Chocolate Orange Walnut Loaf Cake

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
I feel like singing a little tune. That's how easy and scrumptious this tender-crumbed cake is.

Another baby has been born in our family's world, and the kids and I delivered dinner this afternoon. I wrapped up only three quarters of this loaf for them. We had to sample it first. Quality Control.  Melissa Clark's recipe. Again! I love her style--conversational, practical, inventive. This cake involves just a bowl and a spoon, and ingredients I always have around--plain yogurt, eggs, chocolate chips, nuts. I subbed walnuts for her pecans because they were on hand, and added orange zest to the batter and an orange glaze while it was still piping hot. I love how the glaze settles in, getting sticky and shiny, running down around the sides.

Loretta and I had a rare morning together. She stirred the cake batter, and we made valentines while it baked. There were various preschooler demands later in the afternoon (More snack! I don't want to have a rest time!), but our 90 minutes of baking and crafting were divine. I listened again to John Kabat-Zinn recently, who says that children are like little zen masters, parachuted into our lives to push all our buttons and see how we'll respond. It's funny--I just came back from a work trip, and what I missed was all those buttons being pushed. In my better moments, I can stand back and say,"This craziness means my life is full. I am choosing the uncertainty, the ambiguity, the loose ends, and I'd be lost without them."


My valentine

Chocolate Orange Walnut Loaf Cake

1 c. sugar
2/3 c. plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 c. (10 Tb.) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted walnuts or pecans
finely grated zest of one orange

For glaze:
Juice and zest of one orange
3/4 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Using a whisk, whisk together the sugar and  yogurt. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until completely combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the melted butter a little at a time. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and orange zest.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make glaze. Using a whisk, combine orange juice, zest, and powdered sugar.

When cake is done, poke several holes in a it with a toothpick or skewer. Immediately pour glaze over the top and allow it to saturate the cake. It will pool up a bit at the edges--brush it back over the top with a pastry brush. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool to room temp before cutting it.