This soft, moist chocolate cake is covered with delicious glossy chocolate. This cake feeds 16 and is great for parties and the family
- 125g (4oz) dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids)
- 125g (4oz) butter
- 250g (8oz) golden caster sugar
- 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
- 15g (½oz) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar
- 250ml (8fl oz) milk
- 2 med eggs
- For the filling and topping
- 275g dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids)
- 300ml pot double cream
- 4 tbs Marsala or brandy (optional)
- 20cm (8in) round deep cake tin, lined with Bakewell paper
Set the oven to Gas Mark 3 or 160°C. Break up the chocolate into a large bowl and put it over a pan of simmering water. Leave it until it has melted, then take off the heat. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Cool for 5 mins.
Add the sugar, then sift in the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda. Stir the vinegar into the milk, then add the eggs and beat well. Pour into the bowl. Beat the mixture until smooth, then spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 1 hr 15 mins until well-risen and just firm. Insert a skewer into the centre and it should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the filling and topping: Grate about 25g (about ¾oz) of the chocolate from the bar, using a swivel headed vegetable peeler. Set aside in a small bowl. Put the rest of the chocolate in a large bowl over a pan of hot water, as before. When almost melted, add the cream and stir gently until smooth. Take off the heat and leave it. It will thicken as it cools.
Cut the cake in half and sprinkle the cut sides with Marsala or brandy, if using. Use a good quarter of the icing to sandwich the two cake halves together. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides. Sprinkle the grated chocolate on the top, round the edge. Leave in a cool place to set.
To decorate the cake differently, you can sprinkle with chopped nuts.