchment paper, and bake for an additional 5-7 min. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Lift out onto rack; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely before slicing. (The batter fills the pan almost to the top- keep an eye on baking time and adjust the temperature from 350 degrees F down to 325 degrees F if the top is getting too dark but the center needs more time.) Best served Halloween morning with a cup of strong coffee.