Cake - Simple and Effective

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A big thank-you to everyone for your kind words on Miss H’s arrival. Amongst the care packages from an aunt I received a cardigan for E with this insightful note:

“I couldn’t decide on buttons, so feel free to change them. I thought it was important that the cardigan was instantly wearable because it might be a while before Amy has a spare moment to buy and sew on buttons.”

She knows me well. It took over a week to get the thread and turn on my sewing machine to finish a project . I still have to bind the wedding quilt and finish my outfit for the event. In the meantime I have been baking, as new mums need calories, and I thought I’d share a few recipes.

Today’s recipe is from “The Destitute Gourmet” by Sophie Gray. It’s wonderfully simple and most people will have all the ingredients in their pantry. There’s no fancy stuff like real chocolate, cream or liqueur* here. The frosting is simple too and really adds to the cake however it isn’t by any means compulsory.

Destitute Gourmet Chocolate Cake


1 2/3 Cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups trim milk (normal milk is ok too)
100g butter (melted)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 180 Celsius. Grease and line 20 cm round tin.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth (I told you it was simple). Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes.


100g butter
250g icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
Milk to mix
1 tsp vanilla

Place butter, cocoa and icing sugar in food processor and pulse to combine. Add spoonfuls of milk one at a time, until mix is thick and spreadable. Add vanilla. Cut cake in half, spread centre with raspberry jam and icing, assumable cake and then cover the whole thing with icing.

If you haven’t a food processor, soften the butter and while beating, slowly add the icing sugar and cocoa. Continue mixing until combined and then proceed as above.

To date I have used this cake for numerous birthdays and office morning tea shouts.

(cake carefully disguised as a clock)

*I have found that a tablespoon of Cointreau adds quite well to the mix but I have to sneak it past my tea totalling husband.

edit: I just read this over and saw all my spelling errors and had to fix a few. It's not that I can't spell, I just can't type.

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  1. This is my favourite chocolate cake! And so easy to nine-almost-ten year old boy can make it by himself if I let him...and the Destitute Gourmet books are his first port of call whenever he's also a great cake for layering and carving into different partner built a cat out of it...oh and by chance I made a lemon version...leave out the cocoa (replace with flour) and throw in the zest of a lemon or two....yumm...

    Nice blog...

  2. yes, much good cake action there. I'm always on the lookout for plain-but-deicious chocolate cakes for me and Sweeney to knock up together ...


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