nigella’s dense chocolate cake

For a non-chocoholic, I bake too many chocolate cakes. I have tried four of Nigella’s baking recipes so far. Her Banana Bread is awesome. In fact, the first time I made it, I switched the quantities of baking powder and soda and to my utter surprise, the bread was still not ruined! It was just moister and more like a banana cake than a bread. Next, I tried the Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake. I think most people will like it and it is very moist, but just too chocolatey for me. Then came the Clementine Cake. I had read so many good reviews (and just one bad one) about it and it seemed like a very cool recipe. But sadly again, I didn’t like it. May be because it has too many eggs in it.

Anyhow, even with a 1/3 probability of liking it, I still decided to try Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake from my recently acquired copy of controversially-titled “How to be a Domestic Goddess”. The book has a very nice picture of this cake and I had all the ingredients at home, so I thought why not? And I am glad I’s an easy and very tasty cake with the perfect amount of chocolate and is not too sweet. So here’s the recipe.


  • Unsalted butter, 2 sticks or 1 cup
  • Dark brown sugar, 1 + 2/3 cups
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Bittersweet chocolate, 4 oz
  • All-purpose flour, 1 + 1/3 cups
  • Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
  • Boiling water, 1 cup + 2 tablespoons


  • Take all the ingredients out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 deg F and grease the cake pan.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or use an electric mixer if you have one. 
  • Melt the chocolate. I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips and just put them in the microwave on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Beat the eggs in another bowl and then add them along with the vanilla extract to the creamed mixture. Beat everything well till combined.
  • Fold in the slightly cooled melted chocolate, but do not over-mix.
  • Combine the flour and the baking soda in a separate bowl.
  • Then add the flour + soda combination and boiling water to the chocolate mix in alternate spoonfuls i.e. add a spoonful of flour and mix; then add a spoon of water and mix. Repeat. The batter will be quite runny by the end of it.
  • Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 minutes at 375 deg F.
  • Then turn down the oven to 325 deg F and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Take out the cake and let it cool down. Since this is a slightly moist cake, you won’t get a clean skewer if you insert one.
  • Let it cool before turning it out of the pan.
  • Eat!

P.S. Nigella suggests baking it in a 9 x 5 – inch loaf pan, but I don’t own one and it tasted yummy even out of a round cake pan 🙂


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