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.