Friday, 27 January 2017

National Chocolate Cake Day by Julie Riddell

The café at Highland Safaris is loved by visitors who enjoy the warm, welcoming environment after their time out in the fresh Highland air. Whether they are after a hearty breakfast, a filling lunch or just an expertly made coffee our café is a hit, the world over.

One of the big draws of our café has to be the cakes and while I don’t have a lot of time to bake I do like to indulge now and again with a slice of the Cake of the Day and a coffee. When I do get the opportunity I have a go-to recipe which is nice and easy but delicious and perfect for family parties or get togethers. So, on National Chocolate Cake Day here is the Riddell Family Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Serves 8
Preparation 10 mins
Cooking 50 mins


The Cake:
175g (6oz) margarine or softened butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
50g (1¾oz) of cocoa, sifted
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

The Icing:
100g (3½oz) of dark chocolate
100g (3½oz) of chopped butter

Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Lightly grease an 18cm (7in) round cake tin with a little extra butter or margarine and cut a piece of greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment to fit the base of the tin.

Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer for 1 minute, or until just combined. It's important not to beat the batter too much - just long enough to make it smooth.

Pour or spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cake is cooked when it looks well risen and golden; the top should spring back when lightly touched with a fingertip. Another test is to insert a skewer into the centre of the cake - it should come out clean.

Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the icing, place the dark chocolate and chopped butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of very hot water until melted. Cool for 15 minutes, then spread over the top of the cooled cake.


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