Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 gram(s) plain flour (-25g)
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 gram(s) cocoa powder (+25g)
  • 275 gram(s) caster sugar (200g)
  • 175 gram(s) unsalted butter soft
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 80 ml sour cream
  • 125 ml water boiling
  • 175 gram(s) dark chocolate chips (unless you prefer milk)

For the syrup

  • 1 teaspoon(s) cocoa powder
  • 125 ml water
  • 100 gram(s) caster sugar
  • 25 gram(s) dark chocolate (from a thick bar)

Directions

  1. Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all ingredients can come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C, putting in a baking sheet as you do so, and line a 900g loaf tin (mine measures 21x11cm and 7.5cm deep and the cooking times are based on that) with greased foil – making sure there are no tears – and leave an overhang all round. Or use a silicon tin.
  3. Put the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into the processor and blitz till a smooth, satiny brown batter. Scrape down with a rubber spatula and process again while pouring the boiling water down the funnel. Switch it off then remove the lid and the well-scraped double-bladed knife and, still using your rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips or morsels.
  4. Scrape and pour this beautiful batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven, cooking for about 1 hour. When it’s ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle and a cake-tester, or a fine skewer, will pretty well come out clean. But this is a damp cake so don’t be alarmed at a bit of stickiness in evidence; rather, greet it.
  5. Not long before the cake is due out of the oven – say when it’s had about 45-50 minutes – put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. You may find it needs a little longer: what you want is a reduced liquid, that’s to say a syrup, though I often take it a little further, so that the sugar caramelizes and the syrup has a really dark, smokey chocolate intensity.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and sit it on a cooling rack and, still in its tin, pierce here and there with a cake tester. Then pour the syrup as evenly as possible, which is not very, over the surface of the cake. It will run to the sides of the tin, but some will have been absorbed in the middle.
  7. Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the foil as you do so. Sit on an oblong or other plate. Now take your bar of chocolate, wrapped in foil if you haven’t got much of its wrapper left, and cut with a heavy sharp knife, so that it splinters and flakes and falls in slices of varying thickness and thinness.
  8. I’ve specified a weight, but really go by eye: when you think you’ve got enough to scatter over the top of the loafcake, stop slicing. Sprinkle these chocolate splinters over the top of the sticky surface of the cake.

Marble Pound Cake

I bought a very non-stick loaf pan last week. I am so happy about the quality of the pan and I just can’t wait to use it as soon as possible. Instead of other cakes in loaf form, I decide to do the pilot bake with a classic pound cake. So I searched good pound cake recipes. I went through a number of classic pound cake recipes and found many of them call for 4-5 eggs for just 1 loaf, which scares me. I definitely don’t want to

IMG_1081

Marble Pound Cake  (Adapted from marthastewart.com)

Makes 1 9X5 inch loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (114g/ 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar (- 1/4 cup)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
  5. In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
  6. Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
  7. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.