Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

If you have seen my earlier posts on Nigella cooks or bakes, you would probably realised that these are just plain diversities of what Nigella usually does. Now, this is the real deal. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Although there are different schools of thoughts on chocolate where some believe that using loads of chocolate to get that real chocolatey flavour in your bakes, there are also a minority like Alice Medrich who believes that using cocoa powder to give that extra oomph on the chocolate flavour.

The whole reason why Nigella did this recipe was because "it is the essence of all that is desirable in chocolate: its dark intensity isn't toyed with, nor upstaged by any culinary elaboration". Simply put, it is chocolate at its pure goodness. I like the sound of that. So would you if you are a chocolate lover, I'm sure of that.

Already in my head, I am conjuring up so many combinations that can go with this cake - vanilla bean ice-cream, strawberries and cream. But I love Nigella's simple yet no fussed option - sliced with a cup of hot tea or coffee for the reason that this cake is damp and sticky like gingerbread and simply, aromatic.

Ok, enough enticing done. Let's get on with her recipe from "How to be a domestic goddess".

  • 226g soft unsalted butter
  • 333g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 113g bittersweet chocolates, melted
  • 166g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water

    1. Heat the oven to 375°F, put in a baking sheet in case of sticky drips later, and grease and line a 9x5-inch loaf pan. The lining is important as this is a very damp cake: use parchment or one of those loaf-pan-shaped paper liners.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand-held mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Next, fold in the melted and now slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overbeat. You want the ingredients combined: You don't want a light, airy mass.
    3. Then gently add the flour, to which you've added the baking soda, alternately spoon by spoon, with the boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan, and bake for 30 minutes. (Note: Don't let this batter come closer than 1 inch from the rim of the cake pan or it risks overflowing. Pour any excess into a smaller cake or muffin pan.)
    4. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.
    5. Place the loaf pan on a rack, and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. (I often leave it for a day or so: like gingerbread, it improves.) Don't worry if it sinks in the middle: indeed, it will do so because it's such a dense and damp cake.

    Check out my dense chocolate loaf. It's not really dense to me since I'm a chocolate lover. But I love how light and airy this loaf feels and tastes in my mouth. Do try it!

    I'm going to submit this post to Cook like a Star where the Star for this month is Nigella Lawson. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Do join us by cooking or baking any of Nigella's recipes for the month of August but do remember that it must be a current post. Don't forget to mention 'Cook like a Star' in your posts.


    I'm also going to submit this post to Cook-Your-Books #3 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.


    I'm also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up organized by Bake for Happy Kidsmy little favourite DIY and hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out since this month's event is Eggs.

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