Last week the nation was treated to four
‘charity’ bake offs for Sport Relief and a little something to keep the loyal
followers happy. Mary Berry and Paul
Hollywood pulled apart, literally, the celebrity bakes whilst viewers watched,
laughed, cringed and cheered at the screen.

It really got me thinking of baking
and one particular cake that seemed to be a big feature – The Chocolate Sponge
Cake. So I thought it would be a great
idea to share Mary Berry’s own recipe for the perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake and
see if there are any potential bakers amongst you.

Preparation Time: 30 to 60 minutes – Cooking Time:
30 to 60 minutes – Serves: 8

READY

STEADY

BAKE

Ingredients:

50g/2oz cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

3 free-range eggs

4 tbsp milk

175g/6oz self-raising flour

1 rounded tsp baking powder

100g/10oz natural caster sugar

For the icing and filling:

150g/5oz dark chocolate, broken into
small pieces

150ml/5fl apricot jam

Icing sugar, to dust

Preparation method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and
grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking parchment.

2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling
water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again
until combines. This can also be done in
a food processor, but take care not to over whisk. Divide the cake mixture
between the prepared tins. Bake for
about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of
the tin.

3. Meanwhile, for the icing and filling,
measure the chocolate and cream together in a bowl and stand the bowl over a
pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes, or until melted. Stir from time to time. Set aside and leave until cool and almost
set.

4. Once baked, remove the cakes from the
oven and allow to cool completely.
Spread the tops of each cake with apricot jam. Fill the cakes with half of the icing and
spread the remainder on top. Draw large “S” shapes over the cake with a palatte
knife to give a swirl effect. Dust with
icing sugar and serve in slices.

Perfect to serve with a nice pot of
tea, or a freshly brewed cup of coffee when you visitors, or as a dessert
accompanied with custard, cream or ice cream.