Friday, March 25, 2011

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

Mark and I went over to a friends house for dinner the other night and we needed to bring something super delicious for dessert. Only problem...I was feeling lazy and I only wanted something that I could make with items that I had on hand. Whenever I need to do this, I turn to my trusted Nigella Lawson oldie-but-goodie favorite, How to be a Domestic Goddess. My favorite recipe in the book is her Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. You can tell that it is my favorite recipe because the page is bent, smudged, and stained with chocolate and the book automatically opens right to the page since I've turned there so often. I wouldn't dare alter Nigella's brilliance, so I didn't. This cake is everything a cake should be. Super rich and so moist that it almost falls apart when you cut it, which you could do with safety scissors since it is to soft. Anyone who loves chocolate will flip for this cake. It is great for dessert because, which it is rich and dense, it is not cloyingly sweet or overly heavy. A nice small piece will be just the thing to end the night. Then you can rummage though the fridge later and eat the rest while no one is watching, like I do. Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (by Nigella Lawson)
4 oz. dark chocolate (I used 60% cacao)
2 sticks butter
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup and 2 Tbs. hot water

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or until melted and smooth.
2. Cream together the soft butter and sugar until smooth. Nigella stipulates dark brown sugar, which is best. I've made it with light brown sugar when I don't have dark and that works too.
3. Slowly add the lightly beaten eggs and vanilla. Then add in the melted chocolate.
4. In another small bowl, add the baking soda to the flour and mix through.
5. Alternate adding a scoop of the flour with splashes of water until both are incorporated. The batter will be quite liquid.
6. You want a well greased loaf pan. I have a Le Crueset pan that I could probably burn cheese on and it would slide off, so a good spray with nonstick spray works. You may want to line your pan with parchment so that yours will come out smooth. Add the batter to the pan.
This loaf pan is filled too much. I scooped out 1/4 cup from this and put it into a ramekin s that it doesn't spill over. You want to leave yourself 1/2 inch at the top for a very slight rise.

7. Set the loaf pan on top of a baking tray just in case it spills over. Bake in a preheat 375 degree oven for 30 minutes and turn down the oven to 325 and cook for another 15 minutes. A skewer will not come out clean when inserted. The cake is super moist! That's the point!
8. Allow to cool completely on a rack before taking the loaf out of the loaf pan.
Slice it up and enjoy.
I like mine with a cup of coffee or milk and really, it doesn't need much else.

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