I’d like to be up front in saying that I don’t believe in using reduced or low-fat dairy options, or any form of margarine or blended butter-impersonating spreads in my cooking. It seems to me that too much tampering with milk, cheeses, yoghurt and butter is turning what should be such natural, traditional products into the laboratory-created frankensteins that line the refrigerated shelves of our supermarkets. I may well be wrong, but my gut feeling is that the obesity epidemic the world is currently facing stems partially from the introduction of these kinds of modified foods. More thoughts on this subject matter to come…
So, with that said, here’s a toast to the simple things in life, to a home that’s sweetly-scented from baking and to one delicious, but easy chocolate cake that our family loves – dressed-up and decorated for special occasions or simply iced and sliced for afternoon tea or school lunch box treats.
Classic Chocolate Cake
- 125g/½ cup Softened Unsalted Butter
- 220g/1 cup Caster Sugar
- 1 Free-Range Egg
- 190g/1½ cups Plain Flour
- 2½ teaspoons Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 30g/4 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 250ml/1 cup Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Bicarb Soda
Lightly grease and line the base of a 24cm round spring form cake tin. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Cream the softened butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together in a separate bowl. Dissolve the bicarb soda in the milk and then alternating with the sifted dry ingredients mix into the creamed butter in about 3 lots. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes (until a skewer inserted comes out clean). Once cooled, decorate with the following icing.
- 100g Softened Unsalted Butter
- 155g/ 1 cup Icing Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
Cream the softened butter, icing sugar and cocoa in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the milk and continue beating until you have a soft, spreadable icing. This quantity should be enough to line the top and sides of the chocolate cake. Feel free to decorate further with edible sugar flowers, silver cashews, sprinkles and the like…
A Little Note:
I’ve come to very much love my set of digital kitchen scales and can’t stress how invaluable they are when it comes to baking. I find there can be way too much variation scooping out or pouring ingredients like flour into a measuring cup. There are also unfortunately differences in the measurements of what different countries around the world call a ‘cup’… Most notably is the ‘British Cup’ which holds slightly more than the others.