Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Loaf Cake

  • Typically cake is not my "go to" dessert, for the simple reason that I do not like to have an entire cake just sitting around the house. After all  there are only two of us and we do not need a entire cake to eat. 

  • I like to make recipes that I can make in small batches, like cookies and brownies, that way I can freeze the extra dough or the brownies and then have some at a later date. 

  •  Lately though I have wanted to have a nice moist piece of cake that was easy to make and was not laden with a thick layer of frosting, a cake that the ingredients themselves stood out. And something that was small enough that we would not be eating it for a week afterward. This cake fits the bill perfectly. (I did drizzle this cake with a little melted chocolate just for decorative purposes.)

  • I have never made a loaf cake, except for an old fashioned pound cake and frankly I found it to be a bit dry. This Chocolate Loaf Cake from Nigella Lawson is FABULOUS! It is delicious, rich, dense and so chocolaty. It is now my husbands favorite dessert! 

  • Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake  
  • Adapted from Nigella Lawson How to Be a Domestic Goddess

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted 
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee or espresso
Heat the oven to 375. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray. 
Cream the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer, add the egg and the vanilla bean extract. 
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate, you can use the microwave but be careful not to burn it. Cool slightly then fold into the egg, sugar mixture. Do not beat or mix vigorously, you do not want to add air to the cake. 
Add the flour, spoon by spoon, alternating with the bourbon and coffee, blend well. But do not overheat the mixture. The mixture will be liquid like.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, stop when the batter is 1 inch from the top otherwise the mixture will OVERFLOW in the oven. Put leftover mix into a smaller pan or muffin tins. 
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 and cook an additional 15 minutes. The cake will be a bit soft, an inserted cake tester or toothpick will not come out clean. Place the loaf on a rack and leaf to get completely cold before you turn it out of the pan. Nigella says to leave the cake to sit for a day, it is best this way. The cake will sink in the middle so do not worry. 

* NOTE: Nigella's recipe does not contain coffee or bourbon, if you do not want to make it like this then add 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of boiling water. 

Have you ever made Nigella's cake? Did you like? I really love this cake and have in fact made it several more times and have even frozen a loaf or two, just to have when people stop in. It is perfect as is, but I think it would be excellent garnished with berries and a little whipped cream as well.

I hope that if you try it you let me know how you liked it or if you made any changes please share them!

Linking to: 
Rattlebridge FarmThe Charm of the Home

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ritz Carleton Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies, admittedly I like the raw dough probably as much as the actually cookies, and I am constantly on the hunt for the "best" one that suits my taste. I do not like flat cookies, I like think crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and filled with gooey chocolate!

These cookies have been on my Pinterest board or a long time but I am just now getting around to making them, perhaps because I was a little afraid of the 5 sticks of butter! Whatever the case they are delicious, a little soft, a little crunchy and filled to the brim with chocolate!

Ritz Carleton Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups dark brown sugar
5 eggs
1Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 cups flour
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silphat baking liner, set aside. 
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle cream together the butter, brown sugar and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy about 2 minutes, then add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. In a another bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt, then add to the sugar mixture. Stir until just incorporated. Then stir in the chocolate chips. 

Scoop batter onto baking sheets, I used an ice cream scoop and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are brown and centers are almost set.

Remove from oven, cool a bit on the pan then remove to wire rack to cool.


I added 2 Tbsp. of vanilla, I use 65% dark chocolate chips and I added an extra cup of chocolate chips and I chilled my dough overnight. You do not need to to this.

I should also not that this recipe makes a lot of cookies which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your New Years resolutions. But you could make half the recipe of just give some away!

I hope that you enjoy them and if you have a favorite recipe, please share!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

Happy St. Patricks Day! I thought you might want to whip up a last minute batch of Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting to celebrate the day.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting. 

Guinness Cupcakes

1 cup of Guinness Stout
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour 
2 cups sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
2 large eggs 
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.  

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

 Bailey's Buttercream:

1 cup butter softened
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
Food Coloring Optional

Place room temperature, softened butter into the bowl of mixer. Cream for three minutes. Add powdered sugar slowly and not all at once or it will fly all over the room. Add Bailey's Irish cream and then mix on medium high for another 3 minutes. Add food coloring if desired.

These cupcakes are delicious if I do say so myself, they are moist, chocolaty and the Bailey's Irish Cream frosting puts them over the top. I love Bailey's which explains why I love this frosting, I think I ate most of the bowl before I even frosted the cupcakes, which also explains why my clothes felt a bit snug this morning. 

Note: This recipe was posted on my other blog Pine Cones and Acorns some time ago but I thought you might enjoy it also.