youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake

by . Featured in FEAST
Print me

Introduction

This cake is not named for the bypass you might feel you'd need after eating it, but in honour of the four choc-factors that comprise its glory: cocoa to make the cake; chocolate chips or morsels to fold into it; a chocolate syrup to drench it once out of the oven; flakily sliced dark chocolate to top it before slicing.

I love this for tea, even for weekend breakfast, or late at night when its melting squidginess tends to fall darkly on to my white sheets - and I don't care. It's always wonderful as a pudding: put it on the table, ready to slice, alongside a bowl of strawberries and another of creme fraiche.

This cake is not named for the bypass you might feel you'd need after eating it, but in honour of the four choc-factors that comprise its glory: cocoa to make the cake; chocolate chips or morsels to fold into it; a chocolate syrup to drench it once out of the oven; flakily sliced dark chocolate to top it before slicing.

I love this for tea, even for weekend breakfast, or late at night when its melting squidginess tends to fall darkly on to my white sheets - and I don't care. It's always wonderful as a pudding: put it on the table, ready to slice, alongside a bowl of strawberries and another of creme fraiche.

Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: 10 generous slices

Metric Cups

For the Cake

  • 200 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 275 grams caster sugar
  • 175 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 80 millilitres sour cream
  • 125 millilitres boiling water
  • 175 grams dark chocolate chips (unless you prefer milk)

For the Syrup

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 125 millilitres water
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 25 grams dark chocolate (from a thick bar)

For the Cake

  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1⅓ cups superfine sugar
  • 1½ sticks soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (unless you prefer milk)

For the Syrup

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (from a thick bar)

Method

  1. Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all ingredients can come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/325ºF, putting in a baking sheet as you do so, and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin (mine measures 21 x 11cm and 7.5cm deep / 9½ x 4½ inches and 3 inches deep and the cooking times are based on that) with greased foil - making sure there are no tears - and leave an overhang all round. Or use a silicon tin.
  3. Put the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into the processor and blitz till a smooth, satiny brown batter. Scrape down with a rubber spatula and process again while pouring the boiling water down the funnel. Switch it off then remove the lid and the well-scraped double-bladed knife and, still using your rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips or morsels.
  4. Scrape and pour this beautiful batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven, cooking for about 1 hour. When it's ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle and a cake-tester, or a fine skewer, will pretty well come out clean. But this is a damp cake so don't be alarmed at a bit of stickiness in evidence; rather, greet it.
  5. Not long before the cake is due out of the oven - say when it's had about 45-50 minutes - put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. You may find it needs a little longer: what you want is a reduced liquid, that's to say a syrup, though I often take it a little further, so that the sugar caramelizes and the syrup has a really dark, smokey chocolate intensity.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and sit it on a cooling rack and, still in its tin, pierce here and there with a cake tester. Then pour the syrup as evenly as possible, which is not very, over the surface of the cake. It will run to the sides of the tin, but some will have been absorbed in the middle.
  7. Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the foil as you do so. Sit on an oblong or other plate. Now take your bar of chocolate, wrapped in foil if you haven't got much of its wrapper left, and cut with a heavy sharp knife, so that it splinters and flakes and falls in slices of varying thickness and thinness.
  8. I've specified a weight, but really go by eye: when you think you've got enough to scatter over the top of the loafcake, stop slicing. Sprinkle these chocolate splinters over the top of the sticky surface of the cake.
  1. Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all ingredients can come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/325ºF, putting in a baking sheet as you do so, and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin (mine measures 21 x 11cm and 7.5cm deep / 9½ x 4½ inches and 3 inches deep and the cooking times are based on that) with greased foil - making sure there are no tears - and leave an overhang all round. Or use a silicon tin.
  3. Put the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into the processor and blitz till a smooth, satiny brown batter. Scrape down with a rubber spatula and process again while pouring the boiling water down the funnel. Switch it off then remove the lid and the well-scraped double-bladed knife and, still using your rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips or morsels.
  4. Scrape and pour this beautiful batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven, cooking for about 1 hour. When it's ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle and a cake-tester, or a fine skewer, will pretty well come out clean. But this is a damp cake so don't be alarmed at a bit of stickiness in evidence; rather, greet it.
  5. Not long before the cake is due out of the oven - say when it's had about 45-50 minutes - put the syrup ingredients of cocoa, water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. You may find it needs a little longer: what you want is a reduced liquid, that's to say a syrup, though I often take it a little further, so that the sugar caramelizes and the syrup has a really dark, smokey chocolate intensity.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and sit it on a cooling rack and, still in its tin, pierce here and there with a cake tester. Then pour the syrup as evenly as possible, which is not very, over the surface of the cake. It will run to the sides of the tin, but some will have been absorbed in the middle.
  7. Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the foil as you do so. Sit on an oblong or other plate. Now take your bar of chocolate, wrapped in foil if you haven't got much of its wrapper left, and cut with a heavy sharp knife, so that it splinters and flakes and falls in slices of varying thickness and thinness.
  8. I've specified a weight, but really go by eye: when you think you've got enough to scatter over the top of the loafcake, stop slicing. Sprinkle these chocolate splinters over the top of the sticky surface of the cake.

