I gave my family the option of my making Spinach & Cheese muffins or Chocolate loaf cake today. There was an immediate vote for the latter, though I was silently hoping for the prior. But as there was honest-to-goodness snow outside, decadent chocolatey goodness felt appropriate.
It came out exactly as it should — which is to say, absurdly moist and not at all pretty. It’s own dense, gooey weight made the whole cake fall in. I suppose I could work at boosting the leaveners, but I think that would begin to add a chalky taste; cooking it longer would simply dry it out. Instead, I think this is simply a cake that isn’t to be shown in its entirety to guests. Simply cut this bad boy up and serve it from the kitchen — ideally with a pitcher of cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Oh, and be warned. This is one very, very moreish loaf!
- 225g / 1 cup soft unsalted butter
- 375g / 1-2/3 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g / 4 oz best bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 200g / 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 250ml / 1 c plus 2 T boiling water
- Preheat oven to 190ºC / 375ºF.
- Line a 23 x 13 x 7cm bread pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides; you'll need to use the overhang for pulling the loaf out once it's done.
- Melt chocolate using either a double boiler or microwave. It will need to be cool before incorporating below.
- While the chocolate is cooling, cream butter and sugar. I used a mixer, but you could easily use a wooden spoon for this recipe. Add eggs and vanilla. Fold in the chocolate delicately.
- Combine the flour and baking soda.
- Slowly add the dry mixture and the boiling water to the chocolate mixture, alternating between the two as they are added.
- Pour into the bread tin and bake 30min. Turn the oven down to 170ºC / 340ºF; cook for 15 additional minutes.
- The loaf shouldn't jiggle when done, but a knife inserted in its middle won't come out clean. Place the tin on a rack to cool for as long as possible. Nigella recommended cooling completely; I certainly couldn't wait that long.