As its national baking week I thought it would be a
crazy nice idea for me and the girls to bake our favourite; a Simple Chocolate Cake, and share our recipe with you all. What I didn’t expect (Although it’s very normal, so I shouldn’t be surprised), is to have to referee a bickering match between my two girls, whilst doing so. A bickering bake-off!!! Where’s the wine? Really girls, this was meant to be good fun!!! Yet, I was close to repeatedly bashing my head against the work tops just to make it stop.
Firstly, like I could predict what was in store, I thought I’d be organised and get all the ingredients ready for them. Planning a head. I knew they’d get bored waiting for me so I purposely didn’t call them to bake until all the ingredients were ready for them.
For the sponge. (All ingredients should be room temperature to prevent curdling of mixture)
- 80g unsalted butter
- 280g caster sugar
- 190g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 240 ml whole milk (I only had semi skimmed and it still turned out ok)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
- 2 large eggs
For the frosting
- 225g icing sugar
- 80g unsalted butter (softened or at room temperature)
- 25g cocoa powder
- 50 ml milk
Ok we were ready, our hands were washed and aprons on.
- Preheat the oven to 190 c, gas mark 5. Line two 18 cm sandwich tins with baking parchment.
I did this while
refereeing supervising the girls mixing the sponge ingredients together.
Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt (all the dry ingredients). It should all be mixed together until it resembles fine bread crumbs. We used my mixer to make it easier but it can be done by hand too. It’ll just take longer and I couldn’t take much more whining on whose turn it was next!
I made sure each ingredient that was added, was taken in turns, by the girls, to add and mix; careful to make sure, one didn’t have a longer turn than the other. (UURRGGHH this was exhausting)
- In a separate bowl, mix the milk, vanilla essence and eggs, by hand. Pour half of the wet mixture into the bread crumb mixture and slowly mix together. Use the slowest setting on your mixer (if using). Scrap down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the mixture is fully mixed. Now add the rest of the milk mixture and mix in until the batter is smooth.
So close to the end and the only thing keeping me going was the thought of a huge slice of chocolate cake and a glass of wine.
- Pour the batter into the lined cake tins and gently tap the sides of the tins, to get rid of any big air bubbles. Pop them into the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Start checking at about 20 minutes. Lightly press the top of the sponges, if they spring back up, then their ready to come out. Leave to cool slightly before removing them from the tin, prevents them getting stuck and breaking into pieces. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Now it was time for my girls to play tug of war with the mixing bowl while fencing with spoons to eat what’s left of the mixture. Let battle commence.
- To make the frosting, mix the butter, icing sugar and cocoa together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs again. I used my mixer, again, for this. Then add in the milk and mix until light a fluffy.
We actually made double the frosting as the girls wanted some to spread on top. I would say, after tasting, it was a bit sickly so probably didn’t need the extra.
- Once the sponges are cool, add the frosting.
After about the millionth time of asking ‘are they cool yet’ the sponges were cool enough to be iced. As I’m not one to be accused of being unfair, one iced the middle and the other iced the top. Anything for a quiet life.
Thank God that was over. I usually enjoy baking, so do the girls, but on a day like today when they can argue over which way the wind is blowing, it really wasn’t fun. But I got my piece of chocolate cake, with Ice cream and a large glass of red. Enjoying the quiet now the girls are in bed!