After the Banana Bread Fail I was still craving cake. I asked my husband if it was ok for me to buy a cake from M&S (with Christmas gift vouchers) or if I should attempt to make one, seeing as how I had given him a “let’s stick to the budget” lecture when he bought a £1 bottle of beer the other night. He said I could do whatever, but my guilt re: said lecture got the better of me.
I made this chocolate cake with only one (ok two) minor changes. We didn’t have plain flour so I used wholemeal (the result was fine but a little grainy, but hey – it made us eat some wholewheat) and I used 9″ cake pans because that’s all we have (I Googled “tetanus from cake pans” and used baking soda to scrub off the teeny, tiny, spot of rust on one of them – incidentally, my husband says tetanus is a bacteria and even if it was present, which it wouldn’t be, cooking it in the oven would kill it).
The cake is supposed to be layered and then iced. I just cut up one layer and we ate it with custard for pudding. The other layer is still sitting there, probably for tonight’s pudding. M didn’t really like the cake on its own but he liked it with custard. It doesn’t taste very sweet, but then it is supposed to be smothered in chocolate icing. I really like it though because it was great with custard. I hate eating too-sweet cakes with sweet custard. I think I will try making it again but maybe using a sheet pan – then I could cut it into squares like school dinner cake (for some reason I have fond memories of school dinner puddings). I also wasn’t crazy about the bran texture from the wholemeal flour so next time will use plain as directed.
The thing I like best about this recipe though is that is says to just chuck all the ingredients into a bowl, willy nilly, and then mix with a wooden spoon. Now that’s my kind of recipe! It also helpfully says that, after adding the water, the batter will be very liquid, which is great to know. It was so liquid I thought it might seep through the bottom of my cake pans, but it didn’t, and the cake turned out moist and entirely edible (with custard). A distinct improvement on my last attempt at pudding.