Easy chocolate cake

This is adapted from a cake featured in the Sunday Life section of The Age newspaper back in 2004. It has become my standard, we need a cake today, cake. I use milk instead of water and tend to ice it with a glace icing instead of ganache, partly because I like icing sugar icings and partly because it seems to suit this cake. This is as easy as making a packet cake. Really.

Cake ingredients
1 1/3 self-raising flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
125g butter at room temperature (or softened but not melted in the microwave)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2/3 cup milk

Making the cake
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C, line and grease a 22cm cake tin (I use a tin with a removeable base).
  • Measure and place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Beat with an electric beater until the mixture is pale and silky looking, like with packet mixes.
  • Pour into the tin and smooth out. Bake for about an hour or until a knife pierced into the centre comes out smoothly. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before de-tinning onto a serving plate. (I know I should put it on a rack to cool but rarely do as we often eat this cake fairly warm.)
Icing the cake
1 teaspoon very soft butter
icing sugar
unsweetened cocoa
water to mix

Mix ingredients until you get a thick and smooth icing. I usually use about half a 250 gram pack of icing sugar with cocoa to taste. For best results let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before icing.

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