I was in the mood for something sweet and chocolatey but easy to make, so my instant thought was a traybake...
I call this 'milk chocolate traybake' because I've tried to keep the chocolate flavour as sweet as milk chocolate itself, instead of the dark bitter-sweet flavour of dark chocolate. To do this I added a small amount of cocoa powder to the batter alongside actual melted milk chocolate. I've always wanted to experiment with using real chocolate to get a chocolate flavour in a cake and it worked quite well :).
Here's the recipe:
200g/ 8oz caster sugar
200g/ 8oz margarine
175g/ 8oz self-raising flour
25g/1oz cocoa powder
100g/4oz milk chocolate (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g/ 4oz unsalted butter (soft)
200g/8oz icing sugar
100g/4oz milk chocolate (melted and cooled to room temperature)
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas4/350F and grease and line a 30 x 20 cm/ 12 x 8 inch traybake tray. Cream the margarine, caster sugar and vanilla extract together, until light and creamy.
3) Add one beaten egg and a few tablespoons of the cocoa-flour to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix until well incorporated. Repeat this until all the eggs and flour have been used up. Fold in the melted chocolate evenly.
4) Spoon the cake batter into the tray and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the sponge is springy to the touch. After a few minutes turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
5) Make the buttercream: Place the butter and melted chocolate in a mixing bowl. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, mixing until well incorporated after each addition. The more you mix the butter cream, the lighter and smoother it will become. When you're happy with your butter cream, spread it onto the cake and decorate however you wish. I went for the childish look and sprinkled mine with hundreds and thousands, however I thought I'd add a hint of sophistication with grated white chocolate ;). Allow to set for an hour or so before cutting into squares.