Heat the oven to 325F. Grease and line an 8-9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together the hot water and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the remaining wet ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk in a circular motion from the centre of the bowl, moving outwards to combine. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, put all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water to melt, and stir. Move the cake to a serving plate and drizzle the chocolate icing over it. If you like, decorate with flowers from the garden.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Cooling and decorating time: 2 hours
Instead of flowers, you could add some raspberries to the cake and arrange a few on top for decoration.
A great cake for a children's party if you don't want your house terrorized by children high on sugar and food coloring. It is vegan, but they'll never know it.
It also looks ravishing decorated with flowers from the garden.
Reprinted with permission from LEON: Baking and Desserts, by Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby, puboshed by Conran Octopus
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