Every now and then it nice to bake something that requires very little effort, something that isn’t super fancy but still hits you right in the sweet spot good and proper. Yesterday I really felt like a slice of chocolate cake but I didn’t feel like the mission of making icing for it, luckily for me I’ve been saving this particular recipe in my to-bake folder for a while now and so I thought I would give it a whirl.
This cake is the perfect accompaniment for a hot cup a tea or an easy to transport snack for say a picnic or a packed lunch. As a side note, how cute is my red tiffin that I got from Pilgrimage Spaces? I’ve been looking for one for ages! I love it.
This is a one bowl cake and what’s awesome is that the ingredients are pretty standard which means that you probably won’t need to pop out to the shops for anything. The only thing you may not have is buttermilk, I never have it in my fridge unless I have made an effort to go out and buy it, but fear not because buttermilk is really easy to make, which is what I have landed up doing the last few times that I’ve needed it.
All you will require is milk and either lemon juice or white vinegar. In a small bowl, you pour 1 cup of milk and then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and hey presto you got yourself some instant buttermilk.
Now back to the simple cake at hand. This recipe worked like a charm the only part which threw me a bit was the amount of time it suggested the cake be in the oven for which was between 60-70 minutes. I kept mine in for 50 minutes, but even then I felt like it should have come out after 45 minutes, so keep an eye on it if you do make one of these loaves. The cake itself is nice and solid with a fair bit of airiness and the cocoa makes for a great bitter chocolate taste which is counterbalanced nicely by the 2 types of sugar that is required. I’d definitely make this again because it needed very little of my time and the end result was really nice, except that next time I’m taking mine out a bit sooner.
· 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
· 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
· 1/2 cup granulated sugar
· 1 large egg, at room temperature
· 1 cup buttermilk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 3/4 cup cocoa powder
· 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, or spray it with spray and cook.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
- Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven, mine looked a little lumpy and bumpy but it was all good.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix.
- Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (I baked mine for 50 minutes, but I wish I had taken it out at 45 mins), 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.