It’s approaching that time of year when the sun retreats into the sky earlier and earlier, leaving us in dusky overcast light before we’ve even sat down for dinner. It’s the time when all you want it to do is hide under your covers every morning and leave the responsibilities shut outside where they can’t get you. Its the time when food becomes more than fuel for your body, it fuels your soul. You yearn for those familiar flavours, smells, comforts that somehow got forgotten over the past summer of raw salads.
I’ve been searching for a cake like this for a long time. A cake that you can throw together without much effort. A cake that has that envious gooey, shiny interior that we all thrive for in a chocolate cake. But most importantly for me, that deep rich dark colour. Nothing makes me ache more for a sweet snack than an intense dark brown crumb.
I can wholeheartedly admit to you that all I want after pounding the harsh concrete pavements of London and slugging through the rain is this. This isn’t a pretty cake. It’s not about that. This loaf cake is about cutting out the manners and getting straight to what you came for.
Although however raw, unrefined or informal a cake like this is; there’s still something ever so charming about it. It’s not a slice of cake that’s ‘too beautiful to eat.’ It practically screams at you to devour it. That said, unashamed, that’s what we shall do.
Ingredients – Makes one loaf cake
(recipe adapted from The Vanilla Bean Blog)
- 200g unsalted butter
- 270g soft dark brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 140g dark chocolate
- 140g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 2 good pinches of sea salt
- 5g instant coffee powder
- 80ml hot water
- A large handful of Vahlrona Gianduja Chocolate* (or just dark chocolate chips)
*Vahlrona Gianduja Chocolate is an amazing milk hazelnut chocolate that you can find online or in some upmarket shops like Selfridges. It’s the most amazing soft hazelnut chocolate and works great in baking, I highly recommend finding it.
- Start off by preheating your oven to 190°C. Grease a loaf tin with butter and insert a strip of baking paper leaving some excess hanging over the edges so that you can lift out your cake easily later.
- Melt your chocolate and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs and beat until incorporated. Fold in your melted chocolate and combine again.
- Combine the plain flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and sea salt together in a small bowl. Fold this into your butter/chocolate mix. Once combined, dissolve the coffee powder into the hot water and add this to the cake mix.
- Once the batter is evenly mixed, stir in 3/4 of the chunks of Gianduja chocolate (or just chocolate chips.) Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin.
- Sprinkle your remaining chocolate chunks on top of the cake and bake for 30 minutes. After this, lower the oven to 160°C for 20 minutes.
- This cake is supposed to be very gooey inside and will collapse in the middle once out of the oven, so a cake tester will never come out clean. This said, be careful not to completely under bake the cake either.
- Once you’re satisfied with the gooeyness of your loaf, take it out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes before turning out.