Here is a no-fuss, yet impressive, cake for a special occasion. Serve with a generous dollop of cream or a spoonful of good ice-cream.
185 g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup (145 g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
125 g butter, melted
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (125 g) icing sugar
125 g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Lightly grease and flour a 4-cup (1 litre) capacity heart-shaped cake tin or silicone mould.
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Add the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth. Pour into prepared cake tin or mould.
Bake for 1 hour, or until cooked – a skewer inserted in the centre will come out clean.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate buttercream. Beat butter until light and creamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add dark chocolate and beat until combined.
Cool cake in tin on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling. If in a mould, cool completely in the mould before turning out.
Spread chocolate buttercream over cake and allow to set. Dust with the extra cocoa powder and serve.
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