Step 1: Preheat the oven to 170 C (150 C fan oven, 325 F, gas 3). Grease and line an 18cm (7inch) square cake tin. Break up the Extra Dark Chocolate and put in a saucepan with the butter, dark brown sugar and treacle and place over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Sift the flour and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg and gradually pour in the melted mixture, carefully mixing together to make a smooth, thick batter.
Step 3: Pour into the tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes until slightly risen and just firm to the touch – a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean when the cake is cooked. Leave to cool completely in the tin. The cake may sink slightly on cooling.
Step 4: To decorate, melt the Extra Dark Chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Trace 10 tombstone shapes on to a sheet of baking parchment – each approx. 3 x 6cm (1 ¼ x 2 ¼ inch). Lay the sheet on a chopping board, trace-side down.
Step 5: Spoon the melted chocolate into a small, uncut piping bag. Snip off the end and pipe round the edge of each tombstone shape. Fill the centre with the remaining chocolate, piping from side to side to fill the space, then tap the board gently on the work surface to smooth. Leave in a cool place to set.
Step 6: Melt the White Chocolate as above in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Spoon into a small, uncut piping bag. Snip off a tiny piece from the end of the bag and pipe “RIP” on to each tombstone. Leave in a cool place to set.
Step 7: Meanwhile, remove the cake from the tin, and peel away the lining paper. Slice a thin layer from the top of the cake to make a flat, even surface. Make the trimmings into crumbs, and mix with half of the jar of Chocolatey Strands. Cut the cake into 10 bars, then arrange the bars, cut side up, on a wire rack over a tray.
Step 8: Divide the Regal Ice into 10 pieces, and mould each piece into a tiny hand shape. Lay the hands on a plate lined with baking parchment and brush each one with the Cocoa Powder so that they look like they are dirty with earth.
Step 9: Prepare the Easy Ice as directed on the packs. Using one sachet at a time, snip off the corner and squeeze out over the top of a bar to cover the top generously, allowing the Easy Ice to drip down the sides. Continue icing the rest of the bars, using up each sachet of Easy Ice in turn. Leave for a few minutes to stop dripping and set lightly.
Step 10: Carefully peel the chocolate tombstones from the parchment and gently push one into the top of each cake bar. Sprinkle the iced tops with the crumb mixture to resemble freshly turned earth. Sprinkle with more Chocolatey Strands if liked.
Step 11: To serve, pop a little hand on top, and bury it slightly in the cake crumbs. Your spooky cake bars are now ready to serve and enjoy!
This cake keeps well and improves with keeping. If you have time, make it up to 2 days before icing and serving. Just cool, wrap well and store; the flavour and texture will develop further during storing.
|Per Serving||Per 100 g / ml|
|Fat||17.48 g||14.45 g|
|Carbohydrate||68.31 g||56.45 g|
|Protein||4.87 g||4.03 g|