Chocolate cake with cream-cheese icing

Makes 8–10 slices

This cake is sweet, dark and sludgy, with a contrasting American-style icing of whipped cream cheese, icing sugar and butter. It is not the sort of smoky-rich chocolate cake you find in a restaurant, but rather one that should be eaten at home as a teatime treat.

150g/5oz good-quality dark chocolate
185g/6oz unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease
375g/12oz plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 tsp baking powder
185g/6oz caster sugar
185g/6oz soft brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
185ml/6fl oz whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing

300g/10oz soft cream cheese
75g/3oz unsalted butter
600g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Break up the chocolate to encourage it to melt evenly, then place in a heatproof bowl set over a pan containing about 5cm of gently simmering water. The bowl should not be in direct contact with the water, or the chocolate is liable to overheat. Don't stir, as this can dull the shine. When it is melted, smooth and glossy, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Now lightly grease and flour three 20cm sandwich cake tins (or two 25cm cake tins) and line with baking parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and pale – this will take about three minutes. Add the caster and brown sugars and cream until light and very fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Now incorporate the chocolate, mixing until they are evenly combined. Finally, fold in the flour alternately with the milk and vanilla, using a metal spoon or spatula. The batter should be smooth and glossy.

Divide the mix between the prepared cake tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Place the tins on a wire rack and leave to cool for five minutes or so, then turn out the cakes on to the rack and leave to cool completely before icing.

For the icing, using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together until soft and completely smooth. Spread the icing over the cake while it is still soft. Place in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

Lay one sponge on a board and spread generously with a third of the icing. Place the second sponge on top and spread with another third of the icing. Position the final sponge on top and cover with the rest of the icing. Grate a little dark chocolate over the top to serve.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable