Alexa Johnston bakes a dainty afternoon tea
- 85 g flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 115 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 55 g butter, melted
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 200 g soft brown sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- 45 g butter
- 30 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 tsp peppermint essence (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter a 20cm square tin. Cut a strip of baking paper 20cm wide and long enough to extend 10cm beyond the edges of the tin – you will use this to lift the cake after icing it. Line the tin with the paper.
- Sift together the dry ingredients. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with an electric beater, adding the sugar a little at a time and then the vanilla essence. Beat for about 2 minutes in all.
- Using a large metal spoon, fold in the sifted dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter and chopped walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top and bake for exactly 15 minutes - this ensures a nicely soft centre. Put the tin on a cooling rack and leave for about 20 minutes until almost cool.
- For the icing, put the brown sugar, milk and butter in a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and tip in the chocolate and peppermint essence, if using.
- Beat icing hard with the wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes until you can see the fudge beginning to thicken. Don’t beat until it is really thick or it will set before you can get it onto the cake. Quickly pour icing onto the cake and spread it out with a spatula. It will begin to set immediately.
- Wait until icing has a firm surface, but is still warm, before lifting cake onto a board (some cracking in the fudge is inevitable). Cut into long fingers and then small squares with a long-bladed knife, wiping the blade between cuts.