Recipe: Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake with Chocolate Icing

As you probably know by now, tea time has become a very sacred ritual for us, mainly because my boyfriend is British and loves (!!) his cup of tea in the late afternoon early evening. And as we all know (right?), tea and cake go very well together. I grew up with tea and cake most evenings after supper so I obviously like it too. Sometimes we have biscuits but loaf cakes are a favourite because one can easily eat just a slice and pick it up with one’s hands.

This cake is my regular chocolate cake recipe scaled down to a loaf tin size, with added chocolate chunks and an icing, so more tried and tested than groundbreaking Because the batter is quite thin all the chocolate sinks to the bottom while baking, but I quite like that. The top is crunchy and has the icing and the bottom is soft but hides all the chocolate pieces.

My favourite thing about this cake though is that it lasts. It doesn’t get dry after two days, so there is no rush to eat it, just enjoy it when you want a slice. I would say it lasts well for up to a week, but it will probably get eaten much sooner than that! It also freezes well. Such a good cake!

Triple chocolate loaf cake with chocolate icing, serves 6-8

400 ml caster sugar

330 ml plain flour

4 tbsp cocoa

2,5 tsp vanilla sugar

2,5 tsp baking powder

135 g melted butter

3 eggs

200 ml recently boiled water

40 g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

40 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Icing:

100 ml icing sugar, sifted

1 tbsp cocoa, sifted

1-2 tbsp water

Mix the dry ingredients. Add eggs, butter and water, stir to incorporate. Add the chocolate. Pour into a greased loaf tin, lined with parchment paper. Bake in a low oven, 175 C for 35-45 minutes. Leave to cool.

Mix the ingredients for the icing in a bowl and spread onto the cake while it’s still warm but has cooled down a little.

Nigella’s sumptuous chocolate cake

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I have had a complicated relationship with Nigella through the years. It was definitely because of her and Jamie Oliver I started cooking as a teenager, but as I got better at both cooking and baking I also got a bit disappointed with some of Nigella’s recipes. Sometimes they seem to promise more than they delivered, but then some recipes are so great I still use them 15 years later.

With her new cookbook and series, both named Simply Nigella, I am back in awe of her. I want to try all the recipes, love like the style of cooking (and baking) and all the recipes I’ve tried so far have been great.

This cake seemed absolutely delicious and easy to make on her show, and it certainly is a treat, plus it’s vegan – so a good recipe to have in your repertoire. Mine wasn’t entirely vegan though, I must confess. As I couldn’t find any coconut butter in my supermarket I used regular butter in the icing, which worked just as well would you prefer to make it non-vegan.

It is probably the most moist chocolate cake I’ve ever made and I will certainly make it again and again.

Nigella’s dark and sumptuous chocolate cake, serves 10-12

Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.

For the icing:

60 ml cold water

75 coconut butter (this is not the same as oil)

50 soft dark sugar

1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder – I omitted this 

1 ½ tbsp cocoa

150 dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the cake:

225 plain flour

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp fine sea salt

1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder – I omitted this 

75 cocoa

300 soft dark brown sugar

375 ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle

75 g (90 ml) coconut oil 

1 ½ tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C and pop in a baking sheet. Then start with the icing: put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure everything’s dissolved. Then turn off the heat – but leave the pan on the hob – then quickly add the finely chopped chocolate and swirl the pan to allow the chocolate to sink.  Leave for a minute, then whisk until you have a glossy icing, and leave to cool.

Line the bottom of your springform cake tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, bicarb, salt (and instant espresso) and cocoa in a bowl and fork to mix.

Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Though do check at the 30-minute mark to see if it is already done.

Once the cake is cooked, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool in its tin.

Give the icing a good stir with a spatula and  pour over the unmoulded cake, and use a spatula to ease the icing to the edges, if needed. Decorate (Nigella used chopped pistachios and rose petals while I went for snowflake sprinkles) and leave for 30 minutes until serving.