Recipe: Ina Garten's Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

Recipe: Ina Garten's Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake

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Grace Elkus
Oct 26, 2018
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

The fact that Ina Garten managed to create a triple chocolate loaf cake that's wonderfully light and tender — better suited for afternoon tea or coffee than as a decadent dessert — is a true gift. With its crackly top and walnut- and chocolate-studded crumb, it satisfies my daily hankering for a chocolate treat without leaving me with a stomachache (if I don't go back for a second slice, that is).

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

A Chocolate Cake Recipe That's Filled with Brilliant Tips

What I love most about making any of Ina's recipes is that I become a better cook (or baker, in this instance) every time I do so. This chocolate loaf cake recipe, from her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, is no exception.

Instead of adding chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and instant coffee granules directly into the batter, Ina has you stir them into boiling water, which melts the chocolate and blooms the cocoa powder at the same time, intensifying the chocolate flavor of the finished cakes. The addition of instant coffee further enhances the chocolatey-ness of these cakes without adding any discernible coffee flavor. Her choice of chopped chocolate is also no accident, as it melts better than chips.

Speaking of chips, you'll find those in these cakes, too — although those babies are folded in whole, adding texture (and a third type of chocolate) to every slice. To keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaves, Ina has you toss them and the walnuts with two tablespoons of the flour, which keeps them suspended and evenly dispersed throughout the cake.

So thank you, Ina, for all your pro tips (the new book is filled with them). And thank you, too, for making this recipe yield two loaves of pure chocolate perfection. My future self can't wait to dig into the one I stashed away in the freezer.

Ina Garten's Triple Chocolate Loaf Cakes

Makes 2 (8 1/2-inch) loaves

  • 16 tablespoons

    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 cup

    boiling water

  • 5 ounces

    bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti

  • 1 teaspoon

    instant coffee granules, such as Nescafé

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    roughly chopped walnuts

  • 1 cup

    semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    dark brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 3

    extra-large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons

    pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two (8 1/2 × 4 1/2 × 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pans.

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

In a medium bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, combine the walnuts, chocolate chips, and the 2 tablespoons flour and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Alternately in thirds, add the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the nut mixture with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Test in a few places because you might hit a warm chocolate chip.) Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, turn out on a cooling rack, rounded side up, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks. Copyright © 2018 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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