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Chocolate Quadruple Loaf Cake Domed Top

Asked by Rhianna831. Answered on 19th September 2014

Full question

I have the same query as others with this cake: the cake is lovely and moist, but too crumbly and my cake domed and cracked. One of the other posters substituted egg, however I haven't done this. Additionally, after making this cake three times, I checked my oven temperature and all my ingredients were measured accurately. All ingredients were at room temperature too. Which leaves 'something' to with the mixing of the batter. Nigella uses a food processor, however I don't have one big enough, so I used my freestanding mixer. Could this be the problem? I don't think I over mixed. I'm quite careful not to. Or maybe that's the problem?.

Our answer

Nigella's Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake (from Feast and on the Nigella website) has a batter that is made in a food processor and gives a slightly liquid batter. As the cake bakes it will rise slightly and crack on top, but if it is excessively domes then it could be that there is a bit too much air being beaten into the batter when using a freestanding mixer. We are not sure if you are creaming the butter and sugar first but this will increase the air content and we would suggest trying the all in one method for a mixer by using very soft butter and mixing all of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) together at once until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips by hand to prevent over-mixing as if the flour glutens are stirred and developed too much then this can contribute slightly to the doming of the cake.

Loaf cakes can also be slightly tricky as they have a long baking time and if the pan dimensions vary slightly then this can affect the baking. Your oven has been checked but we would suggest trying a slightly lower oven temperature (160c/300F) as this may help, even if the cake takes slightly longer to bake. Also try roating the pan by half a turn after 40 minutes as this will help the cake to bake more evenly.

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