Hamptons Recipe: Hillary Davis’ Crazy Chocolate Loaf Cake

Hillary Davis' Crazy Chocolate Cake
Hillary Davis' Crazy Chocolate Cake. Photo: Steven Rothfeld/Gibbs Smith

Sagaponack cookbook author Hillary Davis shares this chocolate lovers’ recipe for an easy Valentine’s Day treat. This recipe appears in Davis’s French Desserts, which was published by Gibbs Smith last year.


Cake au Chocolat, Fleur de Sel et Crème Glacée
Yield: serves 8

My world stops if I smell chocolate cake baking. Everything becomes slow motion until I can have a slice. So I set out to develop a recipe for a rich deep-chocolate loaf cake that was good enough on its own not to need frosting. I think I’ve done it. To crazy it up, I break it in half with my hands while it is still warm from the oven, spoon ice cream into the crevice, and give it a final sifting of cocoa over the top and a sprinkle of crunchy fleur de sel. It’s crazy delicious.

9” x 5” loaf pan; electric stand mixer; 1 baking sheet

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
coffee ice cream
cocoa powder
fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter and flour the loaf pan.

Using the stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the brown sugar and beat until combined.

With a fork, beat the eggs with the oil, add to the butter and sugar mixture, and beat to combine. With a fork, whip the milk, yogurt, espresso and vanilla together; add to the bowl and beat to combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa together; add to the bowl and beat until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the loaf pan, place on the baking sheet, and bake for 50–55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes then unmold it onto a plate. To serve, break it in half vertically with your hands, scoop some ice cream into the center, sift cocoa over the top, and sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Just a few seats remain for Hillary Davis’s first “Memorable Meals” cooking demo at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton on February 15. Call 631-283-0774 ext. 523 to reserve. And, yes, Davis will be selling and signing copies of her bestseller French Desserts!

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