I love adding fresh berries to breads, muffins and other desserts, but you don’t always need fresh berries to give something a great berry flavor. Often, jam or preserves will do at least as good a job, as their concentrated berry flavor can add a more intense sweetness to some baked goods than fresh berries alone might do. This Raspberry Almond Swirl Bread is a quick bread that takes advantage of this. I added some (whole fruit, all natural) raspberry preserves to part of and almond-laced batter, then swirled it into the plainer batter before baking. The result is that this bread is almost like two breads in one, and the raspberry flavor is really concentrated in that lovely pink swirl.
The bread itself is not too sweet and has a mild almond flavor to it. The almond flavor comes both from ground almonds added to the batter and from some almond extract that is added in. While the amount of almond meal is fairly small, it is enough to give this bread a tender and slightly crumbly texture. In contrast with the base almond batter, the raspberry swirl is sweet and has a flavor that really pops.
Some quickbreads are very cake-like, but this one has a more muffiny flavor and texture. This makes it great for toasting and it goes very well with a smear of butter or cream cheese. It’s still tasty on its own, of course, and you won’t be missing out if you eat it plain, either! I kept the top of the loaf plain, but a sprinkle of coarse sugar or a small handful of chopped almonds would add a nice finishing touch to this bread, too.
Rapberry Almond Swirl Bread
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and almond extracts until well combined. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Place raspberry preserves in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Take 2/3 cup of this batter and add it to the preserves. Stir until well combined.
Pour about half of the plain batter into the prepared loaf pan. Pour raspberry batter on top of it. Dollop raspberry batter with remaining plain batter. Take a butter knife and swirl gently through the batter.
Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached.
Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.