Snow Day Chocolate Cake

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Day 4. No work, no leaving the house, no telephone network, no sunshine. We are slowly but surely running out of milk & bread, we’ve exhausted the supply of cookie dough in the freezer, and we’re down to our last bottle of wine – things are pretty grim. The snow is showing no signs of giving up, & has already covered our garden in no less than 5 inches. It has only been four days, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that cabin fever is well & truly setting in. The bathrooms have been scrubbed head to toe with bleach, the knives have all been sharpened, and the whole house has been dusted & wiped clean of any lingering cobwebs. In short, if we don’t get out of our house by tomorrow we might need professional help. 

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I’m going to be honest with you here: this is no special chocolate cake. This is the chocolate cake you make when you need to bake something to save yourself from losing your mind. When you don’t have enough ingredients to make anything fancy, but just the right amount to make one small layer. Heck, you don’t even have any real chocolate left in the house, just some cocoa powder hiding in the back of your cupboard. This is that cake. It’s quick, easy, comes together in one bowl with minimum effort, & satisfies the craving for chocolate. Sure, it’s kind of ugly & cracked on top, but frosting covers everything. I lazily piled all my frosting on top of the cake & let it slowly fall down the sides (the end result looking somewhat mushroom-ish), but you can make yours as pretty as you want. 

Happy baking! 

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Print this recipe!

Makes one 7-inch cake 

Ingredients

Cake: 

  • 150g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 85g salted butter, cubed & softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 185ml milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract

Frosting: 

  • 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 35g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease & flour a 7-inch baking tin; set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, & sugar. Mix together with a whisk. 
  3. Add the butter, milk, eggs & vanilla extract into the bowl & use an electric beater to mix until just combined – being careful not to overmix the batter. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl & to gently fold together any excess flour. 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean with some moist crumbs. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. To make the frosting, use an electric whisk to combine all of the ingredients – cream cheese, butter, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract – in a large bowl.
  6. When the cake has cooled, pile all of the frosting on top & use an offset spatula to spread evenly over the surface and sides of the cake.
  7. Enjoy in large slices with a cup of coffee while looking out at the snow falling down. 
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