“I have my grandma to thank for this recipe. She was always so organised, and she loved this cake because it could be made in advance but would still be lovely and moist when it was needed. It’s ideal for birthday parties, when making a cake on the day would send you into meltdown."
For the cake
150ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
175g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml cup milk
1½ tbsp cocoa powder
100g 70% dark chocolate
150g very soft butter
375g icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
4–5 tbsp raspberry or apricot jam
Your choice of cake decorations
1 Preheat oven to 160°C (Gas Mark 3). Grease two 20cm cake tins and dust with flour.
2 Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat well to give a smooth, thick batter consistency. Divide evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 30–35 minutes, until just firm to touch.
3 Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. (The cake will keep moist for a couple of days if kept in an airtight container.)
4 To make the icing, dissolve the cocoa powder in 3 tbsp boiling water and leave to one side. Break up the chocolate and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Rest the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. 5 In a large bowl, beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and salt, until well combined, then add the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder. Beat for a few more minutes until thick and creamy.
6 Sandwich the cake together with the jam, then spread the chocolate fudge icing over the top and sides of the cake. Finish with any decorations you like, and enjoy.
Taken from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt (Duncan Baird, £20)