Last weekend I got the baking bug….
I cook our main meal every day and it’s almost always from scratch. The only time I get off is if we have an occasional take away, or when Dan is on holiday when we aim to share the cooking. But that never really happens because he is invariably up to his eyes in DIY or digging up the garden. So the only time I really do get out of the kitchen is when we are away on holiday. At this point we either eat out, or Dan does the cooking – all of it – I don’t even grate the cheese. And that is bliss. But in the grand scheme of things it’s not that frequent. As a result of this kitchen overload, and the fact that I’m not the biggest sweet things fan, I tend not to get the baking bug that often.
But last weekend I did. It was cold outside. I felt we all needed a little cheering up, and I knew that this double chocolate traybake cake would do just that. It’s a recipe that I adapted from a Mary Berry vanilla traybake recipe that I found on the internet years ago. I keep the recipe scribbled on a piece of note paper, in a folder, and I’ve been using it for years. It has tea drips and cake batter smears all over it which is a sure sign of a good recipe. To turn this into a chocolate cake I just switched things around a bit by reducing the flour, adding some cocoa powder instead and stirring in some choc chips for a chocolatey crunch. The resulting cake is beautifully moist and really, really buttery – perhaps it’s not the best thing to eat if you’re watching your cholesterol. Well, maybe just one slice…
The great thing about this is that it’s incredibly simple to knock together as you pretty much bung everything in a bowl, give it a good mix with the electric whisk, stir in the choc chips and you’re ready to go. I know it sounds unlikely but you end up with a lovely light, but moist, cake.
In a couple of weeks it’s my youngest’s birthday and I will use this cake as the basis for her birthday cake, minus the choc chips at her request. It will be great for this as it is dense enough to take the heavy icing and decorations but moist enough to last a good few days. She wants a glittery forest she saw on Pinterest. If it goes well I may post a picture. If I don’t post a picture and you see me in Sainsbury’s late one evening, desperately scanning the cake aisle (as has happened before), then just leave me alone. I’ll probably be feeling a little frazzled.
Double Chocolate Traybake Cake
An incredibly easy chocolate cake. Place the ingredients in the bowl, whisk, and it’s ready to bake. Great as the base for a birthday cake, in lunch boxes or just for a treat.
- 170 g butter softened
- 170 g sugar
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 35 g ground almonds
- 30 g cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 medium eggs
- 100 g chocolate chips divided
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C
Grease and line a 23x28cm oven dish (see notes).
Place all the ingredients from the butter to the eggs into a bowl. Using an electric mixer beat the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter, 1-2 minutes. Stir in 75g of the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the oven dish, sprinkle over the remaining chocolate chips and place in the middle of the preheated oven.
Cook for 35-45 minutes until the top springs back rapidly when you press it lightly and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes then turn out to finish cooling.
Store in an air tight container.
This is also the correct quantity for an 8 inch (21cm) cake tin if you want to make a round cake. It takes the same amount of time to cook.