Here’s a nice easy chocolate cake, ideal for sharing. It’s also ideal for customising with your own design on top or a completely different topping.
Makes: It depends how big you want the pieces, but you’ll get 18 decent sized ones
Level: Really easy
Time: About an hour + cooling + decorating
Need: A 20 x 30cm baking tray with reasonably high sides. (I used a stand mixer, but a hand mixer is OK, or you could burn some calories using a wooden spoon)
- 240g/9oz softened butter or baking spread
- 240g/9oz caster sugar (white or golden or half & half)
- 4 large eggs
- An orange (zest and juice)
- 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour
- 25g/1oz cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 150g/5½oz dark chocolate pieces
- 85g/3oz dark chocolate
- 50g/1¾oz white chocolate
- Orange food colouring (not water based)
1. Grease the tin and line it with baking parchment. Have at least two opposite sides raised high enough to lift out the bake. Turn oven on to 180°C/ fan 160°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4.
2. Use a mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one by one with a tsp of flour and beat well. Add in the orange juice and zest + extract (if using).
3. That’s it for the mixer. Now – by hand – gently fold in the self-raising flour and cocoa powder with a pinch of salt.
4. Gently stir in the chocolate pieces.
5. Fill the tin and level the mixture. Tap tin on work surface to release air and to fill the corners. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Check with a skewer, which should come out clean when it has baked.
6. Cool and cut into pieces (I often invert the slab for a smoother top surface), or……
7. Optional decorating idea – before cutting the slab into pieces, trim the edges if necessary then melt about 85g/3oz dark chocolate and 50g/1¾oz white chocolate in two bain maries. (These are generous amounts – great if you like lots of chocolate – but you could manage with a bit less at a pinch.)
8. Brush or pour the dark chocolate over the slab. Working quickly with a spoon, flick over some of the white chocolate, colour the remaining white chocolate and flick that over the slab. Use a small toothpick or similar item to swirl the chocolate “a la Jackson Pollock”. (It’s important to know when to stop. Too much and …. yuck, it’s a mess)
I hope you enjoy this Tray bake. If you want more cake recipes click this link, or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, both sweet and savoury. Below are a few that you might want to try: