the Cullimore “Family Heirloom” chocolate cake

The one and only birthday cake, stolen from the Be-Ro cookery book and still available on their website (but they recommend – horrors! margarine…). Make it with drinking chocolate if you must – but cocoa makes it actually taste of CHOCOLATE.

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • Half level teaspoon salt
  • Half level teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) cocoa
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • Half teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 180°C, gas mark 3-4.  Grease two 8 inch (20cm) tins and put baking parchment at the bottom. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa together. Rub in the butter.  Beat the eggs, add in the evap and water and vanilla extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and beat well. Split the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes. If it’s slightly undercooked, so much the better (it really shouldn’t be crispy around the edges!).  Turn out onto a rack.  When cold, sandwich and top with the icing.

For the icing:

  • 60g butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 250g sieved icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 180°C, gas mark 3-4.  Grease two 8 inch (20cm) tins and put baking parchment at the bottom.

Melt the butter, blend in the cocoa, then stir in the hot milk and vanilla and the icing sugar.  Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and thick.  If it looks like it’s separating, don’t worry, just beat it a bit more and add a bit more hot milk, and if it looks really thin then add some more icing sugar.  Let it cool a bit before spreading it on the two cakes and sandwiching them together.  If the icing’s thick it’s like chocolate fudge, if it’s thinner it goes nice and shiny but you might have to catch the drips down the side of the cake. No hardship there.

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