So my last post was for the vanilla polka dot middle layer of a 3 tiered birthday extravaganza, today it's the chocolate fudge cake layer - it looked like this:
here but I have modified it a bit (to make it more user-friendly with the ingredients) and altered the method slightly. Now, I didn't take photos of the various stages of making the cake because...well...there's only one stage really! Please note that the original recipe makes 2 x 23cm (9") layers whereas I made one big cake in a 28cm (11") spring form tin. One of the most brilliant things about this cake is that it is SO moist and fudgy that the left-overs from the birthday party have lasted in a tin for about 10 days here. I know...who wants to eat 10 day old cake - but trust me, it is still perfectly wonderful as it is and if you nuke a slice for a few seconds you have the most outrageous chocolate fudge pudding type dessert. And why would there be any left-overs in the first place? Well, because this cake will EASILY feed 20 people. I didn't realise that when I made it, my bad, but I'm not overly disappointed either!!
For the cake:
1 3/4 cups good quality cocoa (not drinking chocolate)
3 3/4 cups self raising flour (or all purpose flour and add 2 tsps baking powder)
3 3/4 cups caster or superfine sugar
2 tsps kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups warm water (it should feel neither cold nor hot on your skin)
2 cups whole milk
2 tsps lemon juice or white vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or canola are probably best)
2 tsps good vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 160 C / 325 F. Grease and line a 28cm (11") spring form tin. I like to use baking strips with sponge cakes, if you do too, soak them in water and pin around the outside of the cake tin.
- Add the lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and leave it to stand - it will curdle and thicken slightly and behave like buttermilk in the recipe.
- Sift the cocoa, flour, sugar, and salt together into a large mixing bowl.
- If you have a free standing mixer: place the eggs, water, soured milk, oil and vanilla in the bowl of the mixer and beat on low for a minute or so until everything is well combined. If you're using a hand held mixer: place all the 'wet' ingredients in a large bowl and beat for a couple of minutes.
- With the mixer still running, add the combined dry ingredients in 3 batches making sure the mixture is well combined before adding the next batch. (The original recipe just places everything in one bowl then beats on medium - I found that I had little lumps of flour that would NOT be mixed in however hard I tried, they floated on the surface of the finished mixture and I had to scoop them out to avoid an unpleasant crust on the finished cake).
- Pour into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. Carefully cover the top of the tin with a piece of foil and bake for a further 60 minutes or until the cake passes the clean skewer test.
- Place the cooked cake on a cooking rack, remove the foil and leave to cool 30 minutes before removing the outer ring of the tin. Leave to cool completely.
200g / 8oz or 2 sticks of unsalted butter - soft but not melting
400g / 14oz icing or confectioners sugar - sifted
100g / 4oz good quality cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tblspn espresso coffee (this can be replaced with milk if you prefer)
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat slowly until everything is combined, then on medium for a couple of minutes until you have the consistency you require.
- Spread on the top and sides of the cooled cake. If you prefer: you could slice the cake in half and place the icing in the middle and on the top of the cake only for a more traditional tea-time look.