Chocolate cakes were comparatively new in Britain in the Edwardian period but caught on quickly. The writer of this recipe, Agnes Jekyll, was the daughter of a politician, the sister of one of Britain’s most influential gardeners, and a strong supporter of the arts. She was one of many strong-minded, talented women who forged careers for themselves in the years after the Great War, and her book, Kitchen Essays, was aimed at well-born ladies, like Edith, who found life in the 1920s both liberating and confusing. The carnage of 1914 to 1918 wiped out a large proportion of the male population, leaving many women to face life without marriage. But they were determined that life as a spinster would not be a life with no meaning. Like Edith, Agnes was a journalist, who wrote for The Times.