Flourless Chocolate Cake

There are some people you always associate with certain foods. My mother makes a mean lasagne, my auntie’s strawberry mousse is better than birthday cake and Dad’s beef stroganoff is the best in the business.

For one of my oldest chums the recipe most associated with me (and one she constantly nags me to bake) is a richer than rich chocolate cake. It’s not what I’d call a signature bake – I made it once and she fell in love, but after years of begging (literally) and considering she’d cooked me some delicious dinners I owed her one. 2014-08-26 19.13.25-1There’s no flour in the recipe and the ground almonds set off the rich chocolate flavour without being overpoweringly nutty. It doesn’t need a ganache but my friend did say it added an extra bit of luxury, admitting she missed it this time around. Lesson learned – sometimes, more is more!2014-08-26 22.38.19

  • 160g dark chocolate (70 – 80%)
  • 160g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 160g ground almonds
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated

Grease and line a 23cm cake tin

Preheat the oven to 180C

  1. Break up the chocolate and place it in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water
  2. Allow it to melt slowly, once smooth turn off the heat (but leave the pan there) and drop in the cold butter – let it melt a little bit before you stir then leave to sit until it melts completely before stirring again.2014-08-26 15.59.51
  3. Meanwhile, separate the eggs and whisk the whites until they form soft peaks, add caster sugar and stir until the peaks begin to stiffen.2014-08-26 15.56.20
  4. Stir the butter into the chocolate until smooth and glossy.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate and butter one at a time.
  6. Fold the whisked egg whites and sugar into the chocolate mix, very gently until just incorporated.
  7. Finally fold in the almonds light-handedly, keeping as much air in the mixture as possible.2014-08-26 16.15.49

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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To make a simple chocolate ganache use equal parts chocolate and cream. Chop the chocolate finely, heat the cream until nearly boiling but not quite then pour over the chopped chocolate whisking until smooth. Leave to thicken slightly before using.

2014-08-26 22.38.24Alternatively you could just drown it in cream….2014-08-26 22.42.18

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Date Banana & Walnut Cake

2014-08-30 20.33.04Ever hit that afternoon slump and reached for a chocolate or biscuit? Dates are pretty much the Middle Eastern equivalent to a biscuit with your tea/coffee and have saved me from the biscuit tin on many occasions. They’re also all over the place at the moment as a healthier natural sugar alternative. Healthy is not an adjective I’d use to describe this cake. Despite the bananas and the dates, there are all the usual suspects – butter, eggs, flour. It wouldn’t hurt to have yourself a little slice though; there are worse things for your waistline (hello blondies).

For some light reading with that cuppa check Y Magazine where this recipe featured2014-08-30 20.32.26

 Date Paste:

  • 40g pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp as water

As easy as 1,2,3.

  1. De-stone the dates and soak them in warm water until soft.
  2. Drain and place the dates in a food processor.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. of water and blend until smooth and creamy.

I’ve used this to top yogurt, blended into smoothies, with cheese on crackers – don’t knock it ‘til you try it, it’s fairly versatile and freezes well too.2014-08-30 17.29.55

Banana Date & Walnut Cake:

This recipe originally called for honey but I substituted that for by date paste and reduced the amount of sugar resulting in a toffee like sweetness that isn’t too overpowering.

  • 175g butter
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 75g sugar
  • 3tbsp date paste
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 100 chopped dates
  • 350g bananas (weighed in their skins)
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140 Fan
  2. Grease and line an 18inch cake tin (you could also use a bundt tin)
  3. Take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften while you pit and chop the dates.
  4. Place the eggs, butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and date paste in a large bowl and beat until light and creamy – you’ll be able to see the colour of the batter change and become paler.2014-08-30 17.44.56
  5. Mash the bananas and chop the walnuts.
  6. Add the bananas, dates and walnuts to the creamed mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.2014-08-30 17.54.40
  7. Spoon the mix into a cake tin and level it off, it’ll be quite thick.2014-08-30 18.06.55

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack, it will break easily as it’s so moist so don’t be tempted to move it too soon. 2014-08-30 20.17.42

For the date glaze:

  • 50g butter
  • 2tbsp date paste
  • 2tbsp honey
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  1. Heat all the ingredients except the walnuts in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for about a minute until it has thickened slightly.
  3. Stir in the walnuts and remove from the heat.
  4. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes before pouring over the cake.

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Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee for and cut yourself a slice for all your hard work.

