Welcome to this week’s meeting of ‘The Plain-Cake Appreciation Society’.

It seems only fitting that this week I give you a chocolate offering – the proximity to Easter and the past week’s weather positively demand it – and who am I to stand in the way of chocolate cake?

In keeping with the theme of our society, this double chocolate loaf is as easy as it is comforting – and I have purposefully suggested baking in two smaller loaf tins – with the idea that you will then have one to eat and one to gift to someone in need of a little (chocolate) cheer. Happy baking. x

Double chocolate loaf cake

(makes 2 small cakes)

A simple, comforting chocolate cake – a slice of this needs nothing more than an accompanying cup of tea or coffee to make it a most gratifying teatime treat. If you’re so inclined though, a chocolate buttercream or glaze works beautifully to elevate it to dessert-status.

Ingredients

185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
3 eggs
185g self-raising flour
1/8 tsp bicarb soda
50g Dutch cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
125ml full-cream milk
100g good quality milk chocolate, melted

Method

  1. Grease and line 2 medium (750ml capacity or one large 1.5L) loaf tins and preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced.
  2. Cream butter and caster sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla paste and then eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine self-raising flour, bicarb soda, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk lightly to mix and then sift into the bowl with the butter and sugar. Mix gently to combine before adding milk and mixing again until batter is smooth.
  4. Pour in cooled melted chocolate and mix again until batter is smooth and glossy. Scoop into lined loaf tins, smoothing the top with a spatula, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes or so before inverting onto a wire rack to cool further. Serve in thick slices, warm or at room temperature.

Whilst best eaten the day it is baked, this loaf will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.