Whenever I google a recipe and find one with high ratings, I excitedly click on it, only to find that the author has essentially decided to write a novel before finally revealing the recipe right at the end. I scroll endlessly to get to the good stuff, and still, after seconds of arduous scrolling, I’m reading about how the recipe came to them in a dream they had after waking from a nap in some meadow somewhere in the countryside. As this has always been infuriating for me over years of cooking and baking, this post will not be one of those posts. I love to write, and I’m all for a good story, but I know you’re only really here to bake a delicious chocolate cake and get on with your life. So here it is: a quick, no fuss recipe for the lightest, tastiest chocolate cake you could ever want, given to me by an old friend in college.
225g Plain flour
200g White granulated sugar
100g Good quality cocoa powder
1.5tsp Baking powder
1.5tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2tsp Vanilla essence
125ml Vegetable oil
250ml Boiling water
200g Chocolate (Preferably half milk, half dark – but play around with this depending on desired sweetness)
250ml Double cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Combine all the cake ingredients in one bowl, apart from the boiling water, and whisk until combined.
- Gradually add the boiling water to the cake mixture, whisking as you do, until you have added it all and it has become a very runny consistency. Do not let the wateriness worry you as this is key for a very fluffy cake base. Trust me on this.
- Thoroughly grease a baking tin with butter, or sunflower oil, and pour in the cake mixture. If you find it difficult to cut a cake in half, I recommend baking it in two identical tins but please note that this halves the cooking time.
- Chuck the cake in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife comes out clear after you have given it a stab.
- Whilst the cake is baking, it’s time to make the icing: simply get a pan, pour in the cream and break in the chocolate.
- On the lowest heat possible, gently stir the cream until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is thick enough to coat your spoon.
- Take the icing off the heat and leave to cool for 1-2 hours, stirring it every 20 minutes or so to speed up the cooling process. As the temperature drops, the cream should become thick enough to spread.
- Once your cake is out of the oven let it cool completely (please be patient with this, as cutting/icing a cake while warm is a disastrous process) and cut it across the middle.
- Spread the icing on the middle layer, place the other half on top, and cover the remainder of the cake with all the icing. Voila! You should now have the most delicious chocolate cake on the planet, ready to chomp with your loved ones. Oh, and as much as you probably won’t want to, please do share this cake with others, as I don’t want to be responsible for fattening my readers.
Serving suggestion: I really recommend serving this with some double cream, and if you’d like to freshen it up, some berries of your choice.