• 125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400 g (13 oz) icing sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 150–175 ml (5–6 fl oz) boiling water
  • 200 g (7 oz) desiccated coconut

Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until incorporated. Sift in the flour and salt and fold into the creamed mixture with the milk and vanilla. Alternatively, beat all the cake ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to an oiled and base-lined 18 x 25 cm (7 x 10 inch) cake tin. Spread the surface level with a palette knife and bake in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 25–30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then loosen the edges, turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Leave out overnight.

Make the icing. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, make a well in the centre and beat in the boiling water to make a smooth chocolate icing with a pouring consistency.

Cut the cooled cake into 24 pieces. Use 2 forks to dip each cake into the icing and then immediately coat with the coconut all over. Leave to set on baking paper.

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