I may have finally cracked the code! I may have gotten the right balance and proportion of ingredients for chocolate cake in a loaf pan! Finally! I think not adding too much cocoa is key, as well as not adding too much liquid. Too much cocoa may be drying, and too much liquid may end up increasing the baking time, which also ends up drying the cake on the outer edges from too much baking time. The oil and the yogurt also help to add moisture and to keep the crumb tender. The coffee extract and espresso powder are very concentrated in flavor, yet adding just a teaspoon of each only adds greater dimension to the chocolate flavor without making their presence known.
This recipe is from the Joy of Baking and the only changes I made were to add just a tad less of cocoa but to add coffee components–the espresso powder and the coffee extract, as well as convert it to a loaf pan recipe and to decrease slightly the amount of glaze. The latter was only due to the fact that I only had 2 ounces of chocolate, and it was in the form of mini chocolate chips. But in the end I’m really pleased with the results. And Stephanie Jaworski of Joy of Baking is so right that this is an easy, delicious, simple and moist cake, and nobody has to know that it only took about 10 minutes of work to make!
chocolate yogurt cake (makes one 9″ x 5″ loaf cake)
1 and 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
— — —
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/3 cups (266 grams) granulated white sugar
2/3 cup (160 grams) vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coffee extract, optional
— — —
1 cup (240 grams) plain yogurt, at room temperature
for chocolate glaze:
2 ounces (60 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 ounce (30 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon (20 grams) corn syrup or honey
Prepare a 9” x 5” loaf pan by greasing and lining with parchment paper that overhangs on two opposite sides. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder into a medium bowl and stir with a whisk several times. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the oil and eggs, then add the vanilla extract and coffee extract, if using, then whisk in the sugar. Get the yogurt to room temperature. Set aside.
Add a third of the flour mixture, whisk a little until all the dry ingredients are moistened, then add half of the yogurt, whisk until blended in, then repeat this process by adding another third of the flour mixture, whisking, then the rest of the yogurt and finally adding the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom after each addition.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center of the loaf comes out clean. If it is still somewhat wet in the middle, give it a few more minutes. Try not to overbake. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes then remove from loaf pan by lifting from the two opposite sides of the overhanging parchment paper. Leave to cool more on a wire rack until just slightly warm or until cooled completely.
Make glaze by melting the chocolate incrementally in the microwave or over a bain marie stovetop and melting the butter in much the same way, then whisking all the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes to thicken up somewhat before using. Pour over the top center of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it to the edges, letting it drip down the sides of the cake. Slice and serve.