Double Chocolate Loaf Cake

Chocolate Loaf
A beautiful photo spread featured on Design Sponge led me to Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s second cookbook, Baked Explorations. Tina Rupp’s gorgeous photo of their double chocolate loaf cake inspired me to try this recipe.

At least three of the many baking books on my bookshelf contain a recipe for a simple-yet-decadent chocolate loaf cake. I’ll confess- I didn’t like any of them; one was bland, one was too squishy, and the other crumbled as I tried to slice it. Despite their convenience, chocolate loaf cakes don’t have the same luster as mousses, souffles, fondants, or pots de creme.

Here, at last, is a chocolate loaf I can get excited about- one that’s rich, dense, and best enjoyed with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, or (even better) a big scoop of ice cream. The original recipe pairs it with a peanut butter/cream cheese spread, but it would go equally well with some boozy fruit or a smear of jam. In fact, it’s almost too rich to eat by itself. I would suggest using good quality chocolates and cocoa to get the full effect.

Double Chocolate Loaf Cake

adapted from Matt Lewis an Renato Poliafito’s “Baked Explorations”
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona), sifted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8oz good quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped (I used 61-64% Valrhona feves)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and position the rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Alternately, don’t grease and line the pan with aluminum foil.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dark brown sugar, cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined, then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, then add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, whisking until combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing until just combined. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks by hand. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Loaf

6 thoughts on “Double Chocolate Loaf Cake”

  1. I’ve been thinking about getting this book for a while, is it worth it? This recipe certainly looks great, I guess I’ll have to try it out :)

  2. I’m not sure yet if i’ll purchase it or not. I want to try a few more recipes. There’s a whiskey pear tart that looks to die for!

  3. Highly disappointing. I just made the cake tonight. It was dry and crumbly. Must give away rest. Waste of my time and money.

  4. I’m very sorry to hear that, Lisa. From here I can’t know what went wrong, but i’ll note that I use high-fat cocoa powder and buttermilk for this recipe, and i’m careful about measuring the flour and eggs and letting the finished loaf cool completely (ie overnight).

    Best of luck finding a recipe you prefer!

  5. Lisa:

    The proportions of flour, fat, and oil in this loaf are completely correct for making a perfectly moist loaf. The ONLY reason for it to be dry if you followed the ingredients exactly is that it was over-baked. It does not take much to over-bake, especially with cocoa. Just a few minutes can do it. There is always the possibility that your oven heats higher than what it is set at. It wouldn’t be noticeable with stuff like casseroles or even cookies and a lot of muffins since we mostly watch for the appearance of doneness. So I’m afraid that it was not this recipe that ruined your loaf. So when making a loaf or cake, always check about 5 to 10 minutes before it should be done to make sure it’s not already nearly baked through. Just remember to never open the oven until what you are baking is over 2/3 baked. The drop in heat can make the center collapse.

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