Before I get down to baking, give me a moment to rave about a few shows I recently saw. First off, earlier last week while in Chicago I had the chance to see Reel Big Fish play with the Aquabats and Suburban Legends at the House of Blues (or House of Rules as my friends refer to it). Seriously fun! If you don't know of any of these bands, do some homework and check them out. They are all part of the third wave of ska from the last '90s. All of these bands are awesome. Secondly, I had the chance to catch Pretty Lights here in my hometown of Eugene. Best. Show. Of. The. Year. And I go to a lot of them. I danced until my legs no longer felt attached to my body. Describing his sound is a bit hard so I am borrowing from Wikipedia here in saying it's kind of like "glitchy hip-hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul samples." Again, go educate yourself on his stuff. You can thank me later. (Sorry, no pics of the Pretty Lights Show...dancing took precedence)
Now, finally down to baking business.
Tis the season for pumpkin, wouldn't you agree? Recently, I had a hankering for pumpkin bread however I wanted to stray from the traditional flavor. After wandering the bulk aisle at my local grocery store...I encountered Chinese 5 Spice. Bingo!
(Total ham shot of me baking...)
Using an old pumpkin bread recipe, I concocted the following recipe. Again, half of the loaf disappeared immediately out of the oven before I could stop myself. So damn good. Enjoy!
- 2 cups sugar (1 brown, 1 white)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1 - 14 oz. can of pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts work great)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice blend
- 1/2 tsp allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (2) loaf pans.
Mix the sugars, applesauce, and eggs in a bowl (I used a mixer). Stir in the orange juice, pumpkin, and nuts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and all spices. (see how messy I am?)
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, in stages, until incorporated.
Pour batter evenly into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for approximately 70 minutes or until a toothpick cleanly comes out of the center of a loaf.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Transfer to a rack to completely cool. I dusted mine with some powdered sugar and cocoa to make the spices stand out (suggested). Slice into pieces and hope you don't eat it all at once.