Friday, March 22, 2013

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

When I read this recipe, I had to try it. Was it the chocolate that called to me? Perhaps the novelty of baking a cake in a loaf pan? Oh, no, dear readers. It was something far more wonderful than that.

You see, the cake was described as "squidgy." Yes, squidgy. I didn't have a clue what squidgy was, but as it held the promise of onomatopoeia, I had to find out.

As the cake baked, my house was inundated with the heavenly scent of chocolate. Like I lived in a chocolate sauna. While it cooled I kept walking past the cake, hoping that a morsel had miraculously fallen off so I could nibble on it guilt-free. I didn't. My patience was rewarded when I sliced into the dense loaf, and felt the decadence of this cake. It had presence. Heft. And then I tasted it. Good gosh. It was an intensely chocolaty bite of heaven.

Most importantly, though, this cake is squidgy. And believe me, that's a very good thing.

P.S. Thanks to the husband for taking today's picture!

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson via Food 52

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease two loaf pans, line them with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. Set prepared pans aside.

Cream together butter and brown sugar. (You can use the paddle attachment on your electric mixer or just a spoon and old-fashioned elbow grease.) Stir in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Fold in melted chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Add a big scoop of the flour mixture to the chocolate-butter mixture and stir to combine. Then stir in a few glugs of the boiling water. Continue adding the flour mixture and the boiling water alternately until everything is mixed together. (The batter will be pretty liquid.)

Evenly divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. (The cake is quite moist, so if you insert a toothpick to see if the cake is done, it won't be completely clean even if the cake is finished baking.)

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan. (It will most likely crack and buckle as it cools, but don't be dismayed. The imperfection of this cake is part of its charm!) Serve thick slices of cake with a dollop of whipped cream.


  1. When a title says "Dense" AND "Chocolate" you know it's got to be good. I've heard about a lot of friends making this and calling it legendary. Guess I'll have to give it a shot.

  2. "Legendary" is a good description, Michael!