Recipe 40: Death By Chocolate Cake

One of my friends recently took a huge step and decided to study abroad in the USA for a year; so what better way to say goodbye to someone than to bake them a cake? So off I went, flicking through the book, and came across ‘Death by Chocolate Cake’; well, I didn’t want to kill her but I know she’s a fan of chocolate (we all are), so this was pretty much perfect. Photo 04-08-2013 12 33 03

The nub and gist, is that you are cooking two cakes, cutting them in half, then piling on top of one another – sandwiched with melted chocolate and iced all over. To be honest, I’m hungry thinking about it again; it turned out wonderfully, moist, not too rich (which surprised me) and was just plain heaven. It’s a great occasion cake as it does take a bit of effort to make (timewise), and you can do anything to decorate the top; I used edible gold stars and red sprinkles + my best attempt at piping words.

After I had covered the cake and filled it with the chocolate icing, I found that I had a fair bit of it left in the bowl. I didn’t want to waste it, and decided that I quite fancied a nice biscuit after all that hard work in the kitchen. So to make more work for myself, I planned on making bourbons – and I knew just where to look! Stephanie’s post for these was the one I went for, and they came out wonderfully, the two big differences were that I didn’t use her yummy sounding filling (I still had all that icing left didn’t I) and the fact I didn’t have the right shaped cutter for the job; but ho hum, here they are:

Photo 04-08-2013 16 01 51


  • 275 g plain flour
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 215 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 225 ml/g sunflower oil (or melted butter – as I used)
  • 225 ml milk

For the icing:

  • 450 g plain chocolate
  • 200 g unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3. Grease 2 8″ deep loose-bottomed cake tins (or 1 at a time if you only have 1) and line the base of each tin with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.Photo 03-08-2013 16 04 18
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the golden syrup, eggs, oil (or melted butter) and milk. Beat well, using a wooden spoon, until smooth and then pour into the prepared tin(s).Photo 03-08-2013 17 45 57
  4. Bake in the oven for around 35 mins or until well risen and springy. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment. Repeat with the other cake.
  5. When cold, cut each cake in half horizontally.Photo 04-08-2013 10 53 46
  6. To make the icing, break the chocolate into pieces and gently heat in a bowl over simmering water for approx. 10 minutes or until it has melted. Remove from the heat, add the butter (I added it in cubes) and leave to melt into the chocolate, stirring occasionally.Photo 04-08-2013 11 19 40
  7. Stand the wire rack on foil or a baking tray to catch the drips, then sandwich the cake layers together with generous amounts of icing. Pour the remaining icing on the top and use a small palette knife to smooth it evenly over the top. Leave to set then decorate.
  8. You could decorate with white chocolate and plain chocolate grated or use edible stars like mine – as it was for a special occasion, I used white chocolate to pipe on the words.Photo 04-08-2013 12 33 31

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