 **Wordpress hasn’t been getting on with the internet here but I seem to have worked around it, fingers crossed**

The Perfect Picnic

In preparation for the beginning of the bake-off and in true British summer style, my friends and I decided to have a picnic. We are all relatively unfussy lovers of all things edible so there was no end of picnic possibilities. There was plenty of hummus, veggie sticks, and ripe plum tomatoes, a tapas picnic of sorts.2014-08-06 19.12.09 There was, however, a centerpiece- the star of the show, a deliciously cheesy, spinach, bacon, mushroom and feta quiche. Quite the mouthful.

The bacon and mushrooms are not part of the original recipe but we decided to go all out and it was no mistake. Some sun dried tomatoes wouldn’t go amiss either.2014-08-06 19.24.06

So, let’s start with mains and perhaps if you keep reading you’ll find a dessert to follow.

  • 100g butter (if you’re using bacon this is not necessary)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 275g frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 100g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 200g mild Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly pepper to taste
  • Shortcrust pastry for a 23cm (9in) dish
  • (I used shop bought for the first time ever! Time was of the essence, use your
  • own recipe or try this one)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml milk

Preheat the oven to 190C

Roll out your pastry enough to cover the pie dish with some overhang, keeping in mind it will shrink as it cooks.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to the frying pan along with a knob of butter, perhaps 20g if you’re a stickler for precision, cook over a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until soft, add the garlic last as it’s most likely to burn.

Let the flavours come together for a couple of minutes over a low heat before adding the mushrooms and spinach.

In the meantime beat the eggs, add the milk, some salt and pepper and beat further to combine.

Check your veg, continue to cook until most of the water has evaporated, then add the crumbled feta and half of the cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mix from the pan into the prepared pastry case then, pour over the milk and egg mixture, allow the two to combine.

Stick it on the oven, removing after the first 15 minutes to sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more, the quiche is done when there’s only a very slight wobble in the middle – like a cheesecake. 2014-08-06 18.39.55

Leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Once we’d had our fill of carrot sticks and quiche it was just about 8 o’clock. Now, no picnic is complete without cake and by the time the bake-off started we had all settled down, cuppa in hand and a slice on our laps. It was the perfect combination of a quintessential apple crumble and bright summer fruits.2014-08-06 20.44.57 Light, in every sense of the word, but not without that dense-ness necessary to hold the berries in place and leave you just satisfied. The perfect way to end the picnic and, considering the theme was cake, start the bake-off!

 Preheat the oven to 180C

Grease and line a loaf tin

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 175g muscovado sugar
  • 175g butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 small eating apple
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g blackberries
  • 125g raspberries

Start by rubbing together the flour, sugar and butter just like you’re making a crumble topping or pastry. Make sure all the butter is rubbed through and you have a sandy texture.

Measure out 5 tbsp. of the flour, butter and sugar mix, into a separate bowl. To those 5 tbsp. add the cinnamon and demerara sugar, leave aside for now.

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Grate your orange zest finely, and the apple down to the core – don’t worry about peeling it.

Beat the eggs and then stir in the zest and grated apple.

Add the teaspoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients followed by the wet egg mixture. Stir with a light hand, gentle but quick, until the mixture is just combined and drops easily from the spoon. 2014-08-04 21.06.59 2014-08-04 21.26.38

Fold in 3/4 of the berries try not to break them.

Spoon the mixture into the tin, level off and place the rest of the berries on top. Finally, scatter the crumble mixture over to cover them.

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Bake for 1hr 15 – 1hr20 mins.

Check after 50 minutes and cover the cake with tinfoil to stop it burning.

When finished a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.

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Et voila!

If you intend to follow suit, you’ve time to whip up both these delicious treats in time for the second episode tomorrow evening.

2014-08-06 20.45.44

2014-08-06 20.53.30

Cinnamon & Black Forest Berry Sponge

Lovely, light and airy this cake would be perfect for summertime picnics especially if you’re tiring of your go-to Victoria sponge. I brought it to a friends’ for dinner and it was a nice light finish to the meal, which was just as well because I’d had a rather generous helping of seconds. It freezes really well and doesn’t lose any moisture or fluffiness, it’s the perfect balance in fact. I made it one day when I had the urge to bake cake and then to save myself from a cake baby belly, froze it for a more appropriate time.

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As you can tell, I hurriedly snapped a couple of pictures before we ate, hence the poor lighting.

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For the sponge:

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 150g wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 100ml cold milk

Prepare a deep 20cm tin and preheat the oven to 180C

Beat the eggs, sugar and syrup until pale and thick, almost meringue like, if in doubt just keep whisking it took me a little while to achieve the right texture.

