A Good Family Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake 'fashions' have come and gone over the last 30 odd years. There was the Black Forest gateau, the Sachertorte, truffle torte, lots of poor imitations of the River Cafe's gorgeous Nemesis cake to name but a few. I've tried most of these, but the recipe I come back to when the family want a chocolate cake is this one. I've been making it for a long time, but think it was originally a Delia recipe.
I like using oil in cakes, and this one is really moist and keeps well. It's a good sized cake too, and it can be dressed up for an occasion with ganache or whatever you fancy. Today's version is unadorned except for a filling of Nutella and a smattering of icing sugar on the top.

275g plain flour
3 tbspn cocoa powder
11/2 tspn baking powder
11/2 tspn bicarb. of soda
215g caster sugar
3 tbspn golden syrup
3 eggs [large]
225ml sunflower oil [I use rapeseed]
225ml milk
icing sugar

2x 20cm sandwich tins [about 4cm deep], greased and lined

Preheat oven 160C/gas3

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl and mix in the sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the rest of the ingredients.
Beat together well with a wooden spoon till nice and smooth.
Pour into the tins and bake for about 35 mins [ mine took 45 mins]. till well risen.
Remove from tins and take off lining paper. Cool on a wire rack.

You can then do what you like with them. As I've already said, I spread Nutella over one of them, put the other on top and sifted over some icing sugar. They'd risen quite a lot, so I cut the dome off one of the cakes to make it level so I could put the Nutella on it. Cook's perk to eat the slice cut off!

It's a nice moist cake, not too sweet, with a good chocolate flavour and a soft texture.


I've got to say that this is my favourite kind of chocolate cake and it's very much the sort of recipe that I go back to time and time again. I love the nutella filling. You might be right about this being a Delia but it's actually very similar to a recipe by an old neighbour of mine - the late and lamented Michael Barry. He made it on the original Food and Drink programme many, many years ago, although being "crafty" as usual he made it in a food processor. Thinking about choc cake fashions has reminded me of all those mile-high choc cakes that were around in the 80s. I can't think how we managed to survive that decade with so much indulgence on offer.
Snowy said…
Yes, there were some really over the top chocolate cakes in the 80s. I was a fan of Michael Barry and the old Food and Drink. - didn't like the Michel Roux version very much.

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