This cake might look plain, but tastes spectacular. Soft, buttery, chocolaty. I like it best with a cup of coffee.
When preparing the batter, it is really important that the eggs, the butter and the buttermilk have room temperature. These ingredients should be taken out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you start baking.
Unfortunately, I often decide to bake on the spur of the moment. Then of course then the ingredients will not have room temperature, but fridge temperature. Since the batter for this cake will not work out if I make it with cold ingredients, I use the following tricks to warm the ingredients at least a little bit.
- I put the eggs into a small bowl, put it into the sink and let hot tap water run over the eggs until they feel lukewarm.
- I cut the butter into small bits and put them into a baking bowl. Then I place the bowl over a pot of boiling water for a short time (or over the pot with the boiling noodles). In winter I sometimes place the bowl on our wood-burning stove for some minutes.
It is not the same as working with ingredients which have room temperature, but it helps.
This time I took the ingredients out of the fridge in time, and the batter still curdled a little. It did not really matter, though. The cake was as delicious as always – and eaten the same day.
I like the buttermilk cake best with dark chocolate. I could imagine that it is also great with chopped nuts or fresh raspberries (mmh, sounds yummy).
½ cup (120 g) butter
1½ cup (300 g) fine sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (no vanillin)
2 cups (200 g) flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, lactosefree
½-⅔ cup (80g – 100 g) dark chocolate, lactosefree, coarsely chopped (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C).
Grease a loaf cake pan (~12 x 4 inches; ~ 30cm x 11cm) with butter and slightly coat it with flour. Do not try to skip the coating, as I sometimes did when I thought greasing would be enough. I learned the hard way that it is a good idea to follow the instructions and make the effort of greasing and coating carefully.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar until fluffy. With a kitchen machine, this takes at least 5 minutes, rather longer – especially if the ingredients do not have room temperature.
Add the eggs one after the other. Beat each egg into the mixture for at least one minute before you add the next egg.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
Add one third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the egg-sugar mixture. Beat in well. Add the second third of the flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk and beat in well. Add the last of the flour mixture and again beat until the ingredients have combined well. Do not beat for too long!
Fold in the chopped chocolate, using a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the loaf cake pan and spread it evenly.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown. My stove is a rather slow stove. It took about 55 minutes until the cake was done, i.e. when a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean.
Let the cake cool down in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it onto a platter.
If you want, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar when it has completely cooled down.
I prefer the version with less chocolate, ½ cup (80 g). In this version, the chocolate flavor will not dominate the cake and you will still be able to enjoy the delicate flavor of the sponge. Family and friends, apparently chocoholics, will go for the more chocolaty version ⅔ cup (100g) any time.
Recipe adapted from: Buttermilch Kuchen, Tarek Malouf (2013), Kuchenglück: Ostfildern, Jan Thorbecke Verlag.