Posts Tagged ‘chocolate cake’

One of Izzy’s teachers at nursery asked me if I would make her sisters 21st cake. I was flattered to be asked but nervous as well as I would hate to disappoint. I can follow a recipe and do basic icing but that’s about it. But I gave it my best shot and had fun doing it!! Of course every cake should be accompanied by some matching cupcakes! Izzy also had a lot of fun licking the spoons…..

For inspiration I turned to the trusty WI – who better to turn to for fail safe recipes?

Chocolate Fudge Cake (courtesy of Liz Herbert – Cakes Women’s Institute)


80g dark chocolate

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

175g soft butter or soft margarine

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g soft light brown sugar

3 eggs, separated

175g self-raising flour

For the chocolate fudge icing :-

225g plain chocolate

8 Tbsp double cream

225g icing sugar, sifted

2-3 Tbsp recently boiled water

Grease and base line two 18cm sandwich tins (I doubled the recipe and used 24cm tins). Preheat the oven to 180C.

Place the chocolate cocoa powder, butter or margarine and vanilla extract in a bowl and melt over a pan of hot water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly.

Cream together the sugar and egg yolks until light and creamy. Fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the flour.

Stiffly whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold one Tbsp into the cake mixture to loosen and then add to the remainder.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins. Smooth the surface, leaving a small hollow in the centre of each. Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the icing, melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the icing sugar. If the mixture becomes too stiff, add enough hot water to make it a spreadable consistency.

Use a third of the chocolate fudge icing to sandwich the cakes together. Smooth the remainder over the top and sides.

The best place to lick a spoon is in the bath!

Mmmm...Chocolate Fudge Cake

More spoon licking! What a mess!

I must have made hundreds of these vanilla cupcakes – so easy and with different cases, decorations and colourings they can be different each time but just as delicious! I have given the recipe before so just click on this link if you want to give them a go.

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Well it’s Friday night at last! For some reason the work days are dragging by at the moment and I am sooo thankful that the weekend is finally here.

The good news is that the cake was a success at James’ work – despite my hiccups in the preparation. Very pleased indeed!



The recipe is as follows:-

Brooklyn Blackout Cake (courtesy, once again, of The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)


100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

260g caster sugar

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

45g cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

170g plain flour

160ml whole milk

Chocolate custard

500g caster sugar

1 tablespoon golden syrup

125g cocoa powder

200g cornflour

85g unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Three 20cm cake tins, base lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.  Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed. Add half the flour, then all the milk, and finish with the remaining flour. Mix well until everything is well combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins (I ended up using only 2 tins as not sure what the exact size of my tins are so next time will make 1 1/2 times the recipe) and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the chocolate custard:-

Put the sugar, golden syrup, cocoa powder and 600 ml water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking occasionally.

Mix the cornflour with 120ml water*, then whisk into the cocoa mixture in the sauepan. Bring back to the boil, whisking constantly. Cook until very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour the custard into a  bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill until very firm.

When the cakes are cold, using a serrated knife, slice a thin layer off of one of the cakes. Put this layer in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Put one cake on a cake stand and spread about one quarter of the chocolate custard over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the custard over it. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining custard over the top and sides.

Cover with cake crumbs and chill for about 2 hours.

* This is where I went wrong. After doing an internet search I found this issued by the publisher – www.rylandpeters.com/content/uk_content/hummingbird_tips.pdf

Looks like there were some negative reviews on this recipe surrounding the cornflour/water combination. These tips say to add up to 250ml water if required (original recipe says 120ml) in order to make a lump free paste!!

So there we go, down side is that just looking at this cake will add 5 pounds. I really wish I could say it was fat free – if I could I would be a zillionaire!!I think I may have gained 10 pounds just licking my finger!! Definitely one for choc lovers.

Grand Designs

At lunchtime today I headed up to the New Designers show at the Business & Design show in Islington. My very talented sister is a student at London Met and was selected very early on to be an exhibitor. I am not just saying this because I am biaised but she is so creative and clever. The 2 items being exhibited are amazing.I am so proud of her 🙂

The Vessel table




The Hair (yes, human hair) Chair



This chair needs to be seen close up as is beautifully woven.

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