This is what baking, what all of this book, is about: feeling good, wafting along in the warm, sweet smelling air, unwinding, no longer being entirely an office creature; and that’s exactly what I mean by ‘comfort cooking’. Nigella Lawson
It was as if the book was calling out to me. It was as if it was my life, or then again, maybe I am just one of the many millions who feel this way about baking. The waft of vanilla, the folding in of the batters, the layering of the cakes- nothing but True Bliss.
CommuniCooking has resumed with some real cooking- or should I say comfort cooking.
This post is long due-it is the inaugural post of one of the 1 year gifts, in continuation to the earlier ones here;
This will probably be one of the most treasured gifts-ever and hopefully, will embark me on a journey towards being marginally domestic, if not the goddess herself. From the book, Nigella Lawson’s; “How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the art of Comfort Cooking”, here comes this really special post, and with a bit of luck, a lot more culinary pleasure in the days to come.
Additionally, this post is special, as it is the 25th Post on this blog. It may not seem special to many, but really to achieve this landmark on my very own blog- I am amazed at myself. Despite the numerous occasions, when I have thought I will not come back to the blog, and the many times, when in a tearing rush, I forget that I was supposed to photograph what I had just cooked- this blog has reached 25 posts. And that is reason enough to celebrate. Further, with over 3200 views, I am a happy child. I guess, there are people who are reading this- I may not have engaged with many- but statistics are proof of an audience for my lil’ blog.
I have spent a lot of time contemplating, and wondering what should the first recipe from this book be? I have spent months thinking, going through it again and again- the fact is that I wanted the first recipe to be something - perfect for Ak. It’s a tough one. I realised, that I had actually spent weeks and months, just thinking- Why wasn’t I able to crack it?!First it was the weddings, then travel, then navratras- my excuses had to stop; I had almost started to feel guilty. My initial choice was kept aside (it involves some days of preparation- but it will be here soon!), and I decided to settle in for a classic- The Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. According to Ak, Nothing beats a Brown, unadulterated chocolate cake. The chocolate chapter in Nigella’s book also begins with this cake- she thinks this cake is the essence of all that is desirable in chocolate.
The results were true to the words. This cake really is the essence of a chocolate cake; simple, classic and a chocolate lover’s delight. I think it could be less sugary and more chocolaty though; however it is The perfect cake for any celebration :) With a little more practice- I may get it just right.
1 teaspoon baking powder (Nigella uses 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda)
225 g butter (preferable unsalted)
375 g m muscovado sugar
2 eggs, beaten
100 g dark chocolate, melted
250 ml boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Loaf tin 23x13x7 cm (I actually found one in the kitchen, that was just a cm short in height!)
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line the loaf tin with greaseproof baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar together, with a wooden spoon or with a hand held mixer. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Then, fold in the molten chocolate, slightly cooled. Do not overmix. Add the flour+baking powder+cocoa, slowly, along with the boiling water until you get a smooth, liquidy batter. (I add the cocoa and chocolate chips, for that added chocolaty feeling!) Pour into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170 degrees C, and bake for another 15. The cake is slightly damp, so the cake tester will not turn out completely clean. Let it cool completely before taking it out of the tin.
p.s. I used lesser baking powder- I should have checked prior to starting. It might be advisable to use about 2 teaspoons baking powder or better still- just use baking soda instead!
Also, I was slightly cautious, since the tin was a cm shorter in height, than the specified tin- I saved some batter and made 3 muffins instead. Could have avoided that- and maybe I would have got that perfect height.
p.p.s Not to be missed in the photographs- my new kitchenaid accessories kit!