Recipe: Almond, Raisin and Chocolate Loaf

Almond, Raisin & Chocolate Loaf

My latest loaf is somewhat akin to a fruit and nut bar in bread form, although the chocolate is subtle and comes from cacao nibs baked into the loaf.

Cacao nibs are little pieces of unrefined chocolate, the main ingredient that is used with the addition of cacao butter, sugar and other ingredients to make bar chocolate.  They are hard, crunchy and bitter, with an intense hit of pure chocolate, my little pot came from Hotel Chocolat.  The baking somewhat softens and mellows them; I was surprised at just how well this loaf worked.

Delicious thickly spread with speculoos or a black cherry jam for breakfast or at tea time.

Recipe: Almond, Raisin and Chocolate Loaf

Makes 1 medium loaf (lasts the 2 of us 2 days)


300ml warm water
1 heaped tsp yeast (dried active – I used the one for hand baking)
300g strong white flour
175g strong brown bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs oil – olive / rapeseed / hemp etc.
Generous handful raisins
Generous handful almonds – roughly chopped
Heaped tbs cacao nibs – or coursely grated chocolate

Pour the water into bowl, add the yeast and swirl to it is dissolved.  Add the other ingredients.

Knead with the dough hook attachment of your mixer on the lowest speed for about 4 minutes until a smooth stretchy dough has formed (if you knead by hand it will take longer).

Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for a few hours or  in the fridge overnight. It should more than double in size.

In the morning turn out onto a floured board and gently knock the dough back. Shape the loaf,  lace in an oiled and floured 1lb loaf tin.  Leave somewhere warm until doubled in size again.

Place in a preheated oven at GM7 / 220C / 425F and bake for about 40 minutes.   For a crustier loaf place a small dish of water in the oven under the loaf.

When it is done it should turn out of the tin and sound hollow when tapped.  It always takes longer to bake than you think it will, so my general rule of thumb is that if you are unsure give it another 5 mins.

Almond, Raisin and Chocolate Loaf

The very pretty tea towel in the photos is from the Hope & Greenwood Homewares Collection.

Thanks to both Hotel Chocolat and Hope & Greenwood for samples.

Sending to this month’s We Should Cocoa where the theme is almonds, hosted this month by Laura at How to Cook Good Food.

And to Yeastspotting…

Visit the Fuss Free Flavours Giveaways Page for a chance to win some amazing prizes!
About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance food & writer, photographer who has been writing about achievable, affordable and mostly healthy food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles, recipes and photos to a number of online and print food magazines. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss commissioning work.

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  1. Wow Helen, this is such a delicious sounding loaf! What’s great is that this is something I could make for the children to have after school and I can have some if there’s any left. One of my have all time favourite loaves is hazelnut, rosemary & raisin. Almond, raisin & cacao nibs may just be up there now!
    I also have my eye on that tea towel too…..:-)x

    • Hazelnut, rosemary and raisin sounds delish Laura. I shall have to try it!

      There will be an entire post on the Hope & Greenwood shop soon!

  2. Oh Helen, really interested to hear about cocoa nibs and how they softened in the bread. Really nice idea for a chocolatey bread that isn’t sweet. It sounds really delicious with the almonds and raisins too. I’d so love a slice right now – toasted with butter would be good. Thanks for sending this to WSC.

    • I am going to experiment again with some chocolate in bread. It was as good toasted as it was fresh.

  3. wow this looks and sounds amazing. I like the addition of chocolate to the loaf – I really should start baking my own bread!

    • Do try making bread. It really is very easy. Do you take par in Fresh from the Oven? One loaf a month so it is not too hard to keep up with.

  4. I have a bag of cacao nibs in the cupboard tormenting me as I haven’t got a clue how to use them! Thanks for sharing this recipe

  5. I’m fascinated that the nibs softened in the bread – would never have thought to bake with them! The loaf sounds amazing…

  6. I echo Jeanne’s comment – I don’t like the bittiness of cacoa nibs usually so I’m very interested to hear they go soft when baked.

  7. Hi Helen,

    I had to bake this loaf twice before I got it right but when I did, it came out really well. I love dark chocolate and put at least 2 handfuls in my loaf and it l loved it ( I liked how the chocolate melted into the loaf and how the almonds complimented the chocolate. Your loaf seems to have air holes and looks lighter; mine was thick with no air holes, I probably didn’t knead it enough. I will be making this again sometime, thanks for the recipe.


  1. […] found this loaf on fussfreeflavours and it looked like something I’d like. I tried baking it for Christmas last year but it came […]

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