And of course, since another form of enlivenment for me is baking, I tend to scan the cooking section of the bookstore on a weekly basis, checking for any appealing titles. This week did not disappoint. I really should have no shame in saying that I've been waiting for Nigella Lawson's “How to be a Domestic Goddess” cookbook to appear in the store; even though I would not simply go to a bookstore and buy the book full price, I've been fetishizing it for some time. Part of this is due to the title: I do want to be a goddess of this variety, one who has an artillery of recipes for every occasion, all mouth-watering and luscious. Another part is due to the fact that I think Nigella is an extraordinary woman and baker (I suppose in order to support her, I should have just bought the book retail. Oh, well). Though she has not been trained as a chef, she brings her personal style of enjoyment to her cooking shows and her cookbooks: for her, food is a pleasure and it is meant to be savored, not endured. She cares about the method and the final product, all with a relaxed attitude that many uptight chefs would benefit from. Also, she initially worked in publishing, which is why I relate to her beyond the love of cupcakes and the therapeutic nature of cooking.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled to have her cookbook, and I was quite pleased with the dessert I made this weekend. It's a chocolate loaf cake, and it has the simplicity of a quick bread recipe. However, one would never mistake one for the other; this cake is dense and rich. I think that pairing it with vanilla ice cream would make it even better, but it still is an incredibly satisfying dessert on its own.
Chocolate Loaf Cake
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar