Time for more fun with mini loaf pans! If you're out and about this weekend, consider picking up a couple because they are quite handy, especially if you're cooking for two or want to make small loaves to share with multiple neighbors.
Plus you can make these little cakes! I was trying to make mini pound cakes, but the cakes turned out more like regular dense, moist, chocolate cake, so for those of you wondering what the texture is like, there you go. What's left of the cake tastes slightly better on Day 2 after being sealed in a lidded container on the counter, but the cake was good on Day 1 too, so you don't have to make it ahead. And right now I'm crazy for ganache. It takes 2 minutes to make, you can use small amounts of very good chocolate, plus it adds extra moisture to the cake.
The reason the side of the cake looks kind of swirled is that the cake is brown and made with natural cocoa, but I dusted the pan with extra dark cocoa so there's a contrast. Also, for now I recommend using natural style cocoa because the cake rises so nicely and acid plays a role in the leavening action. However, it might not be a big deal if one were to use Dutch. I haven't tested it yet. What I did love was the little bump in the middle. I baked one cake in a metal loaf pan and the other in a ceramic loaf pan and am wondering if the type of pan had anything to do with the formation of the big, cute, bump. In other cakes it wouldn't be so cute, but in this cake it was.
Mini Chocolate Loaf Cakes with Ganache
- ½ cup cake flour (56 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar ( 100 grams)
- ¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (56 grams)
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cooled brewed coffee
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 1 oz good quality semisweet chocolate chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Rub two 3x5 inch mini loaf pans with shortening or butter and dust with cocoa powder.
- Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small yet deep mixing bowl and stir very well. Add the soft butter and squish it around with the back of a spoon, coating the flour mixture. Stir in the buttermilk. With a hand-held mixer, beat the mixture for about two minutes, scraping sides of bowl, until smooth.
- Mix the lightly beaten egg, vanilla and cooled coffee together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add to the batter in three parts, stirring gently with a spoon until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Bake on center rack at 325 F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan set on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then carefully turn from pan.
- To make the ganache, heat the cream for about 30 seconds (or just until hot) in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Add the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, then stir until melted and smooth. This ratio thickens pretty quickly and is harder to drizzle So to drizzle, transfer to a zipper bag (heavy duty is best, but regular is okay if you're careful not to break it) snip a tiny bit off the bottom corner of the bag, then squeeze lines of ganache over the loaves. Chill to set the ganache.