In The Country and Town May 2024

2. Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Grease a deep 30cm x 20cm tray. Melt the butter in a small pan or microwave. Finely chop the chocolate, then set aside. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on a medium speed with the remaining 200 grams of caster sugar.After a minute, increase the speed to high and whisk for four minutes, until pale and voluminous. 3. Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and fine sea salt. When the eggs are ready, whisk in the milk and melted butter, then fold in the dry ingredients and 50 grams of the chopped chocolate. Pour the batter into the prepared tray and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until just cooked through.When a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, it is done. Remove from the oven and poke holes all over the sponge and evenly drizzle over the cooled syrup. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. 4. To make the ganache, place the remaining 200 grams of chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the double cream until it is hot, but not boiling. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate, leave for 30 seconds, then slowly stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then spread over the cake. Serve as it is or topped with sprinkles or fruit. Greekish: Everyday Recipes With Greek Roots by Georgina Hayden is published by Bloomsbury, priced £26. Photography by Laura Edwards.Available April 25.

“This cake, however, is not only fantastically easy but stays beautifully moist for days – in fact, five whole days by my count.There is less sugar in the cake itself, so the sweetness is balanced out; honestly, you can’t really tell it has a syrup. “It’s not sticky, but rather gives the sponge the most velvety texture. It’s the perfect cake for a party; kids and adults love the retro look, and even with the ganache icing it’s a breeze to make.”

Sokolatopita: chocolate party cake


(Serves 12)

375g caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick

50ml brandy

125g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tray

250g dark and milk chocolate (I like half and half)

3 large eggs

175g plain flour

75g cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

½tsp bicarbonate of soda

½tsp fine sea salt

200ml whole milk

250ml double cream

Sprinkles or fruit (optional)


1. Place 175 grams of the caster sugar in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick, brandy and 150 millilitres of water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer for 5 minutes until syrupy. Leave to cool.

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