La Plume Noire Photography

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

I can’t think of a better way to start a blog, than uploading my favourite chocolate cake. It is simply rich, sweet and amazing! And you have to thank Nigella Lawson herself for creating it.


  • 225g/8oz Soft unsalted butter
  • 375g/13oz Dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 Large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 100g/3 ½oz Best dark chocolate, melted
  • 200g/7oz Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 23x13x7cm loaf tin


Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5, put in a baking sheet in case of sticky drips later, and grease and line the loaf tin. The lining is important as this is a very damp cake: use parchment, Bake-O-Glide or one of those loaf-tin-shaped paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand-held mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Next, fold in the melted and now slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to over beat. You want the ingredients combined; you don’t want a light airy mass. Then gently add the flour, to which you’ve added the bicarbonate of soda, alternately spoon by spoon, with the boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf tin, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170°C/gas mark 3 and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won’t come out completely clean.

Place the loaf tin on a rack, and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. (I often leave it for a day or so; like gingerbread, it improves). Don’t worry if it sinks in the middle; indeed, it will do so because it’s such a dense and damp cake.

Makes 8-10 slices




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