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Anthony O'SHAUGHNESSY

Badass Geordie cook eating his way around the world. 

Silky Milk Chocolate Cake

Silky Milk Chocolate Cake

Everybody reaches a moment in their life (usually a crisis, let’s be real) when a chocolate cake is the one and only answer. In spite of breakups, lost opportunities and failures - this milk chocolate cake is a two-layered soothing sandwich of uncomplicated joy, smeared generously with a glossy milk chocolate icing.

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There are plenty high quality chocolate cakes I make that show off the very best of chocolate. This isn’t one of those cakes. Much like milk chocolate, there is no darkness about this cake, just a rounded milkiness and a silky richness. The key component in creating this cake, and its icing, is evaporated milk, a cheap and readily available milk-reduction. It adds an intensely milky Cadbury foreground to this cake and a luscious, silky crumb that glides across your palate like Galaxy. It’s absolutely not serious at all, just universally delicious and inviting, which is why both kids and adults alike absolutely love this cake to pieces.

SILKY MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 225g Plain Flour

  • 250g Caster Sugar

  • 30g Cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

  • 125g unsalted Butter

  • 2 large Eggs

  • 150ml full-fat Evaporated Milk

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

    MILK CHOCOLATE ICING

  • 100g unsalted Butter

  • 1 heaped tablespoon Cocoa

  • 350g Icing Sugar

  • 50ml Evaporated Milk (approx 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  1. Begin by creaming the 225g of butter and 250g sugar together in a mixing bowl until whipped and fluffy. Make sure the butter is not too cold from the fridge, though you can get away with microwaving it a little to soften it if it is quite firm.

  2. Crack in the 2 eggs and beat into the butter and sugar. It may look like it is curdling at this stage, this is completely normal and it will become a lot smoother once we put the flour in.

  3. Sieve in 225g of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 30g of cocoa. Mix the into the batter vigorously until you have a fairly stiff batter with no visible lumps.

  4. Pour in 150ml of evaporated milk along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix together briefly until incorporated into a glossy batter. Do not mix more than you need to, as this can create a tough cake.

  5. Pour the batter into two greased cake tins (approx 8” diameter) that are lined with a circle of baking paper on the bottom. Place into the middle of an oven and bake on 180C for 30 minutes until firm and springy in the middle.

  6. Once out of the oven, leave to cool completely before you ice them - at least 2 hours. If they are still warm, the icing will melt into the cakes and it will be a sad ending for all.

  7. Make the icing by whisking 100g of soft, unsalted butter with a heaped tablespoon of cocoa and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. When soft and whipped, pour in 50ml of evaporated milk and stir until smooth. Sieve in 350g of icing sugar and gently stir until the icing is thick and no lumps of icing sugar can be seen.

  8. When the cakes are cool, turn one upside down and press onto a serving plate to help it sit flat. Spread about one-third of the icing onto the first layer and spread around the cake from the centre to the edges.

  9. Place the second cake onto the iced layer, with the flat bottom of the cake facing upwards. Taking the remaining icing and spread across the top of the cake from the centre to the edges and down the sides.

  10. Serve straight away. Utensils and plates entirely optional!

When I visited Germany last Christmas I developed a thing for Tuc crackers; they’re like salty crackers that you’d probably eat with cheese or dips. Anyways, I went through a phase of eating them with cubes of Milka chocolate. I’d even mix them together in a little bowl like it were a little salad! Seriously yummy. What would be great is to add something salty to this cake, maybe some Ritz crackers or some salty pretzels crumbled into the icing!
— ANTHONY'S SHOCK TIP
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