Bakers’ Blessings

The delicious chocolate cake baked by Rene Cowan.
The delicious chocolate cake baked by Rene Cowan.

WHILST chocolate can only be described as a firm favourite of mine, I strongly believe that we should enjoy ‘everything in moderation’! I find baking with chocolate a real treat and an ingredient in which you can be very creative with. I have no doubt passion for chocolate is a fancy reaching back long before my generation, or many generations before, for that matter.

Everyone ought to enjoy a sweet little treat now and again, and here is my take on the very best chocolate cake! Baking with such a rich ingredient, it can take a little time to find your feet, however I find when making a cake like this, a relatively strong eating chocolate is best (one with approximately 35-45 per cent cocoa).

When adding choc chips to muffins or scones, cooking chocolate is sufficient. While cooking chocolate may seem strong enough, when using in large amounts like I am here, it will lose most of its strength once melted or baked in the cake. This cake is definitely a treat for all you chocoholics, and is delicious with a drizzle of double cream.....just to add a few extra unnecessary calories! Take your time with this cake, and revel in the fancifulness of the finished product!

‘Make clean our hearts and feed our souls, with good and joyful things’.

Finest chocolate cake

This cake is complete indulgence and this recipe makes two tiers, lathered in fudge icing. To make the sponge, sieve 10oz plain flour together with three level tablespoons of cocoa powder, one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of of baking powder. Next add seven oz caster sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre before adding three tablespoons of golden syrup, three beaten eggs, 225ml milk and 225ml sunflower oil. This may seem like a generous offering of oil, but trust me, it is worth every drop. Beat the mixture well with a wooden spoon before separating between two sandwich tins. Greasing the tins with butter will be fine, however lining the greased tins with greased baking paper will ensure a clean, crumb free top and bottom.

Bake in a hot oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the sides of the cake begin to crisp and move away from the sides of the tin. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. To make the icing, melt 400g of Bourneville dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once melted, remove from the heat and add 200g of chopped, unsalted butter. The butter will melt in the hot chocolate without needing to remain on the hob. Remember both chocolate and butter can melt between your fingers on a warm day, so the hot chocolate will be more than enough to soften the butter. Stir well until the mixture resembles a smooth glaze. Place in the fridge for approximately 15-20 minutes before spooning a little between the cakes to sandwich together, and using the remainder to decorate as you wish.