- 100g (3½oz) butter, diced and softened at room temperature
- 2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
- 250g (8oz) caster sugar
- 280g (9oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 2 tbsp cocoa, sifted
- 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, melted
- 250ml (8fl oz) milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4, fan forced 160°C). Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Combine the softened butter, eggs, sugar and melted chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa.
- Combine the milk and lemon juice (it should curdle slightly) in a jug and pour into the bowl with the other ingredients. Beat with a wooden spoon or hand-held electric beater for about 1-2 minutes, or until smooth.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until firm in the centre. Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- If icing the cake, spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake.
This dark, fudgy cake is simple to make and perfect for afternoon tea, lunch boxes and picnics. It is delicious simply dusted with cocoa, but give it a full-on chocolate fix by covering it with a chocolate ganache. Make it by melting 250g (8oz) chopped dark chocolate (no more than 50% cocoa solid) and 125g (4oz) chopped unsalted butter. Cool slightly, beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy, then spread over the cooled cake.
MELTING CHOCOLATE: Chocolate doesn't like to be overheated. It should be melted over direct heat except when combined with other ingredients. To melt chocolate, break it into small pieces or chop it using a large, clean, sharp knife (chocolate readily absorbs flavours, so make sure your chopping board or surface doesn't have any traces of other food). Transfer the chopped chocolate into a clean, heatproof bowl and set it over the saucepan of very hot (but not boiling) water. The base of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir the chocolate as it starts to melt. When melted and completely smooth, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly before using. Don't let any water or steam come into contact with the chocolate while it is melting and don't over heat it, as it may seize (become stiff). If this happens you'll need to start again.