Tell us what you think

What 19 Others have said

  • I make this cake often and it's always perfect. People are actually disappointed when it disappears and they don't get a piece! Lovely texture and looks plain but tastes sensational. Thanks Nigella. Perfection as always!

    Posted by JaynieTee on 25th August 2015
  • I baked the caked a couple of times and both cakes where sunken in the middle. The reasons for a loaf cake to collapse in the middle are for example: 1. Too much of a rising agent is used; 2. Too much sugar; 3. Too much liquid. So what could be wrong? The following modification will deal with the issue: ? 150 g dark muscovado sugar ? 25 g potato starch ? 6 g baking powder ? 3 medium eggs Please note the following: Bicarbonate of soda is an aggressive rising agent and baking powder is gentler. Starch is added in commercial readymade cake mixtures available in the supermarkets. Escoffier also used starch for a couple of his recipes.

    Posted by Repunsel on 20th October 2011
  • OMG ... this cake is super easy to make and even more EASY to eat ... I made it for a supper party not every one likes puds so thought this would be good just as a stand by ... there was only crumbs left on the plate .. everyone thought it was delicious :-)

    Posted by Pauline Clewley on 28th January 2015
  • I miei figli adorano questa torta che io chiamo "Meraviglia al cioccolato"!

    Posted by MariG on 3rd December 2014
  • I love it, my man loves it, my man loves me! No fancy utensils or gadgets necessary-just a hand mixer, bog standard loaf tin and a little toaster oven. It turned out beautifully and tastes like a dream. Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by Mrs. Smits on 24th September 2014
  • I didn't think anything could top Mary Berry's rich chocolate tray bake cake (with feathered icing), however this truly is the best chocolate cake ever! I've made this twice now. The first time I did it exactly as per instructions, however I messed up the syrup...I forgot that you shouldn't stir syrup when it's on the heat... However, I'm not sure the syrup is really needed anyway. The second time I made it, I substituted the chocolate chips/chunks for candid ginger...about the same amount, 175g, and tossed it in 2 tbsp of the flour (to prevent it all going to the bottom), before folding into the mix. Tasted amazing! Moist, light sophisticated crumb. I don't have a big enough food processor, so I used my Kitchen Aid. The batter seems to come out just the same....just be careful when adding the boiling water, as unless you have the larger artisan Kitchen Aid, the mixture may splash out a bit, even on the low setting. I love the idea you can just dump everything in together! Off to make another Nigella recipe!

    Posted by Rhianna831 on 20th August 2014
  • I've always put off making this cake in preference to Nigellas Dense chocolate loaf, however, recently gave in to family pressure and gave it a go. It's fab, ideal Sunday lunch dessert served still warm with a dollop of good vanilla ice cream/pouring cream. So give it a go and enjoy!

    Posted by Gongy71 on 2nd March 2014
  • I didn't have any sour cream so I substituted for a dessert spoon of golden syrup, and the finished cake had the texture of a gooey brownie! Total success, love it.

    Posted by icypop on 10th February 2014
  • Fabulous taste and texture, big hit at Thanxgiving dinner. I added strawberries on top with a bit of powder sugar to decorate and served it with whipped creme. Yummm! I also think a tiny shot of Irish whiskey into the batter is a good thing ;) A few things: at 325 F one hour is not enough! I tried it twice and both times the cake was still wobbly on the inside as I checked in the oven at the hour mark. So I had to add about 25 minutes to the baking time on that temp. My middle tends to collapse quite a bit (that may be due to opening the oven too soon) Since the batter is so soft the cake comes out still quite tender, therefore I'd wait a bit before drenching it in syrup (or again the top tends to collapse). Also yes it is very important to wait until it is completely cooled down, removing it any sooner leads to a delicious but crumbly mess. :)

    Posted by Freditke on 29th November 2013
  • Made this a few months ago, family adored it. Tastes amazing with a blob of clotted cream and some chopped strawberries on top.. it's also a huge bonus if you're feeding lots of people!

    Posted by meltembk on 7th November 2013
  • This recipe is pure four star. Apart from the suggestions already made I have also used it as the basis of Nigella's Tiramisu Layer Cake (Christmas book) and Chocolate Cherry Trifle (Feast) instead of shop bought loaf cakes - terrific!

    Posted by djsyclopz on 19th January 2013
  • I've made this a few times now. It's a stunning cake! So chocolatey and rich. Also, very simply put together. I make it when friends are visiting, because it's not faffy, but very impressive and delicious. I love it :-)

    Posted by skeeterdani on 31st December 2012
Show more comments