A gorgeously indulgent cake from Rachel Allen, what could be a better match than chocolate and toffee?


  • 100 g (31/2 oz) dark chocolate, in drops or chopped into pieces
  • 175 g (6oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175 g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp coffee essence (ideally camp or irel)
  • 175 g (6oz) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400 ml (14fl oz) good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • 200 g (7oz) dulce de leche
  • cocoa powder, sifted, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), then butter the sides of the cake tins (two 18cm/7') and line the base of each tin with a disc of baking parchment.
  2. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, then set aside.
  3. Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl for a few seconds or just until mixed, then gradually add these to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time.
  5. Next beat in the coffee essence and melted chocolate, then sift in the flour and baking powder, folding it in just to combine. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, then bake for 25–30 minutes or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow cooling on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then loosen around the edges with a small, sharp knife and carefully remove each cake from its tin before leaving on a wire rack to cool down completely.
  7. Wash one of the tins, then line completely with a double layer of cling film. Fill with the ice cream and use a spoon to swirl in the dulce de leche, then cover the top with another layer of cling film and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until completely frozen.
  8. To serve, place one cake upside down on a stand or cake plate. Carefully remove the ice-cream cake from the tin, peeling away all the cling film. Place on top as the next layer, then place the remaining cake over this.
  9. Dust with cocoa powder and serve before the ice cream has a chance to melt!