What better time of year to bake a decadent chocolate cake than Easter? When I first baked this I topped this with new season Irish strawberries, as a nod to the changing season. Now we are home in New Zealand and the oranges are great at this time of year. So perhaps some sugared orange peel could be used to decorate and it would be great with the cointreau.
This is a really simple recipe, giving you a rich cake which is deliciously moist in the centre. Serve for pudding with vanilla ice cream or cream.
This cake will serve 8 generous portions.
You will need a round cake tin, I used a 23.5cm tin with a spring base for easy extraction, greased and lined.
- 175g butter, cubed and softened
- 185g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 200g packet of cooking chocolate (I use 52% cocoa)
- 3 eggs
- 240g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the icing:
- 90g icing sugar
- 25g butter
- 1 tablespoon cointreau
- Hot water to mix
Heat oven to 175°c and prepare the cake tin. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until completely mixed. Add one egg at a time, the mixture should be silky and gloss in appearance.
Break a 200 gram packet of cooking chocolate in to heat proof pyrex bowl or jug and melt over a pan of (just) simmering water.
Pour the melted chocolate into the mix and combine. Now add the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix well. Pour into a greased cake tin and back for 40 minutes at 175°c.
Leave the cake to settle before removing from the tin. Now melt the other 200g packet of cooking chocolate. Wash and gently pat dry the strawberries. Using the stalk, dip the strawberry in the chocolate and set down on some greaseproof / baking paper. Leave the pyrex jug in the pan of water whilst dipping, otherwise the chocolate will start to harden. Do as many strawberries as you want, but save the residual chocolate to make your icing.
Cut up the butter into cubes and drop into the warm chocolate, mix until melted then add the icing sugar, Cointreau and a little hot water until you have a smooth consistency that you can pour. If its too runny just add more icing sugar. If you don’t have much chocolate left after dipping your strawberries then just add some cocoa. Pour the icing over the cake and top with the dipped strawberries, dust with icing sugar and serve.