When I first fell in love with baking and cooking, I found a chocolate cake recipe on Taste that was successful each time I baked it – an important factor for a newbie’s baking confidence.
While I don’t particularly like chocolate cake, and I especially dislike chocolate mud cake, everyone else seems to, and I do like this chocolate cake.
It’s not sickeningly rich or dense, it has delicious chunks of dark chocolate through the centre, and it is lovely finished with a simple dusting of icing sugar, and served with fresh strawberries and double cream, if that’s your thing. This cake reminds me of a brownie, rather than a mud cake or a chocolate sponge cake, and for this reason I prefer simple finishes.
While I do enjoy an oooh, fancy cake, sometimes you can’t go past a simple chocolate cake. And nor should you. Simple is often best. Simple has a tendency to make us feel at home, nostalgic for simpler times and family memories.
For me, simple food evokes warm memories such as visiting my late Nanna and Poppy, eating plain Madeira cake, slathered in butter of course, with several cups of sweet lemon tea. Or gathering around the table for Nanna’s roast with the best green peas I’d ever tasted, followed by a simple bread & butter pudding. I cherish those memories.
What are your favourite simple food memories?
Melt-and-Mix Chocolate Chunk Mud Cake
- 200g unsalted butter, chopped
- 300g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup self-raising flour
- Pure icing sugar, ganache, or strawberries to serve
- Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Grease and line a 6cm deep, 20cm base round cake pan.
- Place butter, 200g of the chocolate, and the hot water in a large heatproof, microwave-safe bowl (I used a large plastic mixing bowl, which worked fine). Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until smooth.
- Add cocoa powder to to warm chocolate mixture, and stir until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla, caster sugar, and egg. Sift flour over mixture, and stir gently to combine.
- Pour half the batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle half the remaining chocolate over the batter. Top with remaining batter, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate.
- Bake cake for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging.
- Allow cake to cool completely in the pan. Remove, then dust with icing sugar if you wish.
- You can bake this cake in a square tin and slice it into brownie squares.
- 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate (for the centre and top) also works well.
- The cake mixture has a strange gel-like consistency. You may fear that the eggs will cook when you add them to the hot chocolate mixture, but they don’t – just stir gently.