Chocolate gets stiffed every summer in my kitchen and this one has been no different. Apparently, the only time I have come near chocolate with a ten foot pole this summer was more than six weeks ago, when I made some impromptu chocolate doughnut holes in the lull between rhubarb/strawberry season and every awesome fruit since. And I love chocolate like some people love bagels. This isn’t right.
It’s just that every time I think about making something with chocolate in it, I push it back to the fall, and then the winter. How boring I have become since I started aligning my cooking with the seasons! I reason that I can make chocolate goodies any time of year, but nectarines will only be as brilliant as they are right this very minute and then not again until next summer and I will miss them the whole time and thus we must focus only on each other for as long as we can. Me and summer fruit, we get intimate.
I almost felt like I was cheating on my berries and stone fruits when I made this simple chocolate cake this week, save one thing: this isn’t a dead-of-winter, blanket-of-snow, stuck-inside kind of chocolate cake. For that, there are chocolate souffles with white chocolate cream and this rich slab; show me them on a broiling summer day and I might actually opt for “just tea” for dessert, likely for the first time in my life. But not every chocolate craving demands a swan dive into a vat of chocolate-draped chocolate truffles to be satisfied. Sometimes you just want a slice of cake. Often those times are Tuesday night and they deserve a one-bowl, one-loaf cake like this.
One year ago: Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Two years ago: Blueberry Pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, Blueberry Crumb Bars and Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Three years ago: Quick Zucchini Sauté
Everyday Chocolate Cake
Dutched cocoa makes this cake much darker and more rich. If you don’t have it, however, many people have made it with natural or non-Dutched cocoa (think: classic Hershey’s or Hershey’s dark) but it tends to sink in the middle a little. Nothing a little extra whipped cream cannot cover up though, right?
In 2018, this recipe got fresh photos!
- 1/2 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (190 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (235 ml) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (60 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan.
Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, if you’re feeling fancy.
Planning ahead? This cake is even better on days 2 and 3; wrap it tightly in foil and store it at room temperature.