The caramel flavour in this old-fashioned cake comes from golden syrup. Although caramel with fleur de sel or dulce de leche are standard these days, it’s refreshing to come back to a more down-to-earth baking style. The1970s housewives who contributed this recipe to a now vintage cookbook have provided an unpretentious, uncomplicated glorious rich cake that tastes quite similar to a sticky date pudding. To finish the cake, I went with a simple chocolate glace icing, and a sprinkling of finely chopped walnuts for a little bit of crunch.

Serves 8-12          Difficulty: Easy

EQUIPMENT:

·      21cm Round cake tin

·      Hand mixer / electric mixer / stand mixer

·      2 Medium bowls

·      Spatula

·      Oven thermometer

·      Kitchen scales

·      Kitchen timer

INGREDIENTS:

Cake

·      185g Plain Flour

·      1 large Egg

·      120g Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

·      200g Caster Sugar

·      1 teaspoon Baking Powder

·      1 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda

·      250ml Whole Milk, at room temperature

·      1 tablespoon Golden Syrup

·      1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder

·      1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder

·      1 pinch Salt

Chocolate Icing

·      140g Icing Sugar Mixture

·      1 teaspoon Butter, softened

·      1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder

·      Water

·      Handful of walnuts, finely chopped (optional)

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 340F). Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking paper. Grease the sides with non-stick spray. Set the kitchen timer for 40 minutes.
  • Add the softened butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat them together on medium speed until the mixture is pale thick and creamy. Beat in the egg.
  • In a separate bowl stir the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt together until evenly combined. Turns the beaters to low-medium speed and slowly pour in the milk and dry ingredients at the same time. Beat in the golden syrup.
  • Split the batter equally between two bowls. To one bowl stir in the cinnamon and cocoa powder until it’s well mixed. Pour this cocoa batter into the cake tin first. Smooth the surface with a spatula.
  • Pour the other caramel-flavoured batter on top. Smooth with a spatula.
  • Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake tin on the middle rack of the oven. The cake is ready when the top springs back when pressed and a skewer in the middle comes out clean. If it’s not ready, add another 5 minutes to the timer and check again. Baking time is up to 55 minutes.
  • Remove cake from the tin. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the chocolate icing. In a small bowl add the icing sugar, soft butter and cocoa powder. Dribble in a little water at a time and stir the mixture until you get an easily spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the cake.

Recipe adapted from Misses Bernice & Trixie Shaddick, in the Nyamutin Farm Cookbook (1973).

TIPS:

  • Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.