I am starting with this recipe as i feel it is the essence of all that is desirable in a chocolate, dark and intense . This is such a humble loaf cake, plainest of plain but so damp, so dense. To understand what i mean you need to make it, such a simple cake but with so much character.
This also makes for an excellent dessert, either with ice cream or a pitcher of white chocolate – rum custard with strawberries on the side YUM!. But to have it in its simplest avatar with tea or coffee is dreamy in itself. Leave it for a day or so and like gingerbread it improves. It will sink so very slightly in the middle because its such a damp and dense cake. Cut a thick slice and spread it with cold cream cheese and you will be crying with joy.
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces best bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 cups all- purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180 degree centigrade. Grease and line the loaf pan, the lining is very important as this is a very damp cake; use parchment or one of those loaf-pan-shaped paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar, with an electric hand held mixer in a large bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Fold in the melted and slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overbeat. You want the ingredients combined but you don’t want a light airy mass. Then gently add the flour, to which you have added the baking soda, alternately spoon by spoon, with boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 degrees and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so when you insert a cake tester or skewer it won’t come out completely clean.
Place the loaf pan on the wire rack, and let it cool completely before turning it out and slicing.
A Nigella Lawson recipe