I took this cake to work earlier in the week and apparently it was ‘to die for’, so I thought that I ought to share it with you.
It is based on my go-to basic sponge recipe, Delia’s All-in-one sponge, which I find pretty fool-proof. The main difference between myself and Delia (apart from hair colour, age, lack of published cookery books, disinterest in football…) is that I use the ‘4 oz sponge mixture’ to make a single sponge cake, doubling it if I want two layers; Delia on the other hand, makes two cakes from her 4 oz recipe. I like my cake to be nice and thick :).
- 4 oz / 110 g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 oz / 110 g soft margarine, at room temperature
- 4 oz / 110 g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 drops of vanilla essence (optional)
- approx 2 squares of dark chocolate, grated
for the icing…
- 1 dessert spoon of camp coffee
- 6-8 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 170oC. Line a lightly greased 7 inch / 18cm sponge tin (preferably with a spring base) with grease-proof paper.
There is a reason that this is called ‘all-in-one sponge’ – all you have to do is chuck all of the ingredients into a bowl and whizz it with an electric whisk. It does help to sieve the dry ingredients first though.
When the mixture is thoroughly combined, pour into your prepared tin and gently level the mixture with a knife (no need to be too much of a perfectionist in this).
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes.
When you remove the cake from the oven, leave in the tin only for about 30 seconds before turning the cake onto a cooling rack.
For the icing, put the icing sugar into a small bowl such as a pudding basin followed by the camp coffee. Turn on the tap to a slow drip, mix the camp coffee into the icing sugar with the back of a spoon and then add water a drip at a time, stirring continuously, until you have a thick spreadable liquid.
When you have spread the icing onto the cake, add another tablespoon of icing sugar to the bowl. Again, add a drip of water at a time, this time however you are aiming for a thinner consistency.
To make the pattern, use a teaspoon of the thin icing to make narrow parallel lines about an inch apart. Then take a fork and gently pull it across the cake perpendicular to the parallel lines, first in one direction and then the the other.