The halva flapjacks I made recently left me with half a tin of condensed milk to use up, and the recipe thread on Dan Lepard's forum suggested this Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake as one of the uses for such leftovers. It was a reminder, really, as I have made this cake once before, way back before this blog started.
The problem this time was the butter in the recipe, but as this was a slightly unusual method which didn't rely on creaming the butter and sugar together, I decided it was time to take the plunge and see if substituting oil for butter would work. I think, although a trawl through all the recipes using oil might prove me wrong, that this is the first time I've made a substitution, rather than choosing recipes which use oil right from the start! I used 80g of oil instead of 100g of butter, as butter is usually just over 80% fat. After re-reading the discussion about this cake, I also decided to reduce the raising agent a little, by using 100g plain flour and 50g SR flour, instead of all SR flour.
The cake was light and moist, but I felt there was something wrong with the flavour. The overwhelming flavour and smell was cocoa, which strangely, tasted raw too! I don't remember complaining of this the first time I baked it, so either the lack of butter, or reducing the raising agent, may have affected the balance of flavours. It's a shame as I was very happy with the texture of the cake, and pleased that using oil hadn't seemed to have an adverse effect. Back to the drawing board!