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Best chocolate cake recipe ever! I promise. From Nigela Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the art of comfort cooking, 2003, p. 169.

INGREDIENTS

cake:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 40g best cocoa
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tspns vanilla extract

icing:

  • 80g milk chocolate
  • 80g dark chocolate
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 125ml sour crea,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 300g golden icing sugar, sieved
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot water

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4). Butter and line 2 X 20cm sandwich tins.  Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a large bowl. Then, using an elecrtic mixer, add the butter. In a wide, mouthed measuring jug, whish together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla, then slowley add this cocoa mixture to the ingredients in the bowl, beating until thoroughly mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 30 minutes; when they’re ready the cakes should be starting to shrink back from the edges of the tins. Leave for 10 minutes in their tins on racks, then turn out to cool.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave, or in a bowl over hot water. Let cool a little, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla and syrup. Add the sieved icing sugar and a little hot water, blending until smooth. When you’ve got the texture right – thick enough to cover but supple enough to spread, adding more icing sugar or water as required – you can ice the cakes.

Cut four strips of baking parchment and make an outline of a square with them on a flat plate.. Sit one cake on top of the paper pieces, spread with icing, sit the second cake on top and use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides. Leave spatula-smooth or swirl with a knife as you wish.

Serves 6-8.

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