A rich chocolate cake.


  • for the cake:
  • 275 g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 175 g light muscovado sugar
  • 225 ml water
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp distilled malt vinegar
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 2 eggs, size 2 (beaten)
  • for the filling:
  • 115 g dark plain chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 3 tblsp water
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 tblsp single cream
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 0.5 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • for the icing:
  • 115 g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 3 tblsp water


  • To make the cake: preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, Gas 5).
  • Grease and flour two 21.5cm/8.5 inch sandwich tins and line the bottom of each with a round of non-stick baking paper.
  • Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, add the caster and light muscovado sugar and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour the water into a small saucepan, add the cocoa powder and butter and stir over a moderate heat until the butter melts and the mixture becomes smooth – do not allow to boil.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  • Stir the vinegar into the cream and pour into the flour.
  • Add the cocoa mixture and eggs and whisk everything together until smooth.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes have risen and are springy and firm to the touch.
  • Remove from the oven, loosen the sides with a knife and turn onto wire racks to cool.
  • To make the filling: put the chocolate and water into a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted and smooth, then set aside.
  • Put the caster sugar, cream and butter into another saucepan and stir constantly over a moderate heat for 4-5 minutes until it becomes smooth and thick, taking care not to let it burn.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and vanilla.
  • Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, then chill until cold.
  • Sandwich the two cakes together with the filling and leave on a rack over a tray.
  • To make the icing: put the chocolate into small saucepan with the butter and water.
  • Stir over a low heat until the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes smooth and will coat the back of the spoon thickly, but do not overheat.
  • Pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to trickle randomly down the sides, then chill until set.
  • This cake is best made a day before you need it as it improves in flavour.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

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