50 g (2 oz) sifted cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
3 large eggs
50 ml (2 fl oz) milk
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
100 g (4 oz) softened butter
275 g (10 oz) caster sugar
FOR THE ICING AND FILLING
3 tablespoons apricot jam
150 g (5 oz) plain chocolate
(39 per cent cocoa solids)
150 ml (¼ pint) double cream
1 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease two 20 cm (8 in) deep sandwich tins then line the base of each tin with baking parchment.
2 Blend the cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl then add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until the mixture has become a smooth, thickish batter. Divide the cake mix equally between the prepared tins and level the surface.
3 Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25–30 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
4 To make the icing, warm the apricot jam in a very small pan, then spread a little over the base of one cake and the top of the other. Break the chocolate into pieces and gently heat with the cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally.
5 Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the chocolate mixture to make sure it has completely melted. Leave to cool until it is on the point of setting then spread on top of the apricot on both cakes. Sandwich the cakes together and use a small palette knife to smooth the icing on the top. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.
The cake can be frozen (iced or un-iced) for up to 1 month. Store in a round freezer-proof container about 2.5 cm (1 in) bigger than the diameter of the cake. Sit the cake on the inside of the lid and place the container over the top. Seal, label and freeze.
If the cake is frozen iced, the icing will not be quite as shiny once thawed. To defrost, release the lid but leave in position and thaw for 4 hours at room temperature.