I needed a good excuse to make this cake as it is pretty large, and I can't put my hand on my heart and say "I need this much cake in one go" between just the two of us. Of course, my colleagues and Boss don't mind AT ALL when I bring cake to the library but the opportunity presented itself in the shape of my lovely Mum-in-law's birthday. Chocolate is ok by her. And a big cake is very celebratory.
I was scared. Cooking a large cake makes me nervous and bad results are expected. I don't think big cakes are a great idea, because it's hard to bake them evenly. I don't like dry cake with hard edges and neither do I like underbaked gooey cake. But I went ahead and bought the worryingly large 23cm cake tin and gathered my ingredients.
I let the cake take its time to cool off before wrapping it up for the birthday visit the next day, at which time I made the thick, dark, shining mass of chocolate icing and plastered it over and inside the cake. Now, there is a division of opinion about the presence of jam in a fruit cake. I am not a fan but Andy grew up with blackcurrant jam sticking the layers of his chocolate cakes together, so I spread jam over half the cake and arranged it on the board so I would know which half was which, and where the dividing line was.
I'm not sure this is the best ever chocolate cake I will ever make, but for a stupidly large cake it was pretty good and very tasty and Andy's parents happily went away with a large chunk of it. I'm just glad no one was forcing me to eat more than one slender slice at a time.