This cake truly deserves a much more glamorous name. I have been baking it since my mother taught me the recipe in the 1980s, an eager teenage cook desperate to emulate my mother’s glorious creations! It has a certain nostalgia in our family appearing at all birthdays and special events through the decades to this very day. A versatile sponge that works equally well iced simply, served with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of cold milk, or beautifully adored for a special occasion. I have to admit I adorn it every time! The truth is it is very ‘quick’ to make and it is a ‘chocolate cake’ … c’est la vie!
Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F / Gas 4)
Put the ingredients in a large mixing bowl in this order:
200g caster sugar
3 Tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
1/2 a teaspoon baking soda
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
250g plain flour
2 large eggs
5oz butter grated (use cold butter straight from the fridge and grate with a cheese grater using the fattest holes)
150ml boiling water
Gently mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until completely blended and the butter has disappeared into the bubbly chocolaty mixture. Using an 20cm or 8 inch round tin, grease your cake tin appropriately. Pour the mixture in and bake for 40 mins, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in tin.
My favorite adornment! When cooled split the cake in half and spread bottom half with lashings of strawberry jam. Whip double cream until smoothly stiff and spread thickly over jam. Place top half of cake gently back on then make a chocolate icing paste (roughly 5 heaped desert spoons icing sugar, 1 heaped desert spoon cocoa powder, and a small knob of butter for gloss) Add boiling water little by little until the paste is smooth, spreadable but not too runny. Pour over the cake and smooth with a non-serrated knife.