Frosted chocolate mudcake

About a month ago, I asked my lovely friend, Emma, what cake she would like for her upcoming birthday. "OMG chocolate mudcake please!", was her immediate response. It was an achievable request and I've had a few weeks to plan this cake… So, as a super-indecisive person, I eventually decided upon a cake without a million layers and tummy-churning richness. The cake is sweet and dense, and while the chocolate shines through, it also carries this caramelly flavour too. I then decided on frosting over whipped cream, fancy ganache or too-sweet icing. Frosting is essentially a thick, fluffy 'cake coating' made of butter or cream, and I must admit that it makes me feel a bit American! This is the first time that I made frosting and I realised that it is the perfect accompaniment to such a cake! The cake and the frosting are easy and simple, but I think that is always best.

What you'll need:
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
200g milk chocolate
250g butter, chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour

150g butter
450g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 23cm cake tin twice with baking paper. (Two layers prevent the outside of the cake from overcooking.)

Place the sugar, milk, vanilla, chocolate and butter into a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat and stir continuously until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the eggs and cocoa, and then add the flour. Whisk flour well to combine and pour cake batter into prepared tin. Place the tin onto a baking tray and then place it into the oven. (I like to keep my cakes on a baking tray in case they rise and spill over. Plus, it provides some extra stability when you remove the cake to test it.) Bake the cake for 1 hour and then remove it from the oven and cover lightly with aluminium foil. Stick the covered cake back into the oven and bake for a further 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, you can make the frosting. First, sift the icing sugar and cocoa together and set aside. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Turn of the mixer and stir in the sugar mix until just combined. Add the milk and continue to beat the frosting for 2 minutes or until it is light and fluffy. 

Spread the icing over the top and sides of your cooled cake. Decorate as desired and enjoy!