Ultimate chocolate cake

Heat the oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep).

Put the dark chocolate in a medium pan with the butter. Mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Mix the self-raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, light muscovado sugar and golden caster sugar with the cocoa powder and squash out any lumps. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk.

Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir everything to a smooth, quite runny consistency.

Pour this into the tin and bake for 1hr 25 – 1hr 30 mins. If you push a skewer into the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut the cold cake horizontally into three.

To make the ganache, put the dark chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan, add the golden caster sugar and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool until it is a little thicker but still pourable.

Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smooth over any gaps with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

Start by using unsaturated oils like rapeseed and sunflower instead of saturated fats like butter and coconut. Not only does this lower the amount of saturated fat in your bake, but it gives a lighter, moister texture. If you choose a baking spread to replace butter, which allows you to simply swap butter for spread, check labels for trans fats. These hydrogenated fats should be avoided where possible.

Opt for wholegrain flour instead of white. While this may give a denser texture, the health benefits will be far greater. Wholemeal flour will increase the fibre content and make your cake feel more filling.​It also provides a lovely, slightly nutty, flavour.

Think fruit and veg have no place in a cake? Think again. They can add fibre and sweetness. Plus, fruit is a great way to keep your baking moist. Sweet vegetables such as carrots and beetroot, or fruit like apples and berries can also mean you don’t need to add as much sugar. Try this healthy banana bread recipe next time you’re in the kitchen

To finish your cake off, use a drizzle of glacé icing rather than butter icing. A light sprinkle of icing sugar can give the final touch cut out stencils from greaseproof paper for a more professional finish. Knowing that you’ve produced a healthier version of a teatime treat will be the icing on the cake. You could also use a low-fat cheese topping such as quark see our lighter carrot cake recipe for full instructions.

Whether it’s the slice of toast in the morning, or the lunchtime sarnie, most of us eat more bread than any other baked product. If you pick your bread off the supermarket shelf without checking the label, your loaf could be hiding a lot more salt than you’d think as the amount of salt in shop-bought bread can vary widely.