This is another wonderful Nigella Lawson chocolate cake recipe – this one’s from the “Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame” chapter in Feast. It’s a dense, yet surprisingly light, loaf cake – not too light, however, and it goes wonderfully with cream. It’s a sweet chocolate cake, and you could make it sweeter by using milk, or perhaps even white, chocolate chips instead of dark. It’s an extremely simple recipe – it’s designed to be made in a blender, although I beat it together by hand. Once it’s cooked, you pour over some chocolate syrup, and then when cold, grate over some chocolate sprinkles for a rather elegant loaf cake. I served it for morning tea, and it was extremely popular – afternoon tea might be more appropriate though. As with most Nigella recipes, it’s rather rich.
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
275g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
80ml sour cream
125ml boiling water
175g chocolate chips
for the syrup:
1 tsp cocoa
100g caster sugar
25g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a loaf tin (21 x 11cm and 7.5cm deep).
Put the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into a food processor, and blitzs until it’s a smooth, satiny brown batter. Process again while pouring the boiling water slowly into the mixture. Turn off the processor, and stir in the chocolate chips.
(If you’re not using a food process, cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs, followed by the dry ingredients, then the sour cream and vanilla, then beat in the water.)
Pour the batter into the loaf tin, and bake for an hour. When ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle, and a skewer should come out fairly clean.
Just before the cake comes out of the oven, put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan, and boil for five minutes. What you want is a reduced liquid, a syrup.
When you’ve taken the cake out of the oven, pierce a few times with a skewer, and pour the syrup as evenly as possible over the cake. Let the cake become completely cold, then slip it out of its tin, removing the paper, and place it on your serving plate. Get your chocolate, and slice thin slivers off the block with a heavy knife, until you’ve got enough to cover the top of the cake. If required, spoon a little extra syrup so that the chocolate will stick to the surface.
And there you have it. Delicious in thick slices with cream or yoghurt.