Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

Yesterday afternoon I was preparing for an interview when all of a sudden I got it in my head to open Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess cookbook and make something chocolately for dessert. My all-time favorite brownie recipe comes from the same book. This was a breeze to throw together (you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry) and was oh-so-satisfying… especially served with vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Yum.

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake, courtesy of Nigella Lawson

  • 1 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz best bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup + 2 TB boiling water

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease and line a 9×5 inch loaf pan. The lining is important as this is a very damp and heavy cake: use parchment or one of those loaf-pan-shaped paper liners so that you can easily remove it once cool. Melt the chocolate and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric mixer. Add 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. 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. Turn the oven down to 325 F and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes. The cake will be somewhat liquidy in the middle so a tester won’t come out clean.

Place the loaf on a rack, and leave to set until completely cold before turning it out. Don’t worry if it sinks in the middle: it will do so because it’s such a dense and damp cake.