It was the firefighter’s birthday on Friday at the end of a particularly chaotic and emotional week. I had wanted to build on the success of my intense chocolate oreo loaf cake and come up with another chocolate masterpiece, but time was not on my side.
In cake emergencies such as these, I don’t have time to bring butter to room temperature or faff about experimenting with new flavour combinations, so I call upon the services of my most trusted chocolate fudge cake recipe. My mum passed it on to me, she’s used it for years for her WI Market Baking duties – that’s got to be a good endorsement!
If you need to whip up a quick cake to woo your Valentine this could well be the recipe for you!
The cake batter is runny thanks to being made with corn oil, but this combined with milk and golden syrup results in a moist sponge with a pleasingly slightly sticky quality.
The fudge topping is made by mixing melted butter with cocoa, icing sugar and milk. You can achieve a super-glossy sheen by very gradually adding the milk until you get the desired effect. This means when you slather the icing onto your cake you can swirl it around with a palette knife, and it looks really rather professional!
To make proceedings a little more special I blinged the cake up with a bit of inspiration from Lorraine Pascale – I used chocolate fingers to circle the cake and piled fresh raspberries on the top for some instant glamour.
You could add a layer of raspberry jam in between the two cakes or even some fresh cream to make it really luxurious. That’s the beauty of this cake, it’s a great basic that can easily become a centrepiece if needs be.
It’s also a winner in the cupcake form too – bitesize fluffy chocolate sponges with not-too-sickly chocolate fudge icing – ideal for children’s parties.
Super-quick chocolate fudge cake
185g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 level tsp bicarb soda
1 level tsp baking powder
140g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/4 pint corn oil
1/4 pint milk
For the Fudge Icing
60g cocoa, sifted
225g icing sugar
About 4 tbsps milk
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C, 160’C Fan, Gas 3. Line two 20cm shallow loose-bottomed cake tins. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb of soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and then mix in the golden syrup, eggs, corn oil and milk until you have a smooth batter – don’t worry it’s meant to be very runny.
2. Pour equal amounts into the prepared tins and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean the cakes are ready. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
3. To make your fudge icing sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl. Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, add the cocoa and cook for around 1 minute. Remove from the pan and then pour into the bowl of icing sugar. Stir thoroughly to combine and then gradually add your milk a tablespoon at a time until you get a smooth glossy consistency. Allow to cool.
4. Use a third of the icing to spread on the top of the cake that will be your bottom layer. If you like add a layer of jam too! Then place the second cake on top and spread over the remaining icing. If the icing gets a bit stiff or dull looking just add a touch more milk and it’ll immediately soften up and regain its glossiness.