Monday, 11 April 2011

Simplicity at its best: Chocolate Loaf Cake

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Sometimes, a girl just needs chocolate cake.  Not a chocolate bar, which can be too heavy and creamy, or a chocolate dessert, which requires pomp and circumstance, but just a nice, simple, cocoa-laden chocolate loaf cake.

Simplicity is a beautiful thing.  So is chocolate.  And when they come together, especially this easily and quickly, well that's the most beautiful thing of all.

This cake is dark, dense, and chocolatey, without being too rich or heavy.  It's perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or an indulgent breakfast treat or a casual dessert after a light spring dinner.  It travels well, so it's easy to wrap up a slice and stick it in your bag for those mid-afternoon slumps at work (just me?), and it keeps well too, so if your boyfriend is too distracted with school to notice it and you have to restrain yourself from eating it all and constantly point it out and remind him that it's there it'll still be delicious when he finally eats it two days later (I know that one's just me).  In fact, I thought this cake was even better the next day, when all the chocolateyness had settled into the breadiness and the whole thing was just a big loaf of tasty.

If that inarticulate recommendation hasn't convinced you, maybe the photos will, or the fact that the ingredients list is made up entirely of things most of us have in our fridge/cupboard.  So what are you still doing here?  Go make this cake!  I promise you won't regret it.

P.S.  I'm headed home to S.F. next week for a long Easter holiday (no, I'm not sad to be missing the sh*tshow that is the royal wedding), so posting might be a tad less frequent.  But I have a few posts scheduled to keep things going, and if I do any baking in Cali I'll be sure to take mediocre pics with my phone and post them here!

Dark Chocolate Cake:
     adapted from Life is Great

Preheat oven to 325F/150C.

Grease/flour a 9×5 loaf pan. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream until smooth:
     1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, rm temp

Add, and beat until fluffy:
     3/4 cup dark brown sugar 
     3/4 cup granulated sugar

Add and beat well:
     1 egg, rm temp

     1 cup buttermilk (or 1c milk with a Tbsp of white vinegar to thicken it up)
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add into the batter, sifting if you like:
     1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
     3/4 cup cocoa 
     1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
     1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
     1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir with a spatula until well-blended, scraping the sides of the bowl and taking care not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan 10 to 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool on a rack.


  1. midway through reading this, i went and took out my butter so it can come to room temp. soooo freaking excited. i have literally been itching to bake something chocolaty.
    will let you know how it goes.

  2. oh good! i hope you like it as much as i did.

  3. i wanted to ask your expert opinion about a baking matter... for the bf's b-day, he has requested a black forest PAKE. (a pie baked inside a cake.) this is supposed to be the turducken of desserts. so, im baking a cherry pie and then putting it inside a cake pan and pouring chocolate cake batter over it, and then baking it again.
    and my question is, what kind of frosting would one put on such a monstrosity?

  4. haha he couldn't just ask for brownies?? holy shamoly. i think i'd have to go for cream cheese frosting– normally i'd say salted caramel over chocolate cake, but that might clash with the cherries... cream cheese goes with chocolate and cherries?
    i'm way out of my league on this one! let me know how it goes. guest post?


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