• Cakes

175g/6 oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

  • 175g/6 oz golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3tbsp golden syrup
  • 40g/1½ oz ground almonds
  • 175g/6 oz self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g/1½ oz cocoa powder
  • Icing
  • 225g/8 oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 55g/2 oz dark muscovado sugar
  • 225g/8 oz unsalted butter, diced
  • 5 tbsp evaporated milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • STEP 1
    Grease two 20-cm/8-inch sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  • STEP 2
    To make the icing, place the chocolate, muscovado sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla extract in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until melted. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until spreadable.
  • STEP 3
    Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Place the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the golden syrup and ground almonds. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then fold into the mixture. Add a little water, if necessary, to make a dropping consistency.
  • STEP 4
    Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • STEP 5
    Leave the cakes in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When the cakes are cold, sandwich them together with half the icing. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake.

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