I was going to make chocolate cupcakes the other day, but then I got an email from Food 52 featuring a luscious chocolate cake recipe. I decided to make that instead.
But part of the reason I had been planning on making chocolate cupcakes was that G. and I recently had dinner at LaMerenda (see my restaurant section) on a night they were serving a fabulous car bomb cake. It was essentially a chocolate cupcake with Bailey’s and Jameson’s in the icing. I told G., “I can make this.”
I decided to combine the concepts, making the chocolate cake and then topping it with whipped cream flavored with Bailey’s and whiskey. I thought icing would be too much with such a dense cake, and after making it, I still think so. The whipped cream adds the flavor but is much lighter.
G. and I both had two pieces for lunch today. One just wasn’t enough.
Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
Heat the oven to 375°F and grease and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. This is a very moist batter, so do not skip the liner.
Cream the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well.
To melt the chocolate, I put chips in a microwave to begin melting them. Then I added about 1/4 cup of the boiling water (subtracting from the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons total called for in the recipe) to finish melting them. I was afraid without the liquid, that they would burn. IF I did it over, I would melt the butter and chocolate together and then add the sugar.
Regardless, fold the chocolate into the butter and sugar, taking care to blend well but being careful not to beat it too much.
Then gently add the flour, to which you’ve added the baking soda, alternately with the boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan, and bake for 30 minutes.
Note: Don’t let this batter come closer than 1 inch from the rim of the cake pan or it risks overflowing. Pour any excess into a smaller cake or muffin pan.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be moist, so a toothpick won’t come out completely clean.
Place the loaf pan on a rack, and let it get completely cold before turning the cake out. It will sink in the middle because it’s dense and moist. Don’t worry about that.
Car Bomb Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Bailey’s
1 teaspoon Jameson Irish Whiskey
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until cream thickens and forms soft peaks.