Sunday, 18 August 2013

Michael Jones Chocolate Celebration Cake

We don't have many traditions in my family but this cake certainly seems to be becoming one! I have been using this recipe for around 10 years now. It is my go-to cake for birthdays and special occasions. I get a lot of comments about how delicious it is. It's a very dense, chocolatey cake, perfect for a celebration. it bakes up well in a large tin, I often use a 27cm tin and it still rises up nice and high, so will easily serve 10+ people. I usually do a plain chocolate icing with or without extra decoration, but the original recipe calls for a decadent cream and chocolate bar topping! Obviously I have to give credit to Michael Jones for the recipe, but you should also feel privileged to be getting it, as it is almost a family secret! 

When I was in high school in New Plymouth, there was a youth magazine being published called "Soul Purpose". It was free and came out every couple of months. There were different interviews, opinions and among other stuff, recipes! When this recipe was published there was a note underneath stating that if you would like Michael Jones to come to your birthday party, you should email him. A friend of mine did this, but as he was living in Auckland, it would have been a bit difficult to get him to my party. But, he did send me an autographed, laminated copy of the recipe which I have been using ever since!

Michael Jone's Moist Chocolate Cake


180g butter (softened)
1 3/4 cups castor sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa
3 teaspoons dry instant coffee
1 cup water
1 cup milk


Fresh cream
Flake bar
Top cake with whipped fresh cream, then sprinkle with crushed flake bar


1. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer, then add eggs one at a time. Beat well until light and fluffy. 
2. Add sifted flours, soda, cocoa and coffee. Also add milk and water. Fold together with a large spoon. 
3. Pour mix into greased round cake pan. Cook at 180C for 50 minutes, then turn heat down to 150-160C for approximately 20 minutes. Because the cake has a lot of liquid it basks slow. 
4. Prick the cake with a toothpick to see if it is ready. If toothpick comes out relatively clean, then the cake is ready. Cool cake on a wire rack. 
5. Decorate as desired.

NB: The original recipe had a presumed mistake as it didn't mention when to add the sugar. So I just cream it at the beginning and then add the eggs. 

I made this cake for my Antenatal Group last weekend. We had a joint 2nd birthday party for all the kids at a local playgroup. Talk about chaos! But the cake went down an absolute treat--- as does any chocolate flavoured food with toddlers! (mine especially!)

I'd love to hear if anyone else has a special cake or recipe that has become a tradition? And of course, love to see if anyone else gives this one a go!

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