old-fashioned chocolate cake

We’re back to blogging! We had quite the hiatus there because… we had a baby! I kept meaning to blog but there never seemed to be enough hours in a day. But now the little guy is 4 months and wants to be all independent, chilling out solo in his bouncy chair while we muck about in the kitchen, so we have some time again!

This morning I made this chocolate cake for a friend’s son’s 12th birthday using a recipe is from one of my old Nigella Lawson cookbooks. I’ve loved Nigella forever. The recipe listed ingredients in grams and I’m usually too lazy to weigh things so I made the effort to weigh out ingredients then measure them out in cups for future reference. So you’re welcome!

We haven’t actually tasted the cake yet but we have tasted the frosting and it is deliciously thick and super chocolatey. You can’t go wrong with great frosting.

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour / 1 cup sugar / 1 tsp baking powder / 1/2 tsp baking soda / 1/2 cup cocoa / 175 g room temperature unsalted butter (this works out to be about 3/4 cups plus a tbsp or so but for accuracy’s sake, I’ll just go with the weight) / 2 large eggs / 2 tsp vanilla extract / 150 ml sour cream

75 g unsalted butter / 170 g dark chocolate (the Baker’s dark chocolate comes in exactly 170 g per packet, so that’s convenient) / 2 and 1/4 cups icing sugar / 1 tbsp golden syrup / 125 ml sour cream / 1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350F and set out to make the cake first.  Combine the dry ingredients first, then beat in all the wet ingredients until smooth.  Too easy!  Grease two round cake pans with a bit of butter then evenly divide the batter into the pans.  The batter’s quite thick so you can use a spatula to spread it out.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or dry spaghetti noodle comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes then carefully pop them out to completely cool.

Then onto the frosting.  Melt the butter with the chocolate (broken up into pieces) in the microwave for about 1 minute or so.  While the chocolate cools, sift the icing sugar into another bowl.  Then mix the golden syrup, the vanilla and the sour cream and vanilla into the chocolate.  Next, beat in the icing sugar gradually, until you get a nice smooth frosting.

Place one of the cakes upside down and frost the top with about 1/3 of the frosting.  Then place the other cake upside up on top and frost the whole thing top to bottom.  I found using a butter knife easiest since the frosting is quite thick.  A nice trick I got from the recipe is to use strips of parchment paper under the sides of the cake while you frost and then removing them after so you don’t get icing all over the cake plate.  And that’s it!



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