Dark, fudgy icing on a chocolate sponge.
Normally, that would be right up my street.
Yes, I should've loved this cake.
But something is wrong somewhere at the moment. I feel *gasp* as though I have gone off chocolate.
Whether it was the effect of some bright sunshine for a change, whether I'm just a bit jaded at the moment, or the amount of chocolate that I've eaten over the last few months - just because it's an 'easy' snack and therefore all too easy to reach for, tsk, tsk - has taken its toll, it just didn't quite hit the spot.
Instead, I've found myself craving sharpness and light. So much so, that I also baked another of the Limoncello Cakes I've posted recently. Now that really got my tastebuds going and it has kept Mike and I in coffee-time treats all week.
I say 'acceptable', because, you see, we did have slightly mixed reactions to it.
Mike and I felt as if the sponge was the teensiest bit dry (although the aroma and taste of chocolate was spot on, so I might add a tablespoon of milk to the batter next time). Ben felt it was OK, and definitely acceptable enough to have as an after school snack. Josh, though, absolutely loved it and spent the early part of the week fending off anyone else who showed an interest while he devoured it, crumb by precious crumb. Sam, bless him, after having one little piece which ended up smeared from ear to ear, didn't get a chance to try any more. But judging by his reaction, it went down pretty well.
Anyway, for those chocolate-loving teenagers, and toddlers, this is what I did.
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Ingredients (makes one 8 inch / 23cm cake)
175g softened unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbspns golden syrup
3 tbspns ground almonds
225g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
40g cocoa powder
For the frosting
225g plain chocolate, chopped
110g light muscovado sugar
225g unsalted butter, diced
3 tbspns milk
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 conventional / 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4. Grease and base line two 20cm / 8 inch cake tins.
To make the frosting, place the chocolate, sugar, butter, milk and vanilla in a heavy based saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until melted. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Cover with cling film and chill for about an hour until spreadable. [On this occasion, the muscovado sugar, which took a long time to dissolve, gave me a slightly grainy texture to the frosting. Next time, I'll try something like soft light brown sugar, as its softer and smaller grains would dissolve more easily.]
Place the butter and caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat, using the paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Sir in the syrup and ground almonds. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa into a bowl and then gently fold into the mixture. Add a little milk if necessary, to make a dropping consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes, until risen and springy, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out of their tins and allowing to cool completely.
Sandwich together with some of the frosting, and then spread the remainder over the top and sides.
I then added a few chocolate sprinkles as decoration, but this isn't really necessary.
*Recipe adapted from Chocolate : Decadent and Delicious Home Made Treats a Love Food book