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This is a basic recipe for a simply decorated chocolate cake, it is perfect for those occasions when someone drops in for coffee or you just feel like a bit of cake and don’t want to do anything fancy.
- For the sponge:
- 280g caster sugar
- 280g unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs
- 280g self-raising flour
- 5g baking powder
- 40g cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 30ml water
- For the icing:
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g icing sugar
- 200g dark chocolate
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 10 - 20
- Heat the oven to 170°c.
- Using an electric whisk or mixer, cream the soft butter (or margarine) and sugar together until it is pale in colour.
- Then add the eggs one at a time to the butter mix while whisking (it will turn into a thoroughly unappetising, lumpy mess, but don’t worry, this is normal).
- Stir the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder into the mixture and then add the water.
- Grease a 20cm × 10cm cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Then pour in the cake mixture. (Alternatively, you could use two shallower cake tins.)
- Put the cake into the oven and bake it for 45 minutes (or 25 minutes if you are using two smaller cake tins). To test the cake to make sure it is cooked, stick a knife or skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out with wet cake batter on it then the cake will need a bit longer in the oven.
- When the cake is cooked leave it in the tin for 10 minutes then remove it from the tin to a wire rack and leave it to cool completely.
- If you want a neat finish to the cake, trim the domed top off the cake so it is flat. Cut the cake in half horizontally and place both halves onto a large chopping board.
- Make the icing by weighing out the soft butter and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the butter and icing sugar together until they are light in colour, then melt the chocolate in the microwave (on low power) or over a bain marie and pour it in to the mixing bowl.
- Stir in the melted chocolate until it is totally incorporated.
- On one of the halves of cake, pile on about half of the icing and spread it out so the whole surface is covered
- Then put the other half of the cake on top, pile on the rest of the icing and smooth it over. You can texture it (as we did) by very gently slapping it with a palette knife or butter knife.
Can it be frozen? Just the sponge at stage 8.
Can it be prepared in advance? Yes, it can be finished up to 1 week in advance.
Will leftovers be nice? Yes, for up to 1 week if kept in an air-tight container.
- The sponge can be frozen for up to 3 months, try not to freeze the finished cake as the icing can take on the taste of the freezer.
- Try this cake with fresh fruit in the filling like raspberries but keep it in the fridge as the fruit will go off otherwise.
- Cakes that have butter cream icings like this one MUST be eaten at room temperature otherwise it will appear stale, hard in texture and tasteless. If you do keep it in the fridge for any reason, let the cake come to room temperature which normally takes about 3 hours.