Italian Chocolate Fridge Cake

I can’t resist including this old favourite, not least because it is the perfect cake for children to make: it’s very easy to prepare, and absolutely scrumptious. This recipe is adapted from George and Cecilia Scur-field’s Home-Made Cakes and Biscuits (Faber, 1963, republished in paperback by Serif at £5.99). Be warned that raw eggs are used in the recipe.

6oz (170g) butter, softened

6oz (170g) cocoa powder

6oz (170g) ground almonds

6oz (170g) caster sugar

1 oz (15ml) strong, brewed coffee legg

1 egg yolk

6oz (170g) petit beurre biscuits

Beat the butter with the cocoa and the ground almonds. Over a low heat, slowly melt the sugar in the coffee. Let it cool, and beat it into the butter mixture with the forked-up egg and egg yolk. Break the biscuits roughly into small pieces and fold them in.

Lightly oil an oblong or square tin – a bread tin is a good shape – and preis the mixture down into it. Leave it in the fridge overnight. Turn it out and cut it into squares. Lovely with raspberries and cream.

Serves 6-8.

Arrange the slices in a single layer on 4 plates; white is best, so that you can appreciate the ruby translucence of the meat.

Put the salsa ingredients into the food processor and whiz them just enough to make a lovely, thick sauce.

Trickle a thread of oil over the meat and finish each plate with a few salad leaves, a spoonful of sauce and a lemon quarter.


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