Tag Archives: Chocolate cake

Nigella’s Basic Chocolate Cake




This is Nigella’s basic chocolate cake recipe  from her website –  simply delicious. I heated it in the microwave for 10 seconds and the chocolate icing just oozed down the cake – yummy!!

Ingredients – Cake

200 grams plain flour
200 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40 grams best-quality cocoa powder
175 grams soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 ml sour cream

Ingredients – Icing 

75 grams unsalted butter
175 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
300 grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125 ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF and line and butter two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins with removable bases.
Put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just 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.
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. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
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. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
When you’ve done, you may need to add a little boiling water – say a teaspoon or so – or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
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 on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to 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 on to 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.


devil’s food cake


A client was telling me that whenever she typed my name into her phone the word devil would pop up.  That might just explain why I loved this sinful indulgence.  Just one tip – make the icing first.  It took a long time to set, and after an hour it was still very runny.  I rather liked the idea of serving it like that but for those that don’t, make the icing first and let it sit. This is a recipe by Annie Bell.  In the coming weeks I will make Nigella’s version just for comparison.



For the cake

  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 370g light muscovado sugar
  • 180ml groundnut oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted

For the Icing

  • 250g milk chocolate, broken into pieces 
  • 40 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 60g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp runny honey


Whisk the cocoa with 200ml boiling water, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 160 deg fan oven/180 deg electric oven.  Butter or oil two 20 cm non-stick cake tins with removable bases, at least 5cm deep, and line with baking paper.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the flour, and then the cocoa solution. Pour two-thirds of the mixture into one tin and the a third into the other tin, making sure the mixture is evenly spread.  Give each tin a sharp tap on the work surface to bring up any air bubbles and bake for 40-50 minutes respectively, or until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the centre  comes out clean.  Run a knife around the edge of  the cakes and leave to cool.

To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate and butter into a bow set over a pan with a  little simmering water in it, stirring until smooth.  At the same time, combine the cocoa, milk and honey in a small saucepan and heat almost to boiling point, whisking until smooth.  Pass the cocoa and milk through  sieve into the bowl with the melted chocolate and whisk to a thick, glossy icing.

Remove the deeper pan cake from the base, peel off the paper and slit into two equal layers using a bread knife.  Place the lower half on a cake stand or plate and spread with a quarter of the icing.  Remove the paper from the smaller cake, lay this on top of the base and spread with another quarter of the icing.  Lay the top layer in place and smooth the remaining icing over the top of the cake, taking it up to the sides and leaving it to drip down.  Set aside for a couple of hours for the icing to set.  

Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake


The is a recipe from a Women’s Weekly book.  The original recipe used Hazelnut meal, I didn’t have it so I replaced it with Almond Meal and it was divine.  Serve it warmed up with ice cream or cream or as is.Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake


  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 150g dark eating chocolate, melted
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 11/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, extra


Preheat oven to moderate . Grease deep 19cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.

Blend cocoa with hot water in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in chocolate, butter, sugar, almond meal and egg yolks.

Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form, fold into chocolate mixture in two batches.

Pour mixture into pan, bake about 1 hour or until firm. Stand cake 15 minutes, turn topside up onto wire rack to cool.

Dust with sifted icing sugar or cocoa.