Monday, August 25, 2008
The Hot Mess
Some of us are Nigella Lawson and some of us are not. I am in the latter category. Nigella Lawson, aka The Domestic Goddess herself, aka the almost anti-Martha - can somehow make me feel insecure about not being able to follow a recipe as well as she can not follow a recipe. Make sense? Yeah, I know.
I watch her cook on TV - throwing and thrashing together ingredients with abandon - in no discernible order, going against ALL the baking rules set forth by all other know-it-alls. All the while, there she is smiling like a Cheshire cat, flirting with you, daring you to throw around your own ingredients, don't bother with this, don't bother with that, who has the time for it, and besides my boobs are awesome! She makes everything seem easy and adorable and delectable and a delight to make, doesn't she? I swear the woman could sell me ocean property right here in the desert, where I live. The saucy minx.
Well anyway, I've seen the little tart make this certain cake a number of times and it was on my list of "To Bake". We were craving something chocolate and I was flipping through my brain files for something different and recalled this crazy chocolate cake Nigella raved about. So I made it.
I think it's the ugliest fekkin' cake I ever made. It's a heinous slab.
But that's just so Nigella. It's a glorious loaf of delicious, messy, chocolateness. It ain't pretty, it isn't graceful to eat, it's not easy to serve right away - it's just one HOT MESS. Remind you of anyone?
Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake
This is a very yummy, ugly chocolate cake. Moist, chocolaty, dense, rich - and I think it goes without saying, decadent. I think the best parts of this cake were the areas where the syrup reached the cake - OH MY - extra moist and the flavor was so deep and perfect. I like my cake "fudgy" - and the areas where the syrup met the cake were where my taste buds went wacko. I think the most charming thing about this cake is it was probably the easiest dang thing I ever made in my life - i.e., toss in processor, blitz, done. That's just so Nigella.
1 2/3 c. AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 T. vanilla
1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. cocoa
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or curled, for garnish
Equipment: Loaf pan - approximately 9.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches, lined with greased foil, overhanging at the top. Preheat oven to 325F and place baking sheet on middle rack.
In processor, add flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream - blitz until smooth. Scrape down batter and process again while pouring boiling water down the funnel. Turn off, remove lid and add chocolate chips, using spatula to combine.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place on baking sheet in the oven; cook for about 1 hour. The cake will be done when the loaf has risen, split down the middle, and a cake tester comes out fairly clean.
About 10 minutes before the cake should be done, put the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes (it won't thicken much).
When the cake is done, place it on a cooling rack (still in the pan) and pierce here and there using a kabob skewer, cake tester, or chop stick. Pour the syrup over the cake, letting it soak in. Allow the cake to come to room temperature, then remove it from the pan and remove the foil. Sprinkle generously with chocolate garnish. ENJOY!