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Recipes

Chocolate traybake with feather icing

A chocolate sponge topped with a milk chocolate icing feathered with white chocolate makes this a great cake to share for a birthday party for the young as they love milk chocolate. Decorate it as you like - try topping it with sweets, chopped chocolate bars, marshmallows or lots and lots of candles! If it’s for a more sophisticated occasion use about 40% cocoa solids dark chocolate.

Equipment and preparation: you will need a small piping bag and a 30x23cm/12x9in traybake tin greased and base lined with baking parchment.

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Ingredients

For the sponge

For the icing

For the decoration

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (160C fan).

  2. Put the cocoa in a large bowl, add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Add the baking spread or butter and beat into the cocoa until smooth, then add the remaining cake ingredients and mix until combined – this can be done in a mixer or by hand.

  3. Pour into the tin, spread evenly and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until well risen, just firm to the touch and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and peel off the baking parchment. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and leave to cool completely

  4. For the icing, warm the cream in a small pan until hot, then add the milk chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth. Leave to cool a little so that it is a thick pouring consistency (this won’t take long depending on room temperature). Pour the icing over the cake, spreading out with a palette knife to cover the cake completely.

  5. To decorate, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Place in a small piping bag, snip the end and pipe in lines down the cake, about 1cm/½in apart. Using a cocktail stick, drag through the white chocolate in opposite directions across the cake to give a feathered effect.

Recipe Tips

This cake will keep for up to one week in a cake tin. If you want to make and serve this cake the day it is made, make sure you make the icing the day before or at least in the morning so it has time to set. The cake can be iced and frozen in slices for up to three months - the appearance won’t be quite as shiny once it has thawed. Ganache is so often made with plain chocolate and so many children find this too bitter. This milk chocolate version is utterly delicious poured over the cooled cake or can be cooled until it is a little thicker to spread like a fudge topping, it will set firm enough to roll into balls to make truffles too, if liked.