February 4, 2013

Cake: Take Two.

Well, I did it! I made that chocolate loaf cake I talked about. The first time there was a bit of a learning curve; my loaf pan is a 8.5x4.5 instead of a 9x5 (I know, right?) which is surprising smaller volume-wise. Which meant that even though I followed the recipe to a 'T', the baking time wasn't quite enough for the depth of the batter. So the when that last timer dinged, even though it looked delicious, it was still very very raw at the bottom/middle.  But I was not going to give up that easily! I asked Kaitie what she thought about it (she is a master baker, y'all, in case you didn't know) and she said it would probably be fine just to extend the baking time, so that's what I did. I just added five minutes on to each baking section (there's a temperature switch in the middle) and it turned out *perfectly*. See?
My Cake

The photo in the cookbook
Not too shabby, huh? Here's the recipe in case you're tempted to try it for yourself.

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

1 cup soft unsalted butter            1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar        1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten                   1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract            9x5-inch loaf pan
4 ounces best bittersweet
    chocolate, melted.

Preheat the oven to 375F, put in a baking sheet in case of sticky drips later, and grease and line the loaf pan. The lining is important as this is a very damp cake; use parchment or one of those loaf-pan-shaped paper liners.
   Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand-held mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Next, fold in the melted and now slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overbeat. You want the ingredients combined; you don't want a light airy mass. Then gently add the the flour, to which you're added the baking soda, alternately spoon by spoon, with  the boiling water water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325F and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so and inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.
  Place the loaf pan on a rack, and to get completely cold before turning it out. (I often leave it for a day or so; like gingerbread, it improves.) Don't worry if it sinks in the middle; indeed, it will do so because it's such a dense and damp cake.
  Makes 8-10 slices.

I highly recommend getting this book from your library if you can, it's really lovely. (Or you could just snag it off Amazon, here.)


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