Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quadruple Chocolate Loaf (Nigella Lawson)

Please do not judge this cake by its look...

Although this quadruple chocolate loaf is not a pretty-looking cake, it is very moist and delicious. In fact, this cake is the second chocolate cake in Nigella's Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame mentioned in her book, Feast. Her first cake is her old-fashioned chocolate cake that I have also baked previously. Being a baking mum of a chocoholic family and Nigella's fan, I really have to bake these two chocolate cakes.

At the first glance, my husband thought this cake is brownies and chomped up the cake, not knowing there are actually four different honorable chocolate components inside... Can you spot them in my pictures?

One is the cocoa to make the chocolate cake base. Two is the dark chocolate chips embedded inside the cake. Three is the warm chocolate syrup penetrating the cake base. Four is always a must in our pantry - good quality eating chocolate! I love watching these flaky sliced dark chocolate semi-melting into the warm syrupy cake surface. This is simply therapeutic... Having so much chocolate packed in each slice of this cake, this super-chocolaty cake is surprisingly not too rich or sweet at all and yet every mouthful is bursting with chocolate plus great satisfaction. 

As we know, this sensual combination originates from the always-sensual Nigella Lawson. As we expected, this very-chocolaty cake is as sensual and sensational as how Nigella described and created. As you see, we do enjoy the sensation of eating this very-chocolaty cake. hmmm... Chocolate!!!

quadruple four chocolate loaf cake Nigella Lawson
A must-have cake for all chocoholics
Making the cake batter
Baking the cake and soaking it with chocolate syrup
Here's the final touch - more chocolate, please!
Not very pretty-looking...
quadruple four chocolate loaf cake Nigella Lawson
... but very moist and delicious!
Here's the recipe mostly adapted from the book, Feast by Nigella Lawson
(with my notes in blue)

For the cake:
100g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa (Dutch processed)
135g caster sugar (
I like to use the raw ones)
85g soft unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
40ml sour cream
60ml boiling water
90g dark chocolate chips
(I used Callebaut chocolate with 70% cocoa)

For the syrup:
1/2 tsp cocoa (Dutch processed)
60ml water
50g caster sugar (raw)
20-25g dark chocolate (with 85% cocoa or a thick bar if possible)

Make sure all ingredients are taken out from the fridge so that they can come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 170°C or 150°C fan forced. Line a loaf tin (20 cm x 10 cm) with foil first, then baking paper, over-lapping for easy removal.

In Nigella's recipe, she places flour, bicarb (replaced with baking powder), cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into the processor and blitz them all till a smooth brown batter. Instead, I creamed butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until well-combined and sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and then mix in the sour cream.

Next, Nigella pours in the boiling water while processing her cake batter whereas I poured the boiling water while beating my cake batter in my electric mixer. Switch off all processing or mixing. Using a rubber spatula or a spoon, stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape and pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven and bake for 30 mins or until a cake-tester comes out clean. According to Nigella, traces of stickiness on the cake tester is acceptable if you prefer a moist and damp cake.

While baking the cake in the oven, put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil for 5 mins and simmer for the next 5-10 mins depending on the smokey chocolate intensity that you are after.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it remain in its tin. Pierce the cake with a cake tester and pour the syrup on it as evenly as possible. The excess syrup will run to the sides and will eventually get absorbed over the time.

When the cake is 80-90% cooled, take my bar of chocolate and cut it with a heavy sharp knife into slices of varying thickness and thinness so that they look like splinters and flakes. Sprinkle these chocolate splinters over the sticky surface of the cake and observe how the 10-20% residue heat melt a little of the chocolate into the sticky surface. Let the cake become completely cold and then remove it out of its tin and transfer onto a serving plate.

Note: The amount of ingredients used as mentioned above is half of the original recipe published in Nigella's book, Feast.


Happy Baking
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  1. Hi Zoe,
    Your family is really chocolate lovers! This cake looks really moist and with the amount of chocolate, really a chocolaty bliss cake! While you are into Nigella's chocolate recipes, I'm into her chicken recipes! It would be nice if we could combine them together, main course and dessert! :)

  2. OMG, that is some serious chocolate!

  3. Look @ that syrup!
    I've never had chocolate cake that developed one.
    Omg Now I have to bake one!

  4. Your pictures sure make it look delicious!

  5. Oh my goodness, Zoe! I am melting just oogling at your chocolate cake. LOL! I have to try it!!

  6. Wow, who can resist this super moist and rich chocolate cake! I have bookmarked this recipe, thanks for sharing Zoe :)

  7. I love this chocolate cake too! Hope i can quickly try out this Nigella Lawson recipe soon!

  8. Zoe, the first picture of your chocolate cake did look like brownie to me but I can see that this cake is even more moist than the previous one! I think I can't find another person who loves chocolate more than you, haha(it's a compliment)! I baked some chocolate cupcakes today using an asian recipe, very different from yours.

  9. Non resisto ai dolci al cioccolato.
    Buona giornata.

  10. last night i bake a moist chocolate chiffon too, thought that I can exchange it with you but the chiffon fall down from the mould when I invert it and break into multiple sad...anyway, I am happy to see your chocolate cake with grated chocolate some chocolate!

  11. Ooooh I remember her making this cake on the show! I made it once too (before I started the blog) and it was so good! Yours look so delicious, will definitely have to bake it again!

  12. OMG, amazing recipe, i like chocolate and i love Nigella recipes.

  13. This is another great chocolate treat:) Looking really good!

  14. Ooooh your chocolate cake looks fantastic! I remember making this cake but I wasn't impressed! Yours has made me want to try again! Thanks!

  15. So so delicious looking and such pretty pics too!!

  16. Zoe, this is exactly what I need right now. An old fashioned yummy comforting chocolate cake! Super moist and oh, so heavenly delicious!
    Thank you for your kind and comforting words on my blog. Your chocolate cake is a 'must make' next, on my dessert list! xo

  17. this is some serious chocolate cake! must be really sexy and sinful... :)

  18. Yummy chocolate heaven!

  19. Zoe , I'm a chocolate addict and this cake is a must have . you can see the yummy goodness oozing out [panting] thanks for sharing :).

  20. We think it looks could chocolate not look delicious? lol

  21. Wow. Oh my goodness. This looks like the best chocolate loaf ever! I am the biggest chocoholic, this is perfect for me

  22. This looks delicious! Love Nigella :)

  23. This looks sinfully rich but definitely can make me a happy woman.

  24. That's pure indulgence of chocolate.. Yummmm !

  25. Olá amiga,vim retribuir sua carinhosa visita ao meu cantinho.
    Fiquei feliz por seguir-me!!!
    Obrigada,volte sempre e pegue o meu selinho de agradecimento!

    Beijos Marie.

  26. Oh yum! I think I can spot all 4 different kinds of chocolate. :) (Sad thing is that I recently realized I get a bad night's sleep if I eat chocolate before I go to bed. *whimper*)

  27. WOW! This is some chocolate extravaganza, Zoe! It's absolutely mouthwatering :)

  28. looks good, zoe..some people actually like eating the flaked's just like eating are really into chocolates!

  29. Hi Zoe, I think this cake is pretty with the chocolate curls on top. You must really love Nigella's chocolate recipes.

  30. Oh how I love a quadruple divine chocolate cake :D


  31. Whoa..I imagine having this while watching a romantic ^.^

  32. This looks totally amazing! Mrs K R is the baker in our household, and I just sent her the link to this - we gotta make it, and soon!

  33. Ohh but it looks wonderful!!!! love nigella and love this cake!
    Mary x