Valentine’s Day recipes: Soured cream chocolate loaf

An intensely chocolatey loaf cake with a fabulous whip of soured cream frosting on top.

soured cream chocolate loaf
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 10-12

150ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
100g dark chocolate (50-60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
150g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1⁄2 tsp fine salt
3 medium eggs
175g soft light brown sugar
100g soured cream

100g dark chocolate (50-60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
100g soured cream
1 1⁄2 tbsp caster sugar
1 1⁄2 tbsp just-boiled water from the kettle

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 31⁄2. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then set aside. Measure the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using electric beaters, whisk the eggs and sugar for 2 minutes until combined, light and aerated. Slowly trickle in the oil, beating as you go. Next beat in the soured cream, then sift in the dry ingredients and beat on a medium speed until just combined. Finally fold in the melted chocolate.
  3. Tip the mixture into the lined loaf tin. Bake for about 1 hour until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin.
  4. For the topping, heat the chocolate, soured cream and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir in the just-boiled water until glossy, then spread over the cooled cake. Allow to cool and set before slicing.