Are you looking for that last minute Christmas recipe to add a bit of homemade chocolatey flavour to the Christmas table this week? Actress Faye Ripley has the perfect solution.
“This solves more of a problem than I knew I had. It’s a hand-me-down recipe from my brilliant baking sister, Elisa, who makes cakes, usually my recipes, for a living. I now make it for almost every birthday in some form or other. It’s my staple for a school bake sale and is like the loaves and blinking fishes, as it can feed hundreds… you just make the squares smaller and smaller, depending on your numbers. Thanks, sis. Now can you give me a cake recipe to pay my mortgage, walk the dog and stop my underarms hitting my face when I wave you goodbye?”
Prep time… 20 mins
Cook time… 35 mins *(cake freezable un-iced)
40g cocoa powder
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp milk
140g apricot jam
120g dark chocolate
180g icing sugar, sifted
30x20cm brownie tin or square ceramic dish
1 Preheat the oven to 180C (fan), 200C, gas mark 6. Line the tin with baking paper.
2 In a large bowl, first add the cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons hot water. Mix together, then add the butter, and caster sugar and cream together with an electric whisk. Once smooth and fluffy, add the eggs, flour, baking powder and milk.
3 Whisk again until completely combined then scrape the mixture into your lined tin and bake for 35-40 minutes till firm to the touch. Cool completely before putting on a plate.
4 For the topping, spread the jam all over the top of the cooled cake with the back of a spoon. Now melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water along with the icing sugar and 3 tablespoons water. Stir it all together then pour on top of the cake and smooth with the back of a spoon. When smooth and glossy, pour it on top of the cake and smooth it all over. Again, the back of a spoon (the same one as before if you’ve washed and dried it) is good here.
5. For a finishing touch sprinkle the top liberally with whatever cake decorations. It looks much better when covered in bits of chocolate/fondant pieces.
Fay Ripley’s recipe is from Fay Makes It Easy by Fay Ripley-HarperCollins £20. To find out more about how you can raise money for children in desperate need please go to: www.actionaid.org.uk/celebritybakesale.