Posts Tagged ‘chocolate slab cake’


Over the years, I’ve refined my baking repertoire. And while I love trying out new recipes, there’s a handful of core favourites that I routinely revert to.

Our chocolate slab cake – one of the most popular recipes on our blog – is baked at least once a month.  It’s a very large cake, and the neighbours all respond to the clarion call with plates to ferry their portions home (it’s that kind of cake).

The butterscotch bars are almost embarrassingly easy to make, and they’ve become our regular standby for school orchestra rehearsals, last minute morning teas, and birthday and Christmas gifts.

Now that we have fresh eggs, the cookie jars are constantly filled with chocolate meringues, and the fudge brownies have become our newest  house fave – baked frequently as Pete finds them irresistible. (We had dinner with Alex last week, who said “once you’ve tried the fudge brownies, there’s no going back”.  Bless her, that made my night…)

The white chocolate bundt cake in the photo above is Big Boy’s all time favourite cake.  It’s a bit more work to make and probably only gets an airing three or four times a year, but this is the cake I turn to whenever I need a showstopper.  And even though I’m not a white chocolate fan, in this cake, it’s sublime.   I posted the recipe over a year ago, but have just updated it with metric measurements, since I make it by weight rather than cup measures these days.

I always top the cake with tempered chocolate (in this case, milk and dark), but it’s almost as good simply dusted with icing sugar.  Please note that it’s a large cake – the standard 10 cup bundt tins by Wilton and Nordicware will take most, but not all of the mix, so do have some muffin pans or mini tins on standby for the excess batter.  The methodology, with updated measurements and a printable version, is available here. I’ve also made a caramelised white chocolate version, which was particularly wicked!

White Chocolate Bundt Cake

  • 450g plain (AP) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 440g white sugar
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large (59g) eggs, at room temperature
  • 115g white chocolate, melted and still warm
  • 250g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 115g  white chocolate chunks or chips

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

I’d love to know your baking standbys – do you have a recipe which you turn to time after time?

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In my kitchen…

…is a tray of our ever reliable chocolate slab cake.  Big Boy asked me to bake it to “help” him study for his exams…

In my kitchen…

…is a tub of organic honeycomb, a gift from our lovely friend Moo, who tracked it down at one of his local Adelaide markets.  He told me that, short of getting on a plane to Kangaroo Island, this was the closest thing he could find to completely natural, unprocessed honey…

In my kitchen…

…is our “lucky” Elvis mug.  We don’t actually believe in luck, but I often make Big Boy a cup of tea in this before his exams.  It always makes him laugh, and I think that’s a good frame of mind to be in before a test!

In my kitchen…

…are interesting treasures from far away.  Lovacores, avert your eyes now, because on my bench I have a jar of Sardinian Bottarga (grated mullet roe), pickled baby onions in balsamic vinegar, and a treasured jar of Piment d’Espelette.  The Piment was a gift from gorgeous Anna of Five in Paris, who was in Sydney on holidays recently…

In my kitchen…

…is a messy, yummy apple pie – Small Man’s favourite dessert.  I tried to be artistic and decorated the top with a pastry apple – hopefully you can make it out in the photo below (it’s a bit tragic, I know).  Interestingly, the pastry, which is usually quite wet, was much firmer when made with our homegrown eggs – possibly because they’re fresher and the proteins are stronger…

In my kitchen…

…are bags of certified virus-free seed potatoes, recently arrived from Tasmania.  The plan is to grow four varieties over the coming year – Bintjes, Spuntas, Red Norlands and King Edwards. The first two batches have been set out to chit (sprout), and the rest are carefully stashed away in a lightproof box.  We’ve never grown potatoes before, and are quite excited by the prospect of having them fresh from the garden!

Tell me, what’s happening in your kitchen this month?

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The chocolate slab cake, which I posted about nearly a year ago, has been the most widely made recipe on our blog.

I think that’s because it’s easy to make and results in a large quantity of chocolate cake, without the need for any fancy icing or too much fuss.  It’s perfect for a party, and has the simplicity of a packet mix (almost!), but with really great ingredients – Belgian chocolate, real butter and eggs, and no funny preservative numbers.  Because it’s based around a devil’s food cake recipe, the resultant crumb is moist and tender, and as an added bonus, it slices cleanly into neat portions for sharing.  Here it is cut into baby 3cm squares, so you can see what I mean…

Pete describes it as the chocolate cake equivalent of those little wrapped bars of vanilla ice cream we used to buy when we were kids – unpretentious and comforting to eat in large quantities.

