Chocolate icing


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base of two 18cm (or smaller) sandwich tins and a 1.2L pudding basin. Mix the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and beat in the golden syrup, eggs, oil and milk with an electric whisk, until smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Pour the mixture into the pudding basin until it is ¾ full, then divide the rest between the two sandwich tins and bake for 25-30 mins until the cakes are risen and firm to the touch. The sponge in the pudding basin may need longer depending on whether the basin is metal or ceramic. Cool for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, to make the icing, beat the butter until it is creamy. Beat in the icing sugar a little at a time, then beat in the cocoa powder and 2 tbsp water.

  • STEP 4

    Cut the pudding basin cake in half horizontally and sandwich it back together with a little icing. Put one of the round sponges on a cake board or plate and sandwich the other one on top with a little icing. Sandwich the pudding basin cake on top of the round cake. If the bottom cake sticks out beyond the bottom of the pudding basin cake, trim the top edge of the lower cake at an angle to make the sides flatter. Ice the outside of the cake with a thin layer of chocolate icing, using it all up.

  • STEP 5

    Roll the fondant out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to make a sheet shape that is big enough to cover the whole cake. Drape it carefully over the iced cake and press it around the top to make your ghost, with ruffles around the edges, cutting off the excess round the base. Colour some of the excess icing black by kneading in the food colouring, or use the black fondant icing. Roll it out to a few mm thick. Cut out eyes and a mouth and stick them on.

Goes well with


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