The actual chocolate cake itself is between a light chocolate buttermilk cake and a heavy chocolate mud cake. It has a good crumb and is actually not too sweet, despite the amount of sugar in the cake. It keeps a good structure and is a useful cake for a base to which other frostings can be applied as it holds up under the weight of the frosting.
The cake, while quite simple in looks, is quite a crowd pleaser I find as most people love chocolate and the look of it has you salivating at the thought of biting into the frosting. It's great for a party and any celebration. You could bling it up by piping the frosting and using some simple decorations, or even something as simple as making it in a square tin. I like it as a round cake with the frosting roughly (but still strategically) applied.
* I find the cake tastes better a day after being made as the icing melds into the cake. So if possible, make the cake a day ahead of when you want to eat it.
* The recipe makes a huge round two layer cake or a big square cake.
* Musovado sugar can be found in most supermarkets. If not, substitute with raw sugar or light brown sugar.
* Vegetable oil can be substituted for corn oil if needed.
* For the fudge, definitely use a good quality 70% cocoa chocolate.
* Keep beating the fudge icing until it is smooth and fluffy. Icing sugar must be sieved or you'll get lumps.
Nigella Lawson Recipe
Total Time about 1hr 30min
For the cake
400 grams plain flour
250 grams golden caster sugar
100 grams light brown muscovado sugar
50 grams best-quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
142 ml sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
175 grams unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
125 ml corn oil
300 ml chilled water
For the fudge icing
175 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
250 grams unsalted butter (softened)
275 grams icing sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm round tins.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended.
Beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended, then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.
Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave (2-3 minutes on medium) and let cool slightly.
In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.