- 225 g cake flour
- 350 g caster sugar
- 85 g good-quality cocoa
- 1½ t baking powder
- 1½ t bicarbonate of soda
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 T basil, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
- For the cream cheese icing:
- 2 cups cream cheese
- 4 T icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place all the ingredients for the cake, except the water, in a large bowl. Mix using an electric mixer to make a thin batter. Slowly mix in the water by hand.
Pour the batter into a 20 cm x 10 cm greased baking tin and bake for 25–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the tin slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack.
To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar for 1 minute using an electric hand-mixer.
Halve the cooled cake horizontally to make 2 even layers. Place a large spoonful of icing in the centre of one of the layers and carefully spread outwards using a palette knife.
Sandwich the iced cake with the remaining layer, pushing down gently to secure. Dip the palette knife into hot water and dry before smoothing the remaining icing around the sides of the cake. Decorate the cake with basil leaves.