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Add the milk to the mixture and beat again.

Sift the dry ingredients together and whisk until smooth.

Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes.

If your cake begins to look to brown cover the top with foil for the final ten minutes of baking.

The cake is ready when you stick a toothpick in and a it comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Allow to cool completely on a before doing anything with it, my sponge was quite fragile.

If you’re not a cinnamon fan you could use nutmeg instead or even a teaspoon of each. I think the flavours could easily be played with and changed to compliment whatever fruit you decide to fill it with.

To decorate:

  •  Fresh or frozen fruit and/ or jam

* The original recipe uses blackberries as the fruit but seeing as they are expensive and not in season I went with a frozen black forest mix. I’d recommend fresh if you do intend to bring it do a picnic or event. I think raspberries would add a nice tartness as the sponge is quite sweet.

  • 184ml double cream (one tub)

Whip the cream lightly so it just holds its shape.

Slice the cake in half and fill with the cream and fruit/jam. ImageImage

I also placed some cream and fruit on the top of my cake, alternatively you could dust with icing sugar.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Jaffa Cake

When my friend requested this creation for her birthday I was initially stumped.  I contemplated a dark chocolate orange cake but that’s just cheating. She didn’t ask for a chocolate orange cake, it was specifically a ‘Jaffa Cake’. Challenge accepted. I very much doubted my creative baking abilities at one point but I was very pleased with the way it turned out in the end, as was she (and everyone else at dinner). Needless to say it was surprisingly successful!

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For the sponge:

I altered the original recipe to make one and half times the amount, as I didn’t think the original would be enough to make three sandwiches.

  • 6 eggs
  • 375g butter
  • 375g sugars
  • 375g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-4 tbsp milk

This is Mary Berry’s recipe but my favourite way to do sponge is to weigh 4 eggs (6 in this case) and then add equal amounts butter sugar and flour.  It never fails!

Weigh out the flour and sieve it into a bowl (do this first so you don’t forget later)

Beat the butter until very creamy and fluffy in texture.

Add the sugar and beat until very pale, and again fluffy, mine was pretty much white.

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Add the eggs a tablespoon at a time.

When you get down to the last two spoonfuls of egg add a tablespoon of flour with each to prevent the mix curdling.

**The mix probably will curdle, it often happens to me, just truck on and perhaps add a little extra flour – the cake always turns out lovely anyway**

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I know you’ve sieved it once already but sieveing the flour again, holding it high over the bowl will keep your sponge light and airy.

Fold in the sieved flour and a pinch of salt.

Add milk as necessary until the mixture drops heavily off a spoon, it’ll be quite thick.Image

Spoon into three tins (or 2/3 into one tin and 1/3 into another, bearing in mind the smaller one will need to come out earlier)

Bake at 180C for 30-40  mins (until golden brown and springy to touch)

Once cooked leave to cool completely. You can prepare the sponges the day before and wrap them up to finish later, I’d recommend this because they won’t be as fragile.

 Orange curd:

For your curd I would recommend using really tangy oranges. Too sweet and the curd will just be sickly, I’d also add the juice of a lemon to be safe. You want the zingy curd to contrast nicely against the bitter dark chocolate: Image

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 225g butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 3 oranges zest & juice
  • Juice of one lemon

Heat the orange juice, zest and sugar over a pan of barely simmering water stirring continually with for about 10 minutes.

Add the butter and whisk until it melts, let it sit for ten minutes, stirring regularly until it thickens.

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If it seems to take too long just be patient. If your patience really is waning and your arm is starting to ache, add a little cornflour and persist!Image

I made two lots of curd, experimenting with two different recipes. This first one was quite buttery so if you’d like something lighter this recipe by Nigel Slater is one I really like.

  •  3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • Zest and juice of 4 oranges
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g butter

As before, heat the orange juice, zest and sugar over a pan of barely simmering water stirring continually with a whisk for about 10 minutes.

Add the butter and whisk until it melts, let it sit for ten minutes, whisking regularly until it thickens.

It should feel the consistency of custard, heavy on the whisk.Image

Using a whisk rather than a wooden spoon helps maintain the light texture of this curd.

Orange mascarpone cream:

This was slightly experimental, feel free to play around with it yourselves.

  • 125g mascarpone
  • 25g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 – 4 tbsp orange curd
  • juice of 1 orange

As easy as 1,2,3:

Cream the butter

Add the mascarpone and icing sugar a bit at a time.

