Chocolate cake recipe… and colour inspiration

OK, I’ve had a couple of requests for the chocolate cake recipe from my last post. I’ll type it up in a minute. First, a moment of inspiration…..

I love colour. It’s fascinating. I particularly love colour in the natural world, because as I’ve repeatedย ad nauseum, Mother Nature is surely the very best designer.

But sometimes, the juxtaposition of ordinary objects can be inspiring.

The other day, I was emptying the dishwasher. (I know, I know: could my life possibly be any more glamorous?) I’d nearly finished. There were just a few dishes on the upper tray, and they looked like this:-


And I thought, wow. Imagine a jumper. Or maybe a throw. Mostly rich dark grey. Quite fine yarn, pure wool, maybe four-ply. But with stripes at the bottom, maybe 1.5 inches wide, just one of each in those colours. It could work. Maybe?

But you need some cake, yes? OK, here, from memory, is my chocolate cake recipe. It is a heavily modified version of one I found online a couple of years ago. North American readers can – I think – buy buttermilk rather than faffing around with adding vinegar to ordinary milk.

The Twisted Yarn Chocolateย Overdose

Ingredients (of which there are many, but don’t worry, this cake is easy)

200g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids. Yum. Try not to eat it before it hits the mixing bowl.

200g unsalted butter

125ml water (the only healthy thing in this cake)

75ml milk

a few drips of white vinegar

85g plain flour

85g self-raising flour

25g cocoa powder

half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

200g light muscovado sugar

175g caster sugar (yes this cake is seriously sweet)

3 large eggs

half teaspoon of almond essence

Line a 20-cm cake tin. Set oven to 140*c (fan oven) or 160*c (conventional oven).

Put the chocolate, butter, and water in a small pan and set over a very low heat. Stir occasionally until you have a molten, chocolatey mush.

Meanwhile, add the vinegar to the milk and set aside.

Mix the flours, sugars, cocoa powder, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Add almond essence.

Beat the three eggs.

Combine all the ingredients. Beat them briefly. Sling them in the cake tin and pop the cake in the oven. Bake for approximately 90 minutes. It’s done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Fend off any passing children or husbands.Image



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25 Responses to Chocolate cake recipe… and colour inspiration

  1. Knitting and chocolate cake. What could be better? Yum!

  2. Fantastic, will make the cake this weekend and let you know, thanks for posting x Think the three colours from the dishwasher will make a beautiful jumper, the colours are muted and blend well I feel. Look forward to seeing this new creation x

  3. Oh yum ! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I LOVE that emptying the dishwasher brought to mind thoughts about yarn and colors. It looks quite pretty in my imagination. I know I’m going to enjoy this blog just from that sentence (:

  5. SueL

    Lovely – thanks for this. You can get buttermilk here now – supermarkets sell it.

  6. That cake looks so good I’m having a hard time not licking my computer screen!

    Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply comes in almost exactly your dish colours (gold, magenta and teal) and is an absolute delight to knit with. It’d make a gorgeous striped cardigan…

  7. Ahh, what a shame I don’t like chocolate cake!! Bet you never knew there might ever be such a person!! But I do love the colours of your little dishes, reminds me of the colour of the landscape in Scotland in October. Beautiful.

    • Yes, the colours are a tiny bit like a heathery landscape, only bolder.

      But let me get this straight…. You Don’t Like Chocolate Cake?????

      • Nope, really don’t like it. I hate brownies too, not keen on chocolate ice cream at all and let’s just say that chocolate chip cookies aren’t my favourite! Let me put it to you another way… I got a chocolate orange in my Christmas stocking, 20 pieces, it’s now 29th Jan and I still have six pieces left!! But I do like chocolate, really I do!!

      • Wow. Well if you’re ever looking for a home for the rest of that chocolate orange… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. nicolaknits

    Hi, thanks for “liking” some of my blog posts at I came over here to take a look and love what you’re writing about (knitting, crochet, parenting, chocolate cake!!!) so have clicked on “follow.” Best wishes, Nicola

  9. Love those dishes— the colours are gorgeous. I also love the way your inspiration makes it’s journey through your creative mind. That brought a huge smile to my face. And thanks so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  10. Thank you soooo much for sharing the recipe ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Love the color combo! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

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