Sunday, 22 April 2012

Rainy Day Chocolate & Vanilla Cake

Despite some beautiful weather in London recently the typical April showers have arrived.  One minute it's sunny and mild, the next it's freezing cold and pouring with rain; you certainly learn the meaning of "changable weather" when you live in England!

I call this my Rainy Day cake because it uses basic ingredients which I always have at home, great for a rainy day as there's no need to struggle with an upturned umbrella and arms full of shopping in the torrential downpours.  Layers of indulgent chocolate and sweet vanilla sponge covered in chocolate icing, It also tastes so moist and delicious that when it's cold and wet outside this is guaranteed to cheer me up! 

Rainy Day Chocolate & Vanilla Cake


175g unsalted butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp milk
1tbsp cocoa powder

For the topping

250g icing sugar, sifted
1tbsp cocoa powder
50ml water

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and line a square baking tin with baking paper and grease lightly.

In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and beat well until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Sift over the flour, baking powder and milk and beat until smooth and even coloured.  Pour half of the mixture into a separate bowl and sift over the cocoa powder, beat until combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared tin and use a spatula to push it into the corners and smooth the top.  Pour over the vanilla mixture and once again use the spatula to spread evenly.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing; in a large bowl add the icing sugar and sift over the cocoa powder.  Pour in the water and use a whisk to mix until smooth and even coloured.

Pour the icing over the cold cake and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.  When ready remove from fridge and serve.

Belle's Top Tip
A top tip for covering with icing is to place some newspaper on a surface and place a wire rack on top.  Place the sponge on the wire rack and then pour over the icing.  Lift the wire rack, keeping the newspaper underneath and place in the fridge to set.  When ready you can throw away the newspaper, the cake is perfectly covered and no mess!