After my recent marathon baking session for the cake stall we held at work in aid of Children in Need, I found myself with almost a full tin of Carnation caramel sitting in the fridge. There were only a couple of tablespoons missing. (I will tell you what I used them for later.)
Having made 8 cakes only three days before I didn’t really feel much like making another one but something special was coming up, so I did.
My dad has been out of sorts ever since my mum died nearly ten years ago. Now, at the age of 84, he is courting. After four months of seeing his lady friend he decided that today was the day we should meet her and arranged to bring her round for a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Chocolate cake is her favourite, apparently.
But for my dad’s girlfriend, serving up leftover cake just didn’t seem right. Apparently she’s 80 and they are just good friends. Hmmmmm………..I tried that one myself, many years ago. My dad didn’t believe it then, either.
I looked at the Carnation website and found a recipe for chocolate fudge cake. It looked easy and quick to make, which would fit the bill on a day when I needed to produce a nice cake but was feeling pretty much caked out.
It was indeed very quick and easy to make. There was no creaming of butter either for the cake or the icing, and the icing was especially delicious. You simply melt chocolate and beat in the caramel with a little icing sugar.
The cake was light and even, well risen too. With the glossy icing on top it looked gorgeous and it tasted every bit as good as it looked. This could easily become my new first choice recipe for a cake that has maximum flavour and good looks for minimum effort.
I couldn’t make my mind up whether I should feel nervous or not. It’s not every day that you are introduced to your father’s girlfriend. I was also worried that she would feel nervous and I wanted to put her at ease. I wonder if this is how my parents felt the first time I brought a boyfriend home. There would have been cake for tea then too, I expect.
As it turned out, she didn’t have any. They had been out for lunch and were full up, they said. Oh well, more for us. She’s a very nice person, too.
Chocolate fudge cake – from the Carnation website, which you can see here.
For the cake
175g self-raising flour
2½ tblsp cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
150ml corn oil
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tblsp Carnation caramel
For the icing
125g dark chocolate, 70%cocoa solids
1 can Carnation caramel, less the tablespoon used for the cake
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tblsp icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/gas mk 4. Grease two 7” sponge tins and line the bases with circles of parchment.
Sift the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir together.
In a separate bowl, beat together the oil, milk, eggs and one tablespoon of the caramel until smooth.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Beat in the rest of the tin of caramel and the vanilla. Sift in the icing sugar and combine.
Use to fill and top the cake. You could spread over the sides if you like, but the icing is quite sticky and this would make the cake difficult to eat without a fork I think.
Cuts into 8-10 slices.