More than two years ago when I created this version of a dense chocolate loaf, I didn’t know it would become one of the most popular posts on this blog. So many of you have tried this and I’m so grateful! Apparently, there are a ton of Theobroma fans out there, just waiting to recreate the magic at home 🙂
That post though, had some odd measurements because it was tweaked and halved and adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe and in hindsight, it looks a little complicated because I didn’t know how big a cake my version would create. Plus, the photos don’t really do its chocolatey, rich, dark soul justice.
So, I made it again, this time with more care to avoid lumps of flour, bake it as a standard loaf size and include cup measures as well, because not everyone has kitchen scales. And, new photos!
Unfortunately, the monsoon is not the time to take photographs that ‘pop’. About the only thing popping was the vein in my forehead, because the clouds were unforgiving and as much as I adore the rains, my camera really doesn’t.
Buuuuut, I did the best I could 🙂
The only little change I made to the recipe this time around was to add a bit of sour cream. This is only because I had some lying around, do not go out and buy a tub just for this cake. You can use thick yoghurt in its place, or leave it out altogether and just had a wee bit more butter. It’s all good. Sour cream adds moisture and richness, but really, this cake needs no more of that!
As you can see, this loaf is not very tall. That’s because this is only half a recipe, perfect for when you don’t want the temptation of a ton of cake lying around the house. (Believe me, I know). For a larger, taller loaf, simply the double the recipe.
Either way, you’re going to land up with a seriously good chocolate cake that is so reminiscent of the one at Theobroma, you’ll be giving yourself an award.
It is just the right amount of sweet, but for an even deeper chocolate flavour, you can reduce the sugar further. It is rich and moist enough to be eaten as is, though a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Word of warning, and I cannot stress this enough. Do not attempt to cut this cake while it’s even a little bit warm. Definitely do not attempt to pop it out of the hot tin because you only have a split second to shoot before it rains on your parade again. I tried this today and in my great hurry, I managed to break almost half the cake. My advice would really be, let it come to room temperature in the cake tin itself. Then, if your patience lets you, cover the cake with foil and let it chill in the fridge for a bit. If your tin was greased well enough, popping the cake out after its cold shouldn’t be a problem, and you’ll be able to slice it without fear.
Because we shouldn’t be scared of cake.
- 100 gms room temperature butter (just shy of ½ cup, salted is fine. If not using sour cream, increase to 115 grams or ½ cup)
- ¾th cup brown sugar (start with ½ cup and then add more if you feel the batter isn't sweet enough)
- 2 tbsps sour cream or thick yoghurt, optional
- 1 egg at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 100 gms dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
- ¾th cup regular/all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup freshly boiled water
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and leave to cool a little.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C and grease a 9x5 loaf tin very well.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy.
- Add the sour cream (if using), egg, vanilla essence and beat well.
- Add the melted, slightly cooled chocolate, and mix till combined but do not over-mix.
- Sift the flour and baking soda together, and add to the chocolate mixture, spoon by spoon, alternating with the boiling water. Fold the flour in gently to avoid too many lumps.
- You will inevitably notice some lumps in the batter. Run a hand mixer through it for a few seconds and you should be fine.The batter should be smooth and slightly runny.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 20 minutes on 190 C. Then cover the top of the tin loosely with foil and bake for 15 to 20 mins at 170 C, till a knife poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.