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Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake Keeps Sinking

Asked by DenJen. Answered on 26th January 2012

Full question

I have made the Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess (p166) twice, but both times it has sunk in the middle on cooling. The cakes still tasted very nice, but it didn't look right, and the structure of the sunken bit obviously isn't right. Please could you help me work out where I'm going wrong? Because I'm pretty sure the problem is me, not the recipe. Thank you very much. Dennis

Our answer

The Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake isn't really supposed to rise that much (as you may be able to see in the picture on P167 of Domestic Goddess). The cake batter itself is quite liquid and liquid batters to tend to bake slightly differently in different ovens (usually you get the best rise in a fan driven oven as the constant flow of air helps to lift the cakes). But the good news is that the loaf cake will be deliciously moist and will also keep very well.

Moist loaf cakes do have a tendency to sink in the centre. In Nigella's book Kitchen the photographs of the the Seed Cake (p297) and Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake (p309) show the cakes with a sunken centre which is quite usual. Nigella also notes on p296 "The centre of the cake will sink a little as the cake cools, but this is the way of the loaf".

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