Cooking / Sweet

Domestic Goddess attempt #1: Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

So after devouring Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat cookbook cover to cover, I bought How to be a Domestic Goddess and have a bit of a blog project about to start: I’m going to try to cook every recipe in this book. This will result in:

  • My getting a lot better at baking, perhaps turning myself into a domestic goddess!
  • Trying some new things out and adding to my repertoire
  • The involuntary fattening up of my housemates, workmates, family and friends (most likely result of the three)

Just a pretty delicious project all around then. Much like Sarah Discovers How to Eat, which is probably the inspiration behind this…

Well, Mr Behemoth finished his CFA exam, so I decided to kick things off by baking a celebratory Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (p. 166) in his honour (I can currently hear him singing Aqua – Happy Boys and Girls in the shower, so I assume he’s feeling good about not studying!). The cake kicks off the Chocolate chapter of her book.

The first thing I had to do was deal with the fact that I had accidentally purchased the American version of the cookbook – by writing out an extensive conversion list from imperial to metric measurements. That way next time I’m looking at a recipe I can just refer to my ready reckoner. This resulted, however, in my using slightly different proportions of ingredients to the metric recipes I have been able to find so far on the internet. Never mind! The cake was still delicious.

Conversion chart

Conversion Chart – for the front of the book!

The cake mix is very liquid, which freaked me out a little bit, and Nigella does say that the cake might sink in the middle because it’s such a dense and damp cake. But mine turned out perfectly, although I did have to use a smaller loaf tin than specified, due to the fact I have ONE loaf tin and it is an inch shorter than hers) and used the rest of the mix to make four or five muffins (which were a little overcooked, should have taken them out earlier than the cake).

Nigella's dense chocolate loaf cake

The finished product(s)

I later covered the cake with chocolate ganache icing (from p. 22) and used some of that Queen’s writing icing to put the words Well Done [Mr Behemoth] on it. We ate our celebration cake for dessert, after visiting the pub with friends and housemates on the night Mr B did the exam. It was moist and scrummy, but I think the ganache took it from an everyday sort of chocolate cake to a dessert.


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