Apologies there isn’t a proper picture to go with this post. Officer, the evidence is in my tummy. I unintentionally ate the whole cake before managing to take a picture. I kept thinking, just one more slither, and before I knew it the whole thing had disappeared. But it was definitely the best chocolate cake I have ever made. It was round and brown, with rough and slightly shiny icing. The top half was slightly bigger than the bottom and it undulated slightly on one side. Its beauty was in its imperfections. It was moist and rich, with a deep chocolate flavour, that comes when you use a WHOLE pot of cocoa. That is seven tablespoons. Despite that, it was not cloying, perhaps because the butter icing was loosened slightly with milk, which also made it easier to spread.
I took eight slices to share with some other mums (and a dad) on a school trip to Bracknell’s Discovery Centre yesterday, although it got slightly squashed in transit, it went down well.
I found the recipe in the Waitrose Magazine and it is definitely a keeper. I will make it again, perhaps for Easter, studded with mini-eggs or Smarties. Or both.
Bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out smoothly. Leave the cakes in tins on a rack to cool.
Right, now the icing. This makes enough for the whole cake, but next time I make it, I probably will reduce quantities by a third and not ice the sides. This is just my personal preference. Anyhow, cream the butter and sugar together. Warm the milk in a pan and then beat it into the butter and sugar mixture with the vanilla and cocoa until smooth. Put the wonkiest looking cake, smooth side down on a plate, and slather the top with the icing (this is brilliant icing, the milk addition makes it very spreadable) then put the second cake on top and ice the top and sides if you wish. It is crying out for decorations. Mini-eggs spring to mind. If not smarties.