The world would be a wonderful place if it followed the Laws of Chocolate:
Rule 1: One must be yummy
Rule 2: One is calorie-free if one is purchased by someone else
For this week’s Weekly Bake-Off challenge (baking our way through Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes), we were set the task of baking a Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake. Now regardless of my separate loves for chocolate and cake, I am not a big fan of the two together. This ‘phobia’ stems from a sinking chocolate cake incident during my 6th birthday party which I have never quite got over. However, this cake recipe temporarily made me forget this dislike, and as it is seriously easy to make, this one will be popping up in my kitchen quite regularly. This was also my first experience of baking with an Aga which was very exciting but also quite nerve-wrecking; I had to be very strict to stop myself peeping!
50g cocoa powder (sifted)
6tbsp boiling water
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
100g butter (softened)
275g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
150g dark chocolate
150g pouring double cream
3 tbsp apricot jam
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4, and grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water to form a thick paste. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and beat together to form a smooth cake batter. Divide the mixture between the two tins and level with a spatula.
Put the tins in the oven and bake for roughly 25 – 30 minutes, or until well risen and springy to the touch. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. If one of the cakes has a slightly rounded top, carefully slice it off with a bread knife once it is cooled so that both are flat.
Gently warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan and spread evenly over the top of both cakes. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with the pouring cream. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water), and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the pan and stir with a spatula until it is all mixed together. Leave the icing in a cool room until it is almost set, then spread the icing over the top of the apricot jam on both cakes