Add the juice and curd to taste.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 284ml carton double cream
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar

 I added the treacle to give the ganache a little depth. It worked quite well if I do say so myself!

Chop the chocolate and add the treacle to a large bowl

Heat the cream and sugar to boiling point.

Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and glossy.

Allow to cool otherwise it will be too runny to pour over the cake.

Once it has cooled slightly pour it onto the cake and allow it to drip slightly, then cover up the sides and let it thicken. Touch up as necessary.

Orange Jelly:

I used a pack of Hartley’s orange jelly, follow the instructions on the back but use slightly less water, about 200ml less so that it sets quite thick with a strong orange flavour. Allow it to set in a shallow dish because you just want a thin disc of it for ‘jaffa cake’ authenticity.

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Assembling the cake:

 So, you’ve made all your bits and bobs and here’s the fun bit. Getting it all together.

Start with the sponges.

Spread the bottom of one with the mascarpone cream and place the other on top.Image

Spread a third of the orange curd over the second sponge. Image

Cut a circle in the middle of the third sponge and place it on top.Image

Fill the cut out circle with the rest of the orange curd.

Place a disc (or bits of jelly enough to cover the curd and fill the cut out) of jelly on top of the curd. The jelly disc also stops the chocolate ganache from sticking to the curd and making a mess, clever.

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Once your ganache has cooled slightly pour it over the cake. Image

Let it thicken again before adding slightly more to the top and neatening up the sides.

To decorate grate some candied orange peel over the top and admire your handiwork.

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I was amazed that this actually worked, and it did, there were a lot of ‘I can’t believe this actually tastes like a jaffa cake!’ comments so I was quite pleased all the hard work paid off!

Snickers Birthday Cake

I’d like to describe it as ‘decadent’ but that’s such an adult word.  This cake is not mature, there’s enough sugar in it to kill a small child.  However, it’s rich and fudgy and tastes just like a snickers bar. Winner.

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The chocolate cake recipe is the same as the one I used for the peanut butter cake but this time I replaced the buttermilk with sour cream. The filling and frosting was where the real fun came in. A snickers bar – layers of chocolate, nougat, peanuts and caramel, delicious combinations but how could I make them work as a cake? I decided against a caramel or vanilla flavoured sponge, birthdays are all about chocolate cake and Snickers is a chocolate bar after all.  So, starting with the sponge:

Chocolate cake:

  • 200g chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp. instant coffee in 125ml cold water
  • 80g self raising flour
  • 80g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 5tbsp sour cream (75ml)

Preheat the oven to 140 C (160 gas)

Grease and line a 20cm cake tin

Put the butter and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, add the coffee and heat gently, stirring once or twice to check it’s all melted and heated through.

Weight your dry ingredients into a separate bowl and get rid of any lumps with your hands, or a fork.

Whisk the eggs and sour cream together.

Add the eggs and melted chocolate to your dry ingredients and mix well until you have a smooth silky batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 25 – 30 mins

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Once the cake is cooked leave it to cool in the tin before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. I wrapped mine up and left it overnight before I put the whole thing together.

Fillings & Decoration:

The peanut butter frosting I made in the last post had been an experiment for this cake. I’m glad I did experiment because it led me to trawl the Internet for something even better and I came across this recipe for peanut nougat. She’s hit the nail on the head. Genius. The peanut nougat filling tastes EXACTLY like a snickers bar and I’ m about to share it with you now:

Peanut nougat:

  • 60g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml evaporated milk
  • 120g cups marshmallow fluff
  • 125g peanut putter
  • 160 – 200g chopped peanuts

Marshmallow fluff is the strangest thing I’ve ever come across, but its what makes the nougat-y texture.

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Melt the butter in a saucepan

Add the sugar and milk, dissolve and bring to the boil

Turn down the heat and leave for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally

Add the fluff, peanut butter and vanilla essence

Stir until you have a smooth consistency

Fold in your chopped peanuts and leave to cool at room temperatureImage

Caramel:

 You can make your own or just use a tin of Carnation (or any other caramel)

  •  100g sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 x 397 cans of condensed milk
  • 150g chopped peanuts

Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved

Add the condensed milk and stir continually until the sauce begins to darken, allow it to thicken but not too much as it’ll get more toffee like as it cools.

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Add your chopped peanuts and mix them in well

Tip: I also tried this caramel with leftover evaporated milk but didn’t really like the tangy taste, I think it’d be delicious made with cream. Caramel experiments will definitely be popping up here in future.

