It’s the weekend and that means cake. This is a recipe for a really easy chocolate cake that goes well with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I use this cocoa powder which we get mail order from James Gourmet Coffee. It comes in a kilo box which may seem like a lot but all I can say is that we do really like our cake, also it makes a lovely hot chocolate drink and now the evenings are drawing in who doesn’t want a hot chocolate before bedtime. Their Earl Grey Tea is also really lovely, and I have a friend who hadn’t thought she liked tea until she had tried this. Anyway, using the best cocoa powder makes such a difference with this cake, I have made it with a cheaper powder and it was fine but it is definitely worth spoiling yourself and it doesn’t really work out that much more money.
1 level tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 level tsp of baking powder
1tbsp cider vinegar
110g softened unsalted butter
295g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
45g coca powder
75ml hot water (depending on which cocoa powder you use you may need a splash more)
Preheat your oven to gas 4. Lightly butter and flour a 23cm wide, 5cm deep cake tin. Put a circle of baking parchment in the bottom.
Add the cider vinegar to the milk. It will make the milk curdle but don’t worry, this helps to make the cake nice and light.
Cream the butter and the sugar until they turn pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the second.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder.
In another bowl, add the cocoa powder and slowly stir in the hot water so that it forms a thick smooth paste.
Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar alternately with the milk and cocoa powder. I tend to use a spatula for this rather than a metal spoon.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a cooling rack,and leave for about 5 minutes before removing the side of the tin. Allow to cool completely before covering with a simple iced topping if desired or just sprinkle with a little sifted icing sugar.
Quick and Simple Chocolate Icing
Knob of butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
50g dark chocolate
Melt the butter, golden syrup and the chocolate together in a bain marie or in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Once everything has melted together, spoon it over your cake using a spatula, this should make enough to just lightly coat the top and sides of the cake in a shiny chocolate covering. Allow to set for at least half an hour before eating.
I’ve also used some chocolate covered coffee beans but that was only because we had them in the cupboard and I wanted to use them up.