Chocolate Loaf Cake

Yesterday was a hugely productive yet very, very, tiring day.

Today The Hubbs’ sibblings & MIL are all coming over for a family pow-wow. I will not be here and I’m quite glad for that. I’ll be moseying on over to my parents house for dinner while The Hubbs gets to deal with his family.

I have to say this: It drives me absolutely batshit insane, and offends me something huge, that whenever they have family meetings, and it coincides with a meal of some sort, the habit is for them to buy cheap $5 pepperoni pizzas from Lil’Caesars to feed everyone… WITH the expectation that people will chip in for the pizzas. It drives me insane, I can’t emphasize that enough. The biggest reason for this cheaping out on feeding people is because no one wants to pay money to feed someone else and almost all of them are ridiculously close-minded and picky individuals. Not only that, but they never order enough pizzas to let people eat until they’re full, which drives me even more bonkers.

RAWR!!!

So to break the pizza-cycle, The Hubbs told MIL that he wanted her to have this family gathering at our house for once. He informed her last weekend that we will be making pulled pork sandwiches. His comment to me was, “I want pulled pork. If they don’t want to eat it, then they can order their own pizzas.”

Menu will be: pulled pork sammiches with a honey garlic BBQ sauce, potato salad, coleslaw and a quadruple chocolate loaf cake for dessert with vanilla ice cream. I figured if I had to do all the cooking, I mind as well take the opportunity to try a new recipe where the likelihood of it being consumed is pretty high. I’m kind of hoping that they might leave one slice for me, but I’m not counting on it.

The pulled pork is my usual and super easy concoction: rub skinless, bone-in pork butt (or shoulder) generously all over with a dry rub, dump in 1-2 sliced onions + lots of garlic into the bottom of crockpot, put pork on top of veggies, add enough gingerale until it comes most of the way up the pork and let cook on high until meat is super tender and you can pull it apart easily with a fork.

The recipe for the cake came from Nigella’s book Feast and I kind of wish that I had the chance to try a slice before anyone else gets to it tonight. I just noticed that I made a bit of an oups to part of the recipe — I added 25g of chocolate chips to the syrup where there isn’t supposed to be any on top of the chocolate shards to decorate the cake. I suppose it’s not a huge error, it certainly made it so that the syrup made a bit of a more solid chocolate glaze on the top o the loaf. Otherwise, the only ingredient change I made to the recipe was using creme fraiche instead of sour cream because I failed to realize that it required that particular form of dairy. I did notice that the batter seemed a smidgen dry during its first blitzing in the food processor (possibly due to the incredible thickness of the creme fraiche), so I added a couple of tablespooned dribbles of buttermilk to the batter before the addition of boiling water for the final blitz.

One other thing to note is that I kina wigged out with the idea of lining my loaf pan with a sheet of plastic and putting it in the oven even though it’s not supposed to melt, so I lined my biggest loaf pan with a piece of wet parchment paper instead.

Chocolate Loaf Cake

Nigella’s Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g cocoa
275g Sugar
175g soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
80ml creme fraiche (or sour cream)
125ml boiling water
175g chocolate chips

1 tsp cocoa
125ml water
100g sugar
25g chocolate chips
grated chocolate shards, to top the cake once cooled

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 900g loaf tin (mine measures 21x11cm and 7.5cm deep and the cooking times are based on that) with a piece of damp parchment paper, making sure to leave lots of overhang.
Put the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and creme fraiche into food processor and blitz till a smooth, satiny brown batter.
Scrape down with a rubber spatula and process again while pouring the boiling water down the funnel.
Switch it off then remove the lid and blade and stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape and pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven, cooking for about 1 hour. (Mine took closer to 1hr20m)
When it’s ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle and a cake-tester, or a fine skewer, will pretty well come out clean. But this is a damp cake so don’t be alarmed at a bit of stickiness.
Put the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and boil til reduced to a syrup.
Once baked, sit the cake on a cooling rack and, still in its tin, pierce here and there, then pour the syrup as evenly as possible over the cake.
Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the parchment and sit it on an oblong plate.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate shards over the cake until it’s to your liking.

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