250g butter (Nuttelex)
1.5 c hot water
3 tbsp hot chocolate powder (Green and Black's organic brand has no dairy)
2 c raw caster sugar 250g 85% dark chocolate (dairy free), chopped
1.5 c self-raising flour
1 c plain flour
.25 c cocoa powder (Green and Black's organic brand has no dairy)
2 eggs (medium-large)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Lots of butter (nuttelex)
1-2 blocks of 85% chocolate (I usually use about 200g),br>
Enough pure icing sugar to make it less runny
Preheat oven to slow (250F, 150C). Grease and line 22cm round cake pan with baking paper. Melt butter in a saucepan, dissolve hot chocolate in hot water then add to saucepan along with sugar and chocolate. Stir mixture over low heat until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and let stand until just warm. Using an electric beater, beat on low speed, while beating add sifted dry ingredients (sifting is very important!) in three batches. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then essence. Pour into pan, bake for about 1.5-1.75 hours (don't overbake or it gets too dry). Stand for 15 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool (takes around 5 hours or more).
Note - the cake will crack substantially, typically a deep chasm appears as a ring around a raised central section while backing. Don't worry, it will end up flat, but the chasms will remain - I fill them with chocolate icing ;>
Melt butter and chocolate over a low heat, add icing sugar and beat with a whisk until smooth. Pour onto the middle of the cooled cake and spread carefully to cover top then sides. If you have used a larger pan, you will need more icing. You may need cream or dairy free vanilla fruccio if you find it's too chocolatey ;> I prefer to cover the cake in strawberries while the icing is still soft - it doesn't work if the icing has set solid.
Variations Use 1tbsp coffee powder instead of hot chocolate. Use sifted cocoa instead of chocolate icing. Serve with pureed raspberries and cream.