My Dad is a difficult man. You know my Dad, right? The one who is obsessed with lemon cookies, who gives a tiny fist pump at the table when dinner is especially nice, the guy who accuses me of adding "nuts and bolts" to a dish whenever he thinks there is too much going on - that's him.
He is especially fussy about dessert. Those lemon cookies I was telling you about? I'm sorry I ever made them. Seriously. At least once a week I get a text message from him (it usually reads something like: Britt I need lmn cks sugr shards pls when can u have them?) asking where the next batch is, and each time I tell him that I am sick to death of those cookies and I can't help him. Then I make a batch for him anyway.
He's especially tricky post-dinner, about the time the dishes are piled in the sink and we're all sitting on my back porch watching the dog chase an invisible ball (if you play fetch in the dark, he has no idea you're not throwing anything - brilliant!), he'll ask. I can almost predict it to the minute. We're all happily digesting and he'll shoot me a sideways glance and ask, "You got anything for dessert?"
And being me, of course, I have a kitchen full of sugary confections, but it's in his nature to be especially choosy. I'll offer a scoop of ice cream, perhaps a brownie, a slice of zucchini bread leftover from the Sunday before - but no. He'll continue nagging until I finally wave the white flag of surrender and he'll say, "You got like a chocolate cake or somethin'?" After one too many awkward situations involving back porch sittin' and a lack of chocolate cake, I started preparing ahead of time.
If you have ever found yourself in a similar circumstance, or perhaps your father is equally charming, or maybe you just need a good recipe for a no-fuss chocolate cake to whip out at any given moment, then this is for you. It's a humble looking loaf that packs an anything-but-modest chocolate flavor, a texture that I daresay borders on fudginess, and with a quick dusting of powdered sugar, you can put it on a fancy plate and call it dessert.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Magnolia Bakery.