Chocolate Splurge Cake

As requested, here is the recipe for this hurts-your-teeth sugary chocolate cake that featured on The Little Medic’s blog. It is better known as Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake from ‘Feast’ (copied below)

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

200g (8 oz) plain flour
200g (8 tbsp) caster sugar
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
2.5ml (½ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
40g (1½ oz) best-quality cocoa
175g (6 oz) soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
10ml (2 tsp) real vanilla extract
150ml (¼ pint) sour cream

FOR THE ICING

85ml (3 oz) unsalted butter
175g (6 oz) best-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g (10 oz) icing sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) golden syrup
125ml (4fl oz) sour cream
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Take everything out of the fridge so all the ingredients can come to room temperature. Heat oven to 180°C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins. Mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.

Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time. Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.

Do not even contemplate icing the cake until the sponges are cold. To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing. While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla, and then, when all this is combined, whisk in the sieved icing sugar.

Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running onto the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (i.e. slightly domed) side down. Spoon about a third of the icing onto the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together. Spoon another third of the icing onto the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.

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