Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Birthday cake time again, and this time it's Nigella's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake. I hadn't ever made this one before, and wanted to try it out.

Put the cake ingredients in a food processor (flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, cocoa, soft butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream) and whizz them all up.

Before I had a food processor I used to hate it when recipes said things like that ('Thanks - I don't have a food processor!') but you can make it without one - see the recipe on Nigella's website.

Mine became a very thick mixture - so I added a couple of tablespoons of milk and blitzed it again.

Still very thick but a bit more smooth-looking. I'm not sure why it was originally so thick - maybe something to do with sour cream in Australia being very solid?

Divide mixture between two greased and base-lined cake pans and spread out as evenly as you can. Cook at 180 C for 20 minutes or so. The recipe says 25 to 35 minutes. Mine took just over 20 minutes.

When cooled down, remove from pans. One of my cakes was a bit bigger than the other, but never mind!

For the icing, melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. When it's cooled down a bit, add the golden syrup, sour cream and vanilla, then mix together.

Put the chocolatey mixture into the food processor with the icing sugar and whizz it up.

(For non-food-processor-owners, sift the icing sugar into the choc/butter/cream mixture and beat it all together.)

Icing ready to spread on the cake.

Spread about a third of the icing on the first sponge, then put the other sponge on top.

Use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides of the cake. The 'lines' on the top was my middle son's idea - he also decorated the cake with Smarties.

(Smarties are 'old-fashioned' enough for this cake I think - although I always forget how dull the colours are now that they've stopped using artificial colours. I think they should sell both types so people like me can use them for colourful birthday cake decorating!)

Ready for the birthday celebration...

Wow the icing is full-on! I know many bloggers have made this cake before, and I'll be checking to what others thought of the recipe.

Everyone in my family enjoyed this cake (it's chocolate cake after all) but I'm not sure I'd use this recipe again. I feel I could have made a similar cake using a more basic recipe using cocoa powder and no sour cream, but maybe this is down to a combination of my cooking abilities and personal taste!

I much preferred the Honey Bee Cake and Malteser Cake and would definitely make either of those again.

I suggested to everyone that if I made this cake again I would use half the amount of the icing - my husband agreed (and he is a real sweet-tooth!) but my children were horrified by the thought!

The recipe for the cake is here on Nigella's website.