MAKES 20cm / 8inch cake
COOKING TIME 35 minutes


150ml/5floz/scant 2/3 cup sunflower
175g/6oz/scant 1 1/2 cups self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g/5 1/2 oz/heaped 2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml/5fl oz/scant 2/3 cup milk


1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g/3 1/2oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken into small pieces
150g/5 1/2oz very soft butter
375g/13oz/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
4-5 tbsp raspberry or apricot jam
your choice of cake decorations, sprinkles or candles (as elaborate as you wish)


1) Preheat the oven to 160c/315f/gas 3-2. Grease two 20cm/8in cake tins with oil and lightly dust wth flour. 

2) Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbodate of soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl or food processor. Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat well to give a smooth, thick matter consistency. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until just firm to touch. 

3) Leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If you are planning a party, the cake will keep moist for a couple of days in an airtight container, either iced or plain.)

4) To make the icing, dissolve the cocoa powder in a 3 tbsp boiling water and leave to one side. Put the chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl. Rest the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. (Or melt the chooclate gently in the microwave.)

5) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and salt, using an electric mixer, until well combined, then add the melted chooclate and the cocoa powder. Beat for a few minutes until thick and creamy. 

6) Sandwich the cake together with the jam, then spread the chocolate fudge icing over the top and sides of the cake. Finish with any decorations and enjoy. 

Extracted from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt text © (2013), published by Duncan Baird Publishers, London (£20 Hardback). From Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt  © Commissioned Photography © Gareth Morgans/ Duncan Baird Publishers 2013

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