Chocolate Fudge Cake

Method

Americans often bake cakes with a batter mixture using oil instead of a solid fat, to produce a light texture.

Make the chocolate icing while the cake is cooling. Sift 300 g (10 oz) icing sugar and 25 g (1 oz) cocoa powder in a bowl. Melt 125 g (4 oz) butter with 4 tablespoons water, then beat into the icing sugar until just runny. The icing does crack once set, if moved, so ice the cake on the serving plate with pieces of grease proof paper under the cake.

Preheat the oven to 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 25 cm (l0in) square cake tin.

  1. Melt 125 g (4 oz) dark chocolate with 125 g (4 oz) soft brown sugar in 300 ml (½ pint) milk, then stir in 150 ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence until well blended. Sift 350 g (11 oz) plain flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Beat in the liquid ingredients, 250 g (8 oz) caster sugar and 4 eggs. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn out and remove the paper. Put on a wire rack and slice in half. Cool completely.

  3. Meanwhile, make the icing (above). Use some icing to sandwich the cake halves together, then pour the rest immediately over the top and down the sides. Decorate with 12 walnut halves and allow to set. Cut into 12 pieces to serve.

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