Time: 1 ¼ hours + 30 minutes baking + a few hours chilling
Serves: 10 – 12 slices
We had a birthday in our house so Hannah chose to make a chocolate cake for Daddy (whether he wanted it or not!) This recipe came from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook again; it was delicious even if when we made it we had a bit of a disaster. Top tip: make sure the chocolate custard is properly chilled before you assemble the cake or you might have a mess on your hands (see picture at the end)!
We cooked it all in one go, but there are quite a few steps so if your little chefs are helping you’re better off cooking the cake the day before and making up the custard and assembling the cake just before you serve it.
100g softened butter, unsalted
260g ccaster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160ml whole milk
For the chocolate custard
500g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
85g softened butter, unsalted
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 170C and line 3 x 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
Make the chocolate cake
Mix the butter and sugar
Get your toddler to measure the butter (100g) and the sugar (260g) into a small bowl. Add it to a freestanding mixer or large bowl.
Mix it together with your paddle attachments (or hand held mixer / wooden spoons) until it looks light and fluffy.
Add the eggs
Break them into a bowl one at a time (or get your little one to do it if you trust them). Add them to your bowl one at a time, mixing between additions. If you need to, scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the rest of the ingredients
Get your child to measure out the cocoa powder (45g) into a small bowl, before adding it to your mixing bowl.
Add the vanilla extract ¼ tsp), baking powder (¾ tsp) , bicarbonate of soda ( ¾ tsp), and salt (pinch) to your bowl. If your child can help you get them to hold the spoon while you measure each out.
Mix everything together.
Weigh out the flour (170g).
Get your little one to measure the milk (160ml) into a jug. The easiest way to be accurate if you have digital scales is to use the ml setting.
Add the flour and milk to your mixture then mix everything together until it is well combined.
Bake your cake
Pour the mixture into your cake tins and use a palette knife to smooth out the top.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the chocolate custard
Get your toddler to measure the sugar (500g) and cocoa powder (125g) into a bowl. Pop it in a small saucepan.
Measure the golden syrup out (1 tbsp) into a spoon and add that to your pan. Add 600ml of water to your pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Whisk occasionally, or if your child is a bit older and you trust them around your cooker you could get them to help.
While the custard is heating up, get your child to weigh out the cornflour (200g) into a small bowl. Add 120ml of water and give it a good mix. It should end up the consistency of a thick glue. If you need to,add some more water, but no more than 250ml in total)
Add gradually to your chocolate mixture in the pan, stirring all the time.
Bring the mixture back to the boil, whisking constantly, cook for a further few minutes until it is quite thick.
Remove from the heat, get your toddler to add the butter (85g) and vanilla extract (½ tsp). This can be a good place for your child to help, if you haven’t trusted them near the hob. They can add the butter, safely away from the heat and watch it melt.
Pop it all in a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Assemble the chocolate cake
To make a cake crumble to top your cake with slice off a little from each cake and zap it in a food processor until it’s nicely crumbled.
Put the first chocolate cake down on a cake stand and spread one quarter of the chocolate custard on top. Put the second cake on top and add another quarter of the custard on top. Pop the last cake on top. Spread the remaining custard over the top and sides of the cake. Cover with your crumbs. Chill for a few hours.