I found this recipe in the children's section of the Baking Bible; Mary says it is a traybake, particularly popular at children's parties. I wasn't about to let that tiny detail stop me making it for my mother-in-law’s social gathering – I felt confident that this cake would suit all ages!
It had been a wet, dark, generally miserable day. I very much wanted to stay tucked up in bed with a hot mug of cocoa, but I was unable to attempt hibernation as my little boy was in need of attention!
I made a start fairly early so that the cake would be ready in time for an afternoon collection. Unfortunately I couldn't get hold of unsalted butter, so I had to make do with slightly salted. I hoped it wouldn’t be noticeable! I put the butter along with sugar and flour into a bowl. Even though I was using self raising flour, I still needed to add two teaspoons of baking powder. This meant that I was expecting a well risen cake. I hoped it wouldn't rise too much! I collected some eggs and broke them into a bowl. I should have cracked the eggs into a separate bowl first, as three small pieces of shell ended up in my mixing bowl. Using a teaspoon, I managed to catch hold of a piece and drag it up the side of the bowl only for it to escape and fall back into the mixture. I am not one to be defeated and I was triumphant in the end! The last things to be included in the mixture were a small quantity of milk and vanilla extract. I gave the mixture a whisk for two minutes; Mary is very precise with her timings. She was proved to be right of course, as it did take two minutes until my mixture was perfectly smooth! Now of course I needed to make half of the mixture all lovely and chocolaty. To do this I simply added some cocoa powder to a bowl and poured in a little hot water. I gave it a good mix until combined. I left the rich and runny chocolaty mixture to cool whilst I spooned half of the vanilla mixture into my traybake tin. Mary says to dot the spoonfuls well apart from each other. I tipped the rich chocolate into the remaining cake mixture. I was delighted to be adding in some chocolate chips although I was a little peeved by the small quantity; I consoled myself by picking on the leftovers! I dotted the chocolate mixture in between the plain cake mix to fill the gaps. Mary does not say to blend the two flavours together to create a marbled affect, so I left it as it was; it was so hard to resist the strong urge to intermingle them! I popped the cake into the oven and then washed up. I rewarded myself by having a sit down and finishing off the packet of chocolate chips, whoops!
I was a little disheartened when I took the cake out of the oven; it was fairly flat and had barely risen – so much for my fears of it rising too much! As instructed, I left it to cool completely in the tin. I assumed this helped keep the cake moist. As it was the cake looked rather unattractive with its mottled top! Thankfully this was solved by melting both plain and white chocolate and drizzling it over the surface of the cake. This made the cake look a bit more interesting and fun. My mother-in- law kindly left Neil and me some of the cake so that we could have a taste. I thought the cake to be a little dry, but it tasted lovely and quite sweet. I couldn't taste the chocolate that clearly – but, as I was stuffed full of chocolate chips, I wasn't particularly fussed! The traybake went down very well with my mother-in-law’s friends and I don't believe there were any leftovers – so lovely to think my cake was well received!