Friday, August 31, 2012

Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake

We tried this cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours cookbook, and although it wasn't my favorite chocolate cake, it was still really good. I thought the addition of cherry jam was very interesting, and the frosting was a very nice consistency. The calories for 1/16 of the loaf are 338, and we all gave the cake an 8, because it just wasn't really chocolate cake :) This was quite easy to make, and easy to assemble as well.  I had terrible light, so the picture isn't great and you can't see the cherry jam levels very well, sorry :(
Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup best-quality red raspberry or cherry jam-for filling (I used cherry)
1 teaspoon water
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 1/2 x 5 inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on the top of one another. (I used two baking sheets)
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream. Still working on a low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear into the batter, Give the batter a last stir with a sturdy rubber spatula and scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. If, after about 45 minutes, the cake looks as if its browning too quickly, cover it losely with a foil tent. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for about 5 minutes before turning it out on the to rack. Cool to room temperature upside down.
Bring the jam and water to a boil over low heat or in a microwave oven. Stir to smooth it, and keep at hand.
The top of the cake will become the bottom layer, so if it is uneven and your cake rocks a bit on the counter, turn it right side up and use a long serrated knife to level it. Using the serrated knife, cut the cake into 3 even layers. Put the first layer (originally the top of the cake) cut side up on a long serving plate and spread half of the jam over it. Cover with the middle layer and spread that layer with the remaining jam. Lift the top layer into place, cut side down. Use a small pastry brush to chase away any crumbs on the top or sides of the cake.
Fit a heatproof bowl into a pan of gently simmering water, add the chocolate and warm, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted. Still working over the hot water, stir in the sour cream. Don’t be concerned if the cream tightens-just keep stirring gently and the frosting will become smooth and glossy.
Remove from the heat and cover the sides and top of the cake with the still warm frosting.
Serve with a bit of whipped cream and if you’d like a pitcher of the Smooth & Tangy Chocolate Sauce.
If you want to serve the cake with a sauce that is perfectly matched to it, double the frosting recipe and use half for the frosting and the other half to make a sauce.
For the sauce: bring about 1 cup whole milk (amount is your preference of consistency) almost to a boil. Put the bowl of extra frosting back over the pan of hot water and gently whisk in the hot milk a little at a time, adding as much as you want to get the desired consistency. The sauce is ready to use when it is as thick or thin as you’d like and perfectly smooth. You can make the sauce in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; just warm it gently before serving.

We didn't serve it with the sauce or the cream, but I think it would probably be better with both.
Tomorrow we're having some chocolate chip cookie sweet rolls from PW.


  1. I'm jealous in a way, but my taste for sweets has gone bye bye. Besides your dad can't eat them. Way for me to lose weight, too. Love mom

  2. I was surprised that I liked this cake as much as I did.