January 16, 2019

Ina's triple chocolate loaf cakes

New year, and much of the same routines here!  I'm thrilled with that because I'm very lucky to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favorite pastimes of cooking, baking, and eating.  Here's to happy cooking and feasting in the new year, and always!

Like so many people, I'm a fan of Ina Garten's and adore watching her cooking show.  I'm no expert but there's something about an Ina Garten recipe that usually manages to surprise you a little bit even when you already expect it to be good.  Her recipes are clearly well thought out and whatever it is we're cooking or baking, she's figured out a way to squeeze out, or amplify, every bit of flavor possible.
So you don't have to twist my arm to try one of Ina's recipe - particularly when it involves chocolate!  For a chocoholic like me, it's nearly impossible to resist a recipe called "triple chocolate loaf cakes".  And you can be sure that if Ina's offering a chocolate recipe, it's going to be unmistakably chocolate.  Here, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa (along with a touch of coffee) bloom in boiling water to create the foundation for these cakes.  Then, chocolate chunks or chips add another decadent and delicious dimension.  I opted out of adding walnuts to these loaf cakes.  Personally, I adore nuts in baked goods but I was making them to share with others and went with a nut-free version.
This recipe makes 2 regular-size loaf cakes.  I made 4 smaller loaves so I could share with friends.  To offset our smaller slices, we just had to cut ourselves an extra one, which was easy enough.  

This moist, chocolaty cake satisfied my daily chocolate craving.  I love the light yet almost fudgy texture to the cake, and the serious chocolate flavor doesn't disappoint.  Not too surprisingly, there is something a little extra special about this particular chocolate loaf cake recipe.

I love the baking process and all the senses it involves.  Seeing ingredients laid out on the kitchen counter and knowing that a few steps will help turn it into something tasty is a great feeling.
What I realize I don't show in the process photo above is the measuring cup full of chocolate flavor.  Blooming 5 ounces of bittersweet dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa and a little coffee (or espresso) powder in a cup of boiling water makes for a very heady base of chocolate flavor. 
By the time the cake batter has been mixed, you can smell the wonderful chocolate aroma that promises something good.  I stirred in a healthy amount of chocolate chunks (again, you can do a mix of chocolate and toasted walnuts...undoubtedly even more delicious for any chocolate and nut lover). 
Spread the batter among 2 loaf pans; I divided the batter among 4 smaller disposable pans and they took about 40-45 minutes to bake.  It's best to check ahead of the prescribed time and keep an eye out.  
My kitchen smelled like a mini chocolate factory while the loaf cakes baked!  My finished cakes (without walnuts) did not have the shine and deep cracks I was expecting from the photo in the cookbook so I wasn't sure what to expect.  The proof was in the tasting and I came to realize this isn't your average chocolate loaf.  There's something special about it - and the deep chocolate flavor has a lot to do with it. 


Triple Chocolate Loaf Cakes
From Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten (recipe available here)

- Makes two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaves - 

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup boiling water
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (I substituted with about 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (I omitted in loaves pictured in this post)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or more, if omitting walnuts like I did; I used  about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chunks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch) loaf pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pans (or use baking spray).

Pour boiling water into a 2-cup measuring cup, add the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee granules, and stir until chocolate melts (it will smell amazing).  Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift (or whisk) together the 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, combine walnuts, chocolate chips, and the remaining 2 tablespoons flour.  

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Alternating in thirds, add the flour mixture and the liquid chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in the walnut and chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.  

Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans, smoothly the tops, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (test a few places because you might hit a melty chocolate chip).  [My smaller loaves took about 40 minutes or so to bake.]  Let cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.  


  1. Very chocolatey and I love the add of espresso in chocolate bakes too. I want a slice now :-))

  2. This triple chocolate loaf looks so moist and decadent. Would love a slice with my afternoon cuppa! Wishing you a super 2019!



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