A postnatal bake, it's the perfect gift. We all have powerful memories of being cooked for and being presented with a cake is usually up there with the best of them, it goes deep a good food memory. Cakes are celebratory, baking for someone from scratch for me is an act of love and generosity and I always hope that the love I pour into my cake can be felt by the receiver. Chocolate is a heart opening food, it''s no coincidence that it's often seen as a romantic food, a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates?
This is my all time favourite chocolate cake recipe! I make it for all celebrations, for guests, to comfort my family if any of them have had a hard day, I serve it warm from the over with a generous pouring of warm chocolate sauce. Most importantly I gift one of these cakes and a jar of chocolate sauce if I visit new parents. Never show up to visit new born parents empty handed and a delicious rich chocolate cake will always be happily received! Now the chocolate sauce isn't necessary though it is lovely, over the years it's become a family favourite so necessary for me.
For the sponge
150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
70g light brown muscovado sugar
50g cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch salt 165g plain flour
salted caramel sauce (for soaking into the sponge)
175g light brown soft sugar
300g double cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
60g dark chocolate chips
50g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp butter
200 - 300 ml double cream
Lets keep it as simple as possible and start with baking the cake. Preheat oven to 180.
- In a freestanding blender or mixer using the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugars scraping down the sides occasionally. add the eggs one at a time.
- In a jug stir together the cocoa powder, buttermilk, vanilla and 30 ml warm water to form a thick paste. Add more water if you do not achieve a thick paste with this measurement.
- sift together the flour, salt, baking and bicarb powder. Alternate folding the flour mix and buttermilk mixture into the creamed butter until you have used it all up.
- Pour the mixture into a lined cake tin and bake for approx 25 mins or until springy to the touch. While the cake is baking make the sauces.
- When you remove the cake fro the oven pour the waiting caramel sauce over the cake while it's still in the pan and let it soak in. You can use half of the sauce, I usually keep some aside because it's delicious!
- combine all the ingredients into a small saucepan set over a low heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Once that happens turn up the heat and stir as it bubbles for 2 - 3 mins. Remove from the heat and set aside ready to pour over that warm cake!
- Just like the other sauce put all of the ingredients in a saucepan over a low or medium heat and stir as the chocolate melts. Once everything is combined and the sauce looks smooth and glossy take it off the heat and set aside. Pay attention to this sauce as it's coming together because if that chocolate burns at all and sticks to the bottom of the pan your sauce is ruined.
- When you are ready to enjoy a slice of cake gently heat the sauce and pour some over your slice.
Let me know if you try this cake out and tell me what you think!