As it was The Husband’s birthday at the weekend I made what is now the traditional Birthday Cake for Big Boys Chez Stitches.
It dawned on me this morning that I hadn’t shared this recipe with you.
Which, is, quite frankly, completely unacceptable.
And I’m surprised you’re still speaking to me.
So, in the anticipation that once you’ve baked this all will be forgiven, here, dear reader is the recipe.
For the cake:
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (Green & Black’s)
- ½ cup boiling water and ½ cup cold water
- 1½ cups sifted cake flour
- ½ tspn baking soda
- ¼ tspn baking powder
- ½ tspn salt
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 1¼ cups brown caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tspn vanilla extract
For the fudge frosting:
- 1½ cups brown caster sugar
- 1 cup double cream
- 6 oz 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tspn vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 1750C/350F. Grease and flour 2 x 8” cake tins.
Place the cocoa in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the cocoa, add the cold water and leave to cool slightly.
In a medium sized bowl using and electric mixer beat the butter until fluffy (about 1 min) then gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy (1-2 mins).
Add the dry ingredients and the cocoa alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and beating well. You should have a lovely smooth, chocolatey batter at this point.
Divide the batter between the two tins, smooth the tops and bake for 25-30 mins until cooked. (Timing is really important and makes all the difference to the cake so, please, please, please, be careful, and don’t over bake. If it’s slightly underdone you’ll just get the most wonderful fudge brownie texture.)
Cool the cakes in their tins for at least half an hour, then turn out onto a wire rack. If the cake sinks a little don’t panic, the frosting will fill any gaps.
To make the frosting heat the sugar and cream in a large saucepan over a moderate heat and, stirring constantly, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins without stirring. It will be slightly volcanic but don’t worry…this is ok. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter and chocolate have melted.
Turn into a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until thickened and a good spreading consistency, stirring frequently.
Resist all temptation to sit with a spoon, the bowl of frosting and the box set of Game of Thrones.
Once cool slather one cake with a good thick layer of the frosting, then sandwich the second cake on top. Cover the top and sides with the remainder of the frosting and refrigerate to set the fudge completely. Remove from fridge at least half an hour before serving to give the frosting time to soften before eating.
Do not be put off by the length of the ingredient’s list, or by the fact that it’s cobbled together from American and Metric measures. Or, indeed, by what might be perceived as a certain, shall we say, faffiness, in the actual making.
This is a Really Simple Cake to pull together (I made the chocolate sponges whilst I prepped breakfast on Sunday morning and the fudge frosting whilst nursing my 3rd cup of tea and a hangover, it’s that simple).
The results belie the lack of effort and are really quite spectacular. One recipient of a slice professed it to be better than the chocolate cake at Harrods. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ll stand by my declaration that this is The Most Perfect Chocolate Fudge Cake and deserving of the capital letters.