Chocolate ganache:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

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Chop the chocolate finely and place in a bowl

Heat the sugar and milk until barely simmering

Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth silky consistency

I’d use this immediately before it starts to firm up too much.

Peanut Brittle

This was so unexpectedly delicious, I think it’s probably my favourite bit of the whole cake.

  •  100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100g chopped peanuts

I followed the same idea as in the butterscotch banana cake. Heat the sugar and water until it turns a reddish brown, watch it like a hawk as sugar is infamously easy to burn.

Don’t worry if it goes crusty but whatever you do, DO NOT stir it. Swirl the pan if you like but never stir. Image

Once you have your caramel a nice dark colour take it off the heat, add your chopped peanuts and stir.

Pour onto a piece of baking paper and flatten out.

Leave to cool before smashing into little pieces to scatter over the top of the cake.

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Tip: You could make this brittle with absolutely any type of nuts, scatter it on tray bakes or cakes for decoration or mix it into brownie batter.

Assembling the cake:

Cut the chocolate sponge horizontally into three.

You might need to warm the nougat filling to spread it, I found it did stick to the cake and was quite tricky to get an even layer without lifting the sponge. Much easier when it was slightly softer.

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Pour a layer of peanut caramel over the layer of nougat.

Place the second layer of the cake on the caramel.

Repeat, covering it with nougat and then caramel.

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Place the final layer on top.

Make your ganache and spread evenly over the top and round the sides.

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Scatter or ‘sprinkle’ (for want of a better word. I’m not the type of person who sprinkles anything.) your peanut brittle over the top of the fully covered cake.

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Finally, you’re all done! If, like me, you feel a very sugar induced kind of sick after so much taste testing then pawn the cake off on some poor unsuspecting friend or family member.  They’ll probably thank you for it, until they suddenly developed type 2 diabetes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

If you suffer from Arachibutyrophobia  (the phobia of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth) I’d steer clear of this cake. I didn’t leave it long enough to cool so it was a bit like a brownie when we tried it. It was a chocolate peanut butter goo mess and quite a (delicious) mouthful. Once the cake cooled and the icing set it was less of a fudgy goo monster and was actually even more delicious. More cake, less brownie.

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I myself was not a big fan of the peanut butter icing.  It was experimental and I ended up using a whole jar of peanut butter…this cake is most definitely not going to make friends with your waistline. That aside, it went down a treat with everyone who tried it even though I’d been a little bit unsure.

 For the cake:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 125 ml cold water
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)**

**I had no buttermilk and made my own by adding 150ml of normal milk to 1tbsp of lemon juice. Let it sit and thicken for 5 minutes fore using.

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Preheat the oven to 140C (160C gas)

Break the chocolate into a saucepan, add the butter and begin to melt over a low heat.

Mix 1tbsp of coffee granules into the 125ml of cold water and add to the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally.

While that melts weigh out all your dry ingredients and place them in a bowl.

Using your hands, or a fork, go through the mix to make sure there are no lumps. Muscovodao sugar is notoriously lumpy especially if it’s old so be thorough.

In a separate bowl beat your eggs

Add the buttermilk to the eggs and beat until combined.

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Pour the chocolate mixture, and the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.

Stir the cake mix until it turns from lumpy into smooth and silky.Image

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 25  – 1hr 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.

Don’t worry if the cake cracks or sinks a bit – you’ll most likely be covering it in icing or a ganache anyway.

Leave to cool in the tin before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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 For the peanut butter icing:

Peanut butter lovers will love this.  I was concerned about it being too sweet which is why I didn’t add as much sugar as you normally do to buttercream, so it’s quite dense too but it goes well with the dark chocolaty-ness and fudgy texture of the cake.

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  •  1 jar peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp cream cheese
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • Milk enough to smooth things out (to your liking)
  • A pinch of salt

Blend the peanut butter, butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy Add a little bit of milk and mix again before adding the icing sugar.

Again, mix until nice and creamy adding enough milk to get things looking nice and smooth.

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Essentially this is peanut butter made even unhealthier. I don’t buy that peanut butter is a healthy option, sorry to offend all you health food PB lovers but it’s just not.Image

Learn from my mistake and leave your cake to cool plenty before attempting to cut it if you want to ice the middle too! You’ll also be able to spread the icing better over the top without it falling into the middle when you cut it.

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Original recipe for the cake comes from the BBC Good Food website, which I use almost daily: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3092/ultimate-chocolate-cake