For the cake:
400g plain flour
250g golden caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
50g best quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
142ml/small tub sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
125ml corn oil
300ml chilled water
For the fudge icing:
175g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
250g unsalted butter, softened
275g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended.
Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (youll need another large bowl for this if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed.
Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just like my toys and find the KitchenAid a comforting presence in itself.
Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave 2-3 minutes on medium should do it or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
In another bowl, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (again, I use the KitchenAid here) and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. I know sieving is a pain, the one job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.
7oz softened butter
9oz caster sugar (golden is best)
4 beaten eggs
1oz cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
3 1/2 floz red wine (I like to use a robust merlot or a well rounded shiraz)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5oz plain choc drops
Icing (does 2 cakes but you're more likely to just want to eat the leftovers with ice cream)
heat oven to 180c 160 fan oven
cream butter and sugar. beat in eggs. sift in cocoa, flour, baking powder and cinammon then fold in. mix in red wine (it will look a bit funny for a minute but it will mix in) add vanilla and fold in choc drops.
pour into a lightly greased tin and bake for 1 hour, allow to cool in the tine then turn out
method for Icing
melt all ingredients together over a bain marie until it's smooth and silky, if you accidentally use double cream like i always do add a bit of milk and it will 'rescue' it. allow to cool for 2 mins then smother cake in it. Cover with chocolate curls for posh effect