- Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23x33cm (9x13 in) baking tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Once smooth, add the flour and milk alternately, stirring till a smooth. Stir in the currants or sultanas. Finally, dissolve the bicarb in a spoonful of boiling water from the kettle, then add to the cake mixture. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Once cool, cut cake into slices and serve.
Use whatever you have in the cupboard! Instead of currants you could use chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or a combination.
You can bake in a smaller cake tin for a less shallow cake; simply fill the tin no more that 2/3 full and adjust baking time as needed.
If you don't have soured milk, make your own by adding 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.