This is a lovely and soft cake that is also great to make muffins from. It's great for a chocolate fix if you're lactose intolerant and can't have real chocolate! It took a couple of trial and errors to perfect the recipe (it's an adaptation of my apple and cinnamon muffin recipe) but it's now most delicious and my housemates love it! The cake/muffins will keep well for 3-4 days after baking, though will go stale after this. Happy baking!
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line 2 small or 1 large cake tin with baking paper (or grease with lactose-free margarine such as Nuttelex). Alternatively grease 12 standard muffin pans or line the pans with patty cases and raise the temperature of the oven by 10 degrees to 190.
Sift the plain flour and baking powder together. Stir through the salt and cocoa powder. Sift the flour mixture several times before placing in a large bowl. Stir through the caster sugar and brown sugar. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
Lightly whisk the eggs with the vanilla essence. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Add the vegetable oil in a slow stream and whisk into the egg mixture as you go.
Pour the egg mixture into the well of flour mixture in a slow stream, stirring to combine as you go using a metal spoon. Stir the mixture until just combined (do not be tempted to overbeat the mix as it will toughen the muffins) then quickly stir through the mixed berries.
FOR CAKE: Pour the mixture into the cake tin/s and spread evenly across the tin/s. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
FOR MUFFINS: Spoon gently into muffin pans, filling each to approximately 3/4 full. The mix should make approximately 12 large or 18 small muffins. Bake in the oven for 15-20minutes, or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave in the pan for 5 minutes to cool after removing from the oven, then remove cake/muffins from the tin/s and turn out onto wire racks. This is delicious served warm or alternatively allowing the cake to cool completely before icing.
FOR ICING: sift the icing sugar and cocoa together until evenly combined. Place into a heat proof bowl. Heat the milk or water then stir into the icing mixture gradually until a thick paste is formed. Place the icing mixture (already in a heat proof bowl) over a small amount of simmering water and stir until smooth and glossy. Quickly pour over the cake (or dip in the muffins) then sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the cake (or dip in the muffins) to finish. ENJOY!
If you're not lactose intolerant you can still make this recipe using normal milk and it's really nice if you add some chocolate chips - usually 1/2 to 1 cup (depending on how chocolatey you like things)
Great recipe, would never know it is lactose free. Love that you can mix it without getting the electric mixer out, it's quick and easy and tasty. I made the cupcakes with raspberry and blueberries - yum. Thanks chorazy! - 22 Nov 2013
I love this cake, it's moist, rich,keeps very well and freezes well. I've recently been diagnosed as lactose intolerant, and this cake has become my new treat, no one even knows it's lactose free when I give them a slice, it's a crowd pleaser. - 28 May 2013