13th October 2012
I decided to bake a chocolate cake as it was National Chocolate Week last week, this one looked very indulgent indeed, just right for a slice whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing later on.
First thing first was to turn the oven on. Next on to the tins – two 20cm (8″) tins were required with loose bottoms. These were lightly greased and then the bottoms lined with parchment. I must admit the other day whilst in Lakeland I bought some pre-cut bottoms for tins, as I seem to waste so much parchment when cutting out for tins, so hopefully this will in the long run save me some money – and time!!
First into the bowl went the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder – well actually they went into the sieve to be sieved into the bowl, so that they were lightly mixed together. A well was then made in the centre of the ingredients and into this went 3 tbsp of golden syrup, 3 large eggs (that had already been lightly beaten in a separate bowl), 225ml of sunflower oil, together with 225ml of milk. That was it – easy. No need for the electric whisk I decided, this could quite easily be done by hand with a wooden spoon. The mixture was given a good beating until nice and smooth.
The next step was to poor the mixture into the tins – it was indeed a case of pouring as this was more of a batter than a cake mixture. The mixture was quickly poured equally into the two tins, it was so runny that there was no need to level the top. These were then transferred to the oven. It was whilst I was putting the second tin into the oven that I noticed drips coming from the bottom of the first tin. They were leaking – I did say to my daughter when was pouring the mixture in that I hoped the tins didn’t leak as this was quite a runny mixture. I’ve never had them leak before, but there’s always a first time for everything…
I quickly got a spare baking tray from the cupboard and put this on the bottom shelf of the oven – hopefully it would catch any drips – I just hoped the complete tin full wouldn’t run out. After 5 minutes I opened the oven up again to see if the cakes were OK, they were, they had stopped leaking, but my oven seemed very hot. A quick look at the temperature setting revealed that I had in fact put the oven on too hot, way to hot, I must have been distracted when I put it on to preheat – well that’s my excuse anyway. I quickly turned the oven down and opened the door of the oven for a couple of minutes to let it cool down. I hoped this wouldn’t affect the cakes in any way.
After 35 minutes I had a quick look at the cakes, they had risen quite a lot and reading back through the recipe I see Mary said to put them in ‘deep’ loose-bottomed tins. For some reason I had put them in sandwich tins, although I must admit they are pretty deep sandwich tins, however, I think they probably would have been better off in a deeper tin. They weren’t quite done so they were popped back in for another five minutes. After this time they were springy on the top and had just started to shrink away from the side of the tin.
They were left in the tins for a few minutes and then turned out on to a cooking rack with the parchment removed from their bottoms. They were, however slightly domed, I wonder if this was because the oven was too hot to start with.
Once cooled, both cakes were cut in half horizontally which left me with four cakes.
It was then onto the icing. For this you needed 450g (1lb) of plain chocolate. That’s a lot of chocolate and I soon realised I was 50g short – to make this up I used 50g of milk chocolate and hoped it would be OK. The chocolate was broken up and put into a large bowl over a simmering pan of water. It probably took a good five minutes for it to melt. It was at this point you had to add 200g of butter. The butter had to be put into the chocolate and left to melt. I did have reservations as to whether or not the butter would melt, as my melted chocolate didn’t appear to be that hot. Luckily I had cut the butter up into small cubes and with my daughter’s help stirring (amazing how she always appears when chocolate is around) it had soon melted.
The first layer of cake was put onto another wire rack (with a baking tray underneath to catch the drips). Some of the ‘icing’ was spooned onto the top if it and spread over, the next cake was put on top and sandwiched together in the same way and then the next cake. Finally the top went on and the rest of the icing was poured over the top. This then had to be smoothed over the top and sides and it was amazing how quickly the icing started to set, so I had to be pretty quick. My cake, being domed, wasn’t very neat at the sides and I think I probably should have cut the dome off, but I didn’t want to waste any. Once it looked neat, well as neat as it was going to look, it was put to one side to set.
Once set it was a case of grating some white and plain (milk in this case as I’d run out of plain) chocolate over the top of the cake and that was it, finished!
I was interested to see what the cake would look like inside, as I wasn’t sure about putting the ‘icing’ in the middle – it wasn’t the same as putting buttercream inside, I was sure it would have just soaked into the cut cake, but I was pleasantly surprised it looked very pleasing. We all had a slice and I must admit I didn’t really taste the chocolate in the cake, everybody else did, perhaps I’m getting a cold or something and my taste buds weren’t up to scratch – or it might have been the couple of glasses of red wine I had already managed to drink that disguised the taste.
The cake is disappearing very quickly, so it’s obviously one that the family like and actually although it looks very impressive it was quite easy and quick to do!