Friday, 27 February 2015

Chocolate Cake Goodness!

Let them eat cake!

Yesterday one of my colleagues from work had her leaving do. We often have 'fuddles' in the office (FYI for those of you wondering what a 'fuddle' is, it's where you all bring an item of food to have as a buffet - a bring and share lunch really) and I use these opportunities to bake. I really enjoy baking, but my other half isn't a pudding person, meaning if I bake for no specific reason I end up eating it all myself. Not good. Well, it tastes good but it doesn't help my waistline! 

 My mum has been using the same tray bake recipe for years and it's delicious, so I took a copy of the recipe and this is what I use now. It's a Mary Berry tray bake recipe, but I don't know which book it's from (other than a really old one) as my mum also uses a photocopy of of it which she's scrawled on and adapted over the years. It's really straightforward, which is why I love it, but it also makes a really tasty cake. 

For the cake, you will need: 
3 eggs 
225g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
175g soft margarine (I use stork) 
3 tablespoons milk 
3 tablespoons Cocoa powder

For the buttercream: 
250g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar, sifted
50g cocoa powder 

For the topping: 
75g margarine 
50g cocoa powder 
225g sieved icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk 

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Put all the cake ingredients (eggs, flour, caster sugar, margarine, baking powder, milk and cocoa powder) into a large roomy bowl and whisk until it forms a smooth, beaten mixture. Put into a cake tin and cook for 35-40 minutes until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin and while waiting, make the icing and buttercream. 

For the buttercream, whisk together all the ingredients (butter, sugar and powder) until it forms a light, fluffy mixture. 
The finished buttercream mixture 

For the icing, melt the butter in the microwave and then gently stir in the sieved cocoa. Add this mixture gently into the sieved icing sugar, stirring as you pour it in. Then add in the milk and stir together to make a creamy, thick mixture.

Finished icing 

melt the butter and cocoa powder

Add cocoa powder to melted butter

Cut the sponge cake in half and when completely cool spread the buttercream into a thin layer on the bottom sponge. Don't add too much in as this will take a long time to set and could cause the two sponges to move apart. It will also spread out of the cake when you add the top layer onto the cake, which will make it hard to get an evening icing spread around the edge of the cake.  

Put the top sponge layer on top of the buttercream and spoon the icing onto the top of the cake, using the back of the spoon to spread evenly. Then using a knife, spread the rest of the icing round the edge of the edge of the sponges, ensuring any gaps are covered. 

When all the icing is covering the cake, decorate it before the icing sets. I sprinkled smarties on the top of mine, but be creative with it! 

Finally - eat and enjoy! 

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