- 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
- 225g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 150g golden syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 100g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), melted – see chef’s tip
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 25g good-quality cocoa powder
- 250ml boiling water
- 250g icing sugar
- A few drops of pink food colouring
- Sugared rose petals
- 01.Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin.
- 02.In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the golden syrup, vanilla bean paste and melted chocolate, beating well.
- 03.Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into another mixing bowl. Add a third of this dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat well. Pour in half the boiling water, then half the remaining dry mixture and beat again. Add the remaining water, then the remaining dry mixture. Beat well.
- 04.Carefully pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½ and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the cake comes out almost clean. Don’t worry if it’s a bit sticky – it will continue to cook as it cools. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, then transfer to a serving plate.
- 05.To decorate, mix the icing sugar with enough cold water to form a thick, spreadable paste, then mix in the colouring. Spread over the cooled cake, then decorate with the petals.