For me, it’s a communal cake, which is why I love baking it so much.  I made a slab yesterday, and a piece has gone to the neighbours, another piece is on its way to the school music department and a third piece will go to my friends at the cheese shop when I make my way over there later on today.

Joanna in Bristol asked me for metric measurements, so I weighed up my ingredients as I was making this yesterday.  Here they are…


  • 440ml  boiling water
  • 170g dark chocolate, chopped finely (we use Callebaut callets)
  • 110g unsweetened cocoa
  • 300g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
  • good pinch salt
  • 285g unsalted butter, softened
  • 380g brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 100g dark chocolate callets, or finely chopped chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted (it’s important to sift, or you’ll get lumpy icing)
  • 60ml milk

I’ve also updated the lists on the original post, which has the instructions for putting the cake together.  I hope you’ll try it out.  In our house, having one of these cakes on the go makes everyone feel just that little bit better.

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I love recipes which are simple, homely and comforting – dishes which are easy to make, large enough to share with the neighbours and so delicious that my boys request them over and over again.  A couple of years ago, I was reading Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West – a collection of stories and recipes, drawn mostly from her Southern US upbringing. In one section she mentioned a “Chocolate Sheet Cake” and the concept fascinated me – I loved the idea of being able to bake a big tray of chocolate cake and ice it before it had cooled, right in the pan.  But it was West’s description of the cake that was particularly evocative:

In my family, whenever a chocolate sheet cake appeared, it was usually to soothe a broken heart, or to soften the impact of an impulsive thrift-shop purchase. It was not a cake of holidays, but a cake that cajoled and flirted, a cake that said, ‘Forget about your problems, sweetie. Come sit by me for a while.’

Since then, the chocolate sheet  cake, or Choccy Slab Cake as it’s known at our place, has become a household staple. After some experimenting, we’ve finally come up with a combination that keeps everyone happy – a Mrs Field’s devil’s food cake recipe, baked in a roasting pan, and topped off with an ever reliable Jamie Oliver icing.  The whole ends up greater than the sum of its parts, because the icing over the warm base creates a very moist and velvety cake, which keeps well for the few days it takes to be eaten.

I made this cake for Alex’s 21st – it’s a great recipe for feeding lots of intoxicated and hungry twenty year olds.

Note: click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

. . . . .


  • 13/4 cups (440ml) boiling water
  • 170g (6oz) dark chocolate, chopped finely (we use Callebaut callets)
  • 1 cup (110g) unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups (300g) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
  • good pinch salt
  • 285g (10oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 13/4 cups (packed) (380g) brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F) with fan.  Line the base and sides of a large roasting pan with parchment paper (Bake). I do this by squishing an extra-large sheet of Bake into the pan and pleating the corners, or snipping with scissors and overlapping them.  My tray is 37 x 27 x 5cm (141/2” x 101/2” x 2″), but the recipe is quite flexible, so use whatever you have on hand and adjust your cooking time accordingly.

2. In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the dark chocolate and let it sit for five minutes.  Add the cocoa and stir until the mixture is smooth.  Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Don’t whinge about all the bowls you’re using, it’s worth it.

4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, then add all the flour mixture and half the chocolate mixture.  Beat on low speed to combine, then on high for 1½  minutes.  Add remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low to combine.

5. Pour the batter into the roasting pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until a thin sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.   Be careful not to overcook it. Remove the cake from the oven, but leave it in the pan.  Allow to cool a little while you prepare the icing.


  • 100g (33/4oz) dark chocolate callets, or finely chopped chocolate
  • 100g (33/4oz) unsalted butter
  • 100g (33/4oz) icing sugar, sifted (it’s important to sift, or you’ll get lumpy icing)
  • 3 Tbsp (60ml) milk

Melt all ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly until well blended.  Pour the finished icing over the warm cake, jiggling the pan around so that it’s all evenly coated.  Let it sit for say another 15 minutes or so, then put the whole thing into the fridge to set.

The cake can be kept at room temperature once the icing is set.

. . . . .

More food for the masses: Party Pizza!

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