Takes: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus cooling)

Serves: 8


  • 60g margarine, plus extra for greasing 
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 125ml milk
  • ¼tsp bicarbonate of soda


  • 150ml double cream
  • 225g dark or milk chocolate, chopped 

Step by Step:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C, gas 4). Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the margarine and caster sugar together using an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the egg until thoroughly combined. 
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Fold into the egg mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. 
  4. Combine 4tbsp of boiling water and the bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl. Lightly fold into the mixture. Pour into the prepared tin.
  5. Bake for 35-40 mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the ganache, heat the cream in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until hot but not boiling. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the hot cream and stir until melted together. Cool until spreadable, then spread over the top and around the sides of the cake using a palette knife. Decorate with a heart candle before serving, if liked.