Jo’s birthday cake – recipe!!

Being such a fuss pot with cakes, and not having a Mrs P spectacular available I decided I would bake my own birthday cake and take it into work to ensure I didn’t eat the ENTIRE thing!

There was only one thing on my mind when I thought about what I wanted; chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate!  This led me to the most amazing chocolate cake of all time, a well balanced blend of sweetness and fluffy moist cake, made rich with sour cream.  It is the one and only Nigella Lawson‘s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Icing.  I admit on first glance this does not sound like it will be all that appetising, but give this delight a chance and I guarantee this will rocket right into your Cake Top 5 in the space of one mouthful.

This recipe is from Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess and is one I tried a number of years ago but I hold in utter reverence and keep back for really special occasions.

Here it is; my dream cake of all time!


For the cake

  • 200 grams Plain flour
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • 40 grams cocoa powder
  • 175 grams unsalted butter Soft
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 150 ml sour cream

For the icing

  • 75 grams unsalted butter
  • 175 grams dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 300 grams Icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Golden syrup
  • 125 ml sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 packet(s) sugar flowers (optional)

Method for Cake

1) Pre heat (fan assisted) oven to 180 degrees centigrade (try 200 degrees for conventional oven, but may well need to bake slightly long on 180 degrees still)

2) Grease with butter or stork and line the bottoms of two 20cm/8inch sandwich tins with parchment or baking paper

3) Sieve all dry ingredients and combine with a metal spoon to ensure air stays in them

4) Combine remaining wet ingredients (cream, vanilla extract and eggs), give them a quick whisk to ensure eggs are properly broken up

5) Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the middle.  Combine slowly with a metal spoon and plenty of love

6) Divide between sandwich tins and bake for 25-30 minutes

8) Leave to cool COMPLETELY (no cheating or the icing will run) on a rack, in tins for 5 minutes then disgard

Method for Icing

1) Put chocolate and butter (or Stork) in a bowl and melt in the microwave on high power, try 30 seconds to start then blast for a further 10 seconds, until the butter is melted and you can stir the chocolate into it.  When combined, take out and leave to cool

2) After a few moments, add the golden syrup, cream, and vanilla; mixing thoroughly to combine

3) Sieve in the icing sugar in two batches, to taste (taste after you’ve put the first batch in to see if it is sweet enough yet – I used it all)

4) Leave to stand until cake is ready for icing

Putting cake together

1) Choose dish or tin for storing (you are best to put on a lid and deposit the box over the top to ensure serving without issues – basically place it now where you would like to serve it)

2) Add some icing to the middle of the cake and smooth from the middle to the edges in sweeping circular motions

3) Place the second layer on top gently, selecting the flattest side for the top

4) Smooth the rest of the icing over the top (in the same was as earlier) and around the sides by gently spreading and smoothing small amounts of icing at a time.  You will need to  work fairly quickly on this and put cake directly into the fridge to set for 2 hours or until ready to serve

5) I like to grate a little bit of white chocolate over the top as I like the simple contrast to the icing

6) Enjoy in small slices ! 🙂


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