When I looked in the pantry for cake decorating paraphernalia I soon realised that all I had was various crystallised flowers and edible glitters, not the most masculine of cake adornments so I decided to decorate it with some soldiers instead.
Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake (serves 8)
You will need:
For the cake:
- 200g self raising flour
- 150g caster sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod (save the pod for the icing)
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp agave syrup (or golden syrup if you don't have any)
- 2 large free range eggs, beaten
- 160ml milk
- 140ml rapeseed oil
For the fudge icing:
- 200g butter
- 130g cocoa
- 300g vanilla icing sugar (or regular icing sugar and a capful of vanilla extract)
- 100ml milk (approx)
- 3 x 125g boxes chocolate fingers
- 1 x 200g bag Minstrels
- Soldiers (optional)
- extra grated cocoa and icing sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, vanilla and cocoa and mix well then stir in the remaining cake ingredients.
- Line and grease 2 shallow 20cm diameter loose bottomed cake tins with baking parchment and divide the mixture between them. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean.
- Leave for a few minutes then remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Make the fudge icing next. To make vanilla icing sugar just blitz the caster sugar with the deseeded vanilla pod in an electric coffee grinder.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat then add the cocoa and stir well. Remove from the heat and then add the milk and icing sugar bit by bit, mine always splits at this point, if it does just transfer it to a bigger bowl and beat with an electric whisk and it will come back together, continue to add the remaining icing sugar and as much milk as you need to get a nice thick, glossy icing.
- Once the cakes are completely cool slice them in half widthways to make 4 rounds of cake then stack them on top of each other with a thin layer of icing in between. Ice the top and sides then stick chocolate fingers all around the outside, a ring of Minstrels around the top and a cavalry of brave cake soldiers, grate some cocoa or chocolate/sprinkle with some more icing sugar, whatever takes your fancy.