Tasha’s Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Chocolate Tray Bake (pictured right):
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 125g butter
- 125ml cocoa
- 250ml water
- 400g light brown sugar
- 300g cake flour
- 1 tsp bicarb pinch of salt
- 125ml plain yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 5ml vanilla extract
For the icing
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa
- 75g butter, softened
- 3 Tbsp yoghurt
- 5ml vanilla extract
- 100g dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70%, but Bournville would be fine)
- Bring the oil, butter, cocoa and water just to the boil in a pan.
- Mix the sugar, flour, bicarb and salt together in a bowl.
- Mix the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl then add everything together bit by bit and stir well.
- Place in a greased, lined baking tin 22x32cm and bake at 180oC for 25-30mins
- Let it cool for 20 mins in the tin and turn out onto a wire rack.
- Mix the icing sugar, cocoa, butter, yoghurt and vanilla together well and ice the cake
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and let it cool a little but not harden. Pour into a sandwich bag, snip off one of the corners and drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cake in zig zags (or however the mood takes you!)
- Eat and enjoy! This cake gets better the next day so you can make it the day before you need it with no worries.
Nicola’s Easy Chocolate Cake (Pictured Left):
- 390 g (3 cups) cake flour
- 95 g (1 cup) cocoa
- 15 ml (3 t) baking soda
- 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
- 500 g (2 1/2 cups) sug
- 320 g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 500ml (2 cups) milk
- 4 eggs
- 10 ml (2 tsp) vinegar
- 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 2 tins Caramel Treat
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 200 g (1 cup) castor sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- Preheat the oven to 180 C
- Grease two 26 cm spring form tins.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda. Add the salt and sugar.
- Mix the melted butter, milk, eggs vinegar and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the greased tins and bake for 1 hour.Remove from the oven and spoon the hot syrup over the hot cake. Leave to cool in the cake tin.
- For the cheat’s ganache: Beat the Caramel Treat until there are no lumps. Then add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth and shiny.
- For the syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir medium- low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid clear, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- To assemble: Remove the cakes form the tins and place one on a cake stand, spread with the cheat’s ganache, then put remaining half on top and cover with ganache.
Ilse’s favourite: Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake (pictured above)
- 1 cup (250 ml) water 125 g butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 cups (300 g) flour, sifted
- 1 t (5 ml) baking soda, sifted (bicarbonate of soda)
- 2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
- 2 eggs ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk
- 1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence/extract
For the icing:
- 100 g butter, softened
- 250 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (50 g) cocoa powder, sifted
- Pre-heat oven to 160 C.
- Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter has melted.Remove from heat.
- Place flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Divide mixture between 2 greased and lined 20 cm round cake tins, then bake for 40-45 min or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire racks to cool completely.
- For the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes until light and fluffy.
- To assembly, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers (I use a long blade sharp knife). Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting.