There is something quite poetical about this cake- the way the centre ruptures like an abundant cleavage is poetical because it speaks of its hidden sumptuousness and decadence that would only reveal itself when its cut open. And this is a special kind of chocolate poetry as it involves very minimal work – everything is thrown together in a food processor and becomes a luscious deep brown mix in a snap.
But wait, there’s more.
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips are mixed into the cake batter and baked. After which, the loaf is swathed in a glossy chocolate syrup and thin layer of chocolate ganache or chocolate curls, which ever you prefer. If you had a chocolate addiction, this would be your kryptonite. Too much chocolate you say. The addition of the fleur de sel helps to cut the richness of the chocolate. However, this isn’t meant to be an everyday cake. It is rich and utterly sinful which is why it is perfect when you have company over. A real treat and a cinch to make. But if you prefer a less decadent version, then just top your cake with chocolate curls instead of the thin chocolate ganache to cover up the holes.
Quadruple Salted Chocolate Loaf Cake
Slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast
For the cake
- 200 grams plain flour
- 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.25 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 50 grams dutch-processed cocoa powder*
- 275 caster sugar
- 175 unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 80 millilitres sour cream
- 125 millilitres boiling water
- 150 grams dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped
For the chocolate syrup
- 1 teaspoon dutch-processed cocoa powder*
- 100 gram sugar
- 25 grams dark chocolate
- generous pinch of fleur de sel or any flakey sea salt
- 125 millilitres water
Thin Chocolate Ganache
- 50 gram dark chocolate bar, broken up
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 170°C / 325°F and grease and line a loaf tin 9.5 inch x 4.5inch tin with parchment paper that has an overhang.
- For the cake: In a food processor using the blade tool, add the plain flour, baking soda, instant coffee granules,salt, cocoa powder and caster sugar. Pulse a few times until cocoa powder is evenly distributed through the rest of the flour mix without any lumps. Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract and sour cream. Pulse a few times till mixture if almost smooth.
- Add boiling water and pulse a few more times until mixture is evenly mixed. Add a tiny handful of flour into dark chocolate chips and mix to get the flour coated on the chips. Add the dark chocolate chips and stir in using a rubber spatula.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes
- Prepare chocolate syrup by boiling cocoa powder, sugar, dark chocolate and water until reduced to a glossy, thick syrup. Add fleur de sel. Set aside to cool.
- Once baked, remove from oven and prick cake all over with a skewer/toothpick. Pour cooled chocolate syrup over the loaf so that the syrup gets absorbed into the cake.
- Cool completely in tin.
- If using ganache, melting chocolate bar and water over a double-boiler. If not just make chocolate curls with a vegetable peeler with the same amount of chocolate instead. Immediately refrigerate chocolate curls.
- Once completely cooled, spread ganache all over cake or sprinkle chocolate curls all over cake.
*Note: You could use both natural cocoa powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder for this recipe. Also, I used dutch-processed chocolate instead of cocoa powder (as stated in the original recipe) and it didn’t seem to matter too much with the leavening. Perhaps because there was only 50g of it in the batter and the sour cream must have helped with the leavening. I like the rich chocolate flavour from dutch-processed cocoa powders but you could use any type of cocoa powder for this recipe.
And let’s face it, any cake that takes about fifteen minutes to put together and bakes this beautifully is definitely going to be a regular feature around my dinner table. I know what I’ll be making this weekend. A very healthy main and then this quadruple salted chocolate loaf.