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Jiffy Chocolate Cake

With Joan Bishop

Jiffy Chocolate Cake

This reliable, speedy recipe will, I am sure, become a family favourite. If I had visitors coming for afternoon tea, I think I could whip this up more quickly than a batch of scones. The coffee mingles with the cocoa to give the cake its richness and deep, dark colour but the cake is definitely chocolate in flavour. This is a cake children could make with a little supervision and ideal for making during school holidays. For the coffee in this cake I used 2 rounded teaspoons of dark, espresso-type instant coffee. Steeping the raisins in the hot coffee and butter allows them to absorb these flavours and plump up beautifully before being added to the cake. You can, of course, use any dried fruit in place of the raisins. I have substituted dried cranberries and chopped New Zealand dried apricots and both were delicious.

1 cup hot strong black coffee (250 ml)
70g butter, cut into pieces
90g raisins or other dried fruit
200g standard flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
30g cocoa powder
180g sugar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 170C.
Line the base of a round 20cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper and lightly oil the sides.
Pour the hot coffee into a medium-sized Pyrex jug or mixing bowl.
Add the butter and raisins and leave to soak for about 10 minutes, or less if time is short.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and the cocoa powder.
Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Add the red wine vinegar and vanilla essence to the coffee mixture and stir.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. This is quite a moist batter.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until the top feels springy to the touch.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack.
When cool, slide a knife between the side of the tin and the cake to loosen it.
Invert the cake onto a wire rack and peel off the baking paper. Turn right side up.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place. This cake will keep for up to 6 days.
Makes a 20cm round cake that cuts into 12-16 pieces

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
This cake needs no icing but if you wish to gild the lily, a basic chocolate or lemon icing would be suitable. However, I do confess to swirling this totally divine Chocolate Fudge Frosting over the top and its creaminess suits the cake perfectly. I use low-fat Philadelphia cream cheese as it has less calories than other brands.

250g icing sugar
1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese, spreadable variety
2 teaspoons orange or lemon juice, or a liqueur of your choice such as
Grand Marnier
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Add the cream cheese, juice or liqueur and cocoa.
Mix or beat until smooth, adding a drop or two of extra juice or liqueur if needed.
Spread the frosting over the completely cooled cake.
Makes enough frosting to cover the top of a 20cm cake

(Broadcast: 27 June 2012)