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I love this cake. As Nigella says: "the essence of all that is desirable in chocolate - dark intensity isn't toyed with nor upstaged by any culinary elaboration. The plainest of plain loaf cakes - damp, heady, aromatic!" What can I say? Be sure to line the tin well.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/gas5. Grease and line a 23x13x7cm cm (9x5x3in) loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well.
- Next fold in the melted and cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but do not overbeat.
- You want the ingredients combined: you don't want a light airy mass. Gently add the flour, to which you've added the bicarb, alternately spoon by spoon, with 250 ml of boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter.
- Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170C/gas mark 3 and cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.
- Plaace the loaf tin on a rack and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. It improves if left for a day or so before eating. This cake will probably sink in the middle because of its denseness.