I made this cake for our most recent CCC event which was themed “Inspired Baking”, although to be honest, it’s a recipe I’d had in mind to do for some time.
My baking inspiration, like so many people I suppose, came from my mum. She was a good cook of tasty, plain and hearty food and she did a lot of baking. Every Saturday and sometimes again during the week she would bake a huge pile of little buns and pastries, her favourites being sausage rolls, maids of honour, mince pies and butterfly buns. Curiously she didn’t make a cake that often. She would make a Christmas cake at Christmas, parkin for Bonfire Night, the occasional Victoria sponge or chocolate cake and that was about it. If a cake was required for a birthday or Sunday treat it was usually a chocolate cake and made using Cadbury’s drinking chocolate not cocoa powder as that’s what she would have in the house.
I was reminded of all this when I stumbled across this recipe by Karen in her “Lavender and Lovage” blog. Most chocolate cakes nowadays are made using melted chocolate or cocoa powder, which is very fine but often a bit too chocolatey for me and in any case, my mum would never have contemplated anything so extravagant!
Most of her baking came from a recipe in her well thumbed and ancient copy of the Be-Ro book but I can’t find anything in the more recent editions that uses drinking chocolate. Hence I used Karen’s recipe and a great success it was too.
I had my doubts when it came out of the oven, there being a sunken ring around each cake which caused my heart to sink too. However, a good slathering with cherry jam and the frostng concealed all the dents and wrinkles and once decorated with Oreo biscuits, chocolate raisins, mini eggs and little Aeros, it looked a treat. It tasted really good too. It had a light and moist texture, something you don’t always get by using cocoa powder, and was well received at the meeting. Definitely a cake I shall be baking again – if only because it would remind me of my mum every time.
I have adapted Karen’s excellent recipe for the ingredients I had available and it worked well but I suggest you first try her recipe which you can see here.
150g self raising flour, sifted
75g drinking chocolate (I used Nestlé “Le Chocolat”)
2 tsp baking powder
180g caster sugar
200g soft margarine or baking spread (I used St Hubert margarine)
3 large eggs
3 tblsp hot water
For the icing and filling
2-4 tblsp cherry jam
225g milk chocolate
125 ml double cream (I used Tesco double cream substitute)
150g unsalted butter, softened
225g icing sugar
Butter and line the bases of two 20cm round sponge tins. Preheat the oven to 175°C / 155° fan / gas mk 4.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add all the other cake ingredients except for the hot water. Whisk with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the hot water and whisk again for about 3 minutes until even fluffier.
Divide between the prepared tins and bake for 20-30 minutes until done. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
To make the frosting, break the chocolate into pieces and put with the cream in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and well blended with the cream. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter is blended in. Sift in half the icing sugar and mix well, then add the remaining icing sugar and mix until creamy and smooth. Set aside to cool until thickened.
When the cakes are completely cold sit one cake on a plate or stand and spread with a layer of cherry jam. Spread half the frosting on top of that.
Put the other cake on top, spread with the remaining frosting, decorate with whatever takes your fancy and serve.
Cuts into 8-10 slices.