You can't go wrong with a chocolate cake, it's the cake of choice for my small grandchildren and when my children were younger it was their favourite cake too, I'm not sure my grandchildren would thank me for an apricot and Amaretto filling though. My husband prefers alternative fillings to the usual buttercream and I find St. Dalfour Thick Apricot Jam makes a fabulous jam filling, and even better if you add a few teaspoons of Amaretto liqueur to the jam. Apricot and almonds are a perfect combination of flavours.
The flower in the photograph is a beautiful alstroemeria, unfortunately it didn't come from my garden, I have tried to grow these but have now given up the fight. These flowers are much sought after by flower arrangers because they should last for over two weeks.
You will need: Two 18cm sandwich tins base lined and lightly greased.
175g soft margarine, 175g light soft brown sugar, 110g self-raising flour, 50g ground almonds, 2 generous tablespoons best quality cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3 eggs, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract.
Icing: 50g dark chocolate, 15g butter, 2 tablespoons milk
Decoration: grated chocolate or Cadbury Flake.
Filling: 3 tablespoons apricot conserve and a few teaspoons of Amaretto liqueur.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the margarine, sugar, sifted flour, ground almonds, cocoa and baking powder. Add the eggs and vanilla to the bowl. With an electric whisk mix for 2 minutes.
3. Divide the mixture between the two tins. Bake for 25 minutes.
4. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out and leave on a wire rack to cool.
5. When the cakes have cooled, spread the conserve over one of the sponges. Place the other sponge on top.
6. To make the icing: place the icing ingredients in a glass bowl, place over a pan of hot water. When the ingredients have melted together, stir to smooth the mixture, leave to cool and spread over the surface of the cake.
7. Decorate with grated chocolate.