Smartie Tray Bake

Here’s an impressive little bake that’s yummy and really quick & easy to make. Kids of all ages (i.e. 2 – 102) will love it.

Makes: 16 – 20 pieces

Time: 20 minutes prep; 30 minutes baking then cooling time + 10 minutes to decorate

Level: Easy

Equipment: A 20cm (8”) square baking tin

Ingredients

Cake

  • 50g/1.75oz cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g/9oz light brown sugar
  • 60ml/2fl oz sunflower oil or similar
  • 60g/2oz melted butter or Stork
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g/5oz self-raising flour
  • 60g/2oz chocolate chips (any colour you fancy)

Topping

  • 125g/4.5oz dark chocolate (or milk or a mixture)
  • 3 tbsp milk (or use cream to make it a bit richer)
  • A tube or two of smarties
  • Any colourful sprinkles, ideally to coordinate with the smarties

Method

1. Sift the cocoa powder into a heat proof jug or bowl then pour in 135ml/5fl oz just boiled water and whisk together. Add in the bicarb. soda and continue whisking. Set aside for 15 – 20 minutes to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Grease and line the tin and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Leave two edges above the sides to help lift out the bake later.

3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and melted butter. Stir in the vanilla extract and cocoa mixture then sift the flour over and fold it all in. Stir in the chocolate drops. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. (It will probably be quite runny. It’s OK, don’t worry.)

4. Bake for 30 – 36 minutes until well risen and firm. Test with a skewer inserted into the middle. If it comes out clean, or even slightly damp*, then the cake is ready. Run a knife carefully round the edge of the cake and leave it on a wire rack to cool in the tin. (*It’s going to sit in the tin, so will continue to bake for a while.)

5. To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate and milk (or cream) in a bain marie, stirring as you do so. When it’s fully melted and smooth, use a palette knife or spoon to coat the surface of the cake. Scatter the top with the smarties and sprinkles and leave for 2 – 3 hours to set – could go in the fridge. Cut into pieces and serve.

And for an equally lovely white chocolate version go here.

And for Easter, replace the smarties with a couple of mini Easter eggs:

Happy Baking everyone

Ian