Quick and easy chocolate cake
Whenever it was anyone's birthday, my mum would make this cake. It seemed to take her no time at all, and if it wasn't cut into all sorts of different shapes for whatever 'theme' we wanted, then it would be iced with shiny chocolate.
It would always look pretty when she did this, and I often thought I would like that for my birthday cake, but for some reason I never told her that.
Serves eight to 10.
you will need
For the cake 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g/6oz self-raising flour
1½ tsps baking powder
2 tbsps drinking chocolate
1 tbsp warm water For the filling 125g/4oz icing sugar
1½oz unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp whole milk For the icing 250g/8oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces and melted
15g/½oz unsalted butter, softened To decorate (optional) Glace cherries, halved
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease two 20cm/8in shallow cake tins.
Mix all of the cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared cake tins and shake gently to level the surface.
Bake the cakes in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or until the top springs back when pushed with your finger. Turn the cakes out on to a wire rack and leave to cool. Meanwhile, make the filling and the icing. Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir the melted chocolate and the butter together and beat well until thoroughly mixed.
When the cakes are cool, lay one of the shallow layers on a serving plate. Spread the filling mixture across the first cake layer and top with the second layer.
Spread the icing on the top half of the cake and use a palette knife to smooth it out and down the sides until the cake is completely covered.
Decorate with glace cherries and almonds, if liked.