13th June 2012
Football, football, football that’s all it seems to be in our house at the moment and we’re not even a football loving family – it’s rugby they play and follow!
Was quite comfortable on the sofa when my son asked me why I wasn’t baking this evening, as he was about to watch another football match. Said I couldn’t decide what to make, so he said make a chocolate cake (one of his favourites apart from banana cake). After five minutes he said you’re still here, you won’t want to watch the football, it’d be best for you to go and make me a chocolate cake … eventually I took the hint.
I decided on the chocolate traybake as I thought this would be easier for him to take to school, rather than a sandwich cake. I must admit I was glad to get away from the football! The oven was put on to preheat and my traybake was lightly greased and lined with parchment.
First thing to do was to blend together the cocoa and hot water. I’d had a cup of tea about 10 minutes beforehand, so I knew the water in the kettle would still be warm, so it was a case of measuring the cocoa and water out and giving it a good mix. This then had to cool slightly.
Whilst the cocoa mixture was cooling it was onto measuring the rest of the ingredients out into a bowl, as they was again an all in one mixture. First the butter, which I had to soften in the microwave as I hadn’t anticipated baking this evening. Into the bowl with the now softened butter went the caster sugar, self raising flour, baking powder and eggs, together with 1tbsp milk – oh and the cocoa mixture! This was blended together using the electric whisk and then turned into the tin. A quick level of the top and into the oven it went.
Now that didn’t take 90 minutes or 45 minutes (football terms!), so it looks like I will have to endure some of the football this evening!
After 35 minutes I checked the cake, but it wasn’t quite baked, so I left it in for another 5 minutes. After this time it was beginning to shrink away from the sides and nice and springy on top. The cake had to be left to cool in the tin.
Back to the football again. The cake I decided was still to warm to ice, so I thought I would wait until the morning.
Once the children had gone off to school, I decided to ice the cake before I did anything else, otherwise I could see myself finishing it after they had come home from school, which I knew wouldn’t go down very well with them. This cake had to be ready by then!
Into a bowl went 150g plain chocolate together with 6tbsp of water. This had to be gently melted. I was surprised at putting water with the chocolate, something I have never done before and I must admit I was slightly concerned about it mixing together. However, after a good stir it did and was lovely and smooth. This was left to cool for 5 minutes and then into this went a good helping of icing sugar, together with a teaspoon of sunflower oil. This was beaten all together and the result was a glossy icing for the top of the cake.
Mary says if you’ve time to brush the top of the cake with some apricot jam as it gives the cake a lovely flavour and stops the cake crumbs from getting into the icing. The children aren’t too fond of apricot jam, so I thought I’d give this a miss.
The icing was quite thick, but I must admit I had a few reservations about it running off the cake, there seemed to be a huge amount. I spooned it onto the middle of the traybake and luckily it stayed there, so very gently I spread it to the edges. It did start to run off in one place but the rest remained on the top. This then had to set for 30 minutes before it could be cut.
That’s one thing with Mary’s cakes that actually bugs me – sometimes I think there should be more icing as it barely covers the cake and other times, as with this cake, I think there is too much. There was nearly 1cm (depth) of chocolate icing on the top of the cake!!
Mary puts chocolate curls on the top of her cake after the 30 minutes, but as I didn’t have any I topped the cake with ‘Flake’. I actually did this straight after icing as I wanted them to stick to the cake and not fall off. Eventually I was able to cut the traybake up into 20 pieces. A quick photo was sent to my son at school as I had just remembered he was running in a relay race this evening so wouldn’t be home until late. Hope it made him run faster!
My daughter soon had a slice of this as soon as she came in the door. Her verdict was very nice indeed! I don’t think it will be hanging around for long!
Both son and husband have now had one or two or maybe even three slices each now – they’re very impressed with it!