When I want to make something that’s quick and chocolatey, I usually fall back on chocolate brownies. The best brownies I’ve ever had were made by an American friend. I’ve adapted the recipe she gave me slightly, but I have to say although mine are usually dense and delicious, they have never been quite as fudgy as Gina’s – I blame my oven!
- Melt 2oz butter, 100g bar 85% chocolate and 6oz muscovado sugar in a large saucepan.
- Take off the heat to cool slightly.
- Beat in 2 duck eggs and ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Stir in 2½ oz wholemeal flour and ¼ tsp salt
- Chop 2oz walnuts and add these to the mixture
- Bake in a greased 8-inch square tin for about 20 mins at 175°C.
- Cool then cut into 16 pieces
Another birthday, another new cake. This one, from Nigella, has been calling to me for years, but it’s only now that I have finally got around to it and then made two in two days. I didn’t think I was going to get a chance to try this one, so cunningily, I made a trial version without the icing so we could get to see what it was like. Am I glad I did!
- Melted 100g butter with 100g 85% dark chocolate
- Whisked 4 duck eggs with 175g brown sugar until thick and mousy
- Folded in 50g white spelt flour + 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Folded in the cooled chocolate mixture
- Poured into 22 cm round cake tin and baked in a preheated oven, 180°C (gas 4) for 30 mins.
- Cooled on rack for 5 mins
- Spooned 9 tsp of Marsala over as much cake as possible & left to cool in tin
- Melted 100g 70% dark chocolate with 100ml double cream and 1 tbsp Marsala
- Whisked until thick enough to use as icing
- Poured this over cooled cake.
Mother’s Day! Another opportunity to try out a new cake. A friend had posted a comment a few weeks ago giving a recipe for a flourless and what looked to be a rather rich and delicious cake which had come via way of her aunt. I have to say I was rather looking forward to giving this one a go.
- Melted 200g dark chocolate (100g 70% +100g 85%) in a bowl over hot water.
- Creamed 200g of unsalted butter with 150g light muscovado sugar (the less said about this the better).
- Mixed in 4 egg yolks and 200g ground almonds.
- Added chocolate.
- Beat egg whites with a 1/4 tsp salt until firm then fold into the cake mixture.
- Spooned into 23cm round tin and baked at 170°C (gas 3/4) for 40 mins.
- When cool, turned out and dusted top with cocoa powder
A friend has asked me to put this recipe on the blog. It came to me a couple of years or so ago via one of my aunts and is so brilliant that it has subsequently become one of my old faithfuls. As well as being particularly moreish, it’s easy to make and great for dinner parties as most of the work can be done well in advance. It’s rich and chocolaty on the outside and wonderfully chocolaty and molten in the middle.
- Melt 170g good quality dark chocolate with 170g butter
- Whisk together 3 eggs, 160g sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Add 40g sifted flour, stirring until mixed.
- Stir in chocolate mixture again until thoroughly mixed.
- Cover the batter and leave overnight in the fridge (or at least 2 hours)
- Scoop mixture into 6 greased ramekins
- Bake at 175°C (gas 4) for about 15 mins or until the puds have risen but still soft to the touch.
- Extra yummy if served with raspberries and cream.
A year or two ago, I had a phase of making cupcakes. I’d never made them before and they really won me over. I made burnt butter cupcakes, cappuccino cupcakes, lavender cupcakes, banana & white chocolate cupcakes, espresso cupcakes, chocolate and cherry cupcakes and lemon drizzle cupcakes, but I never made straightforward chocolate cupcakes. A friend’s birthday this week provided the opportunity and I made some very chocolatey cupcakes from a recipe in Divine.
- Remembered to get the butter (200g unsalted) out early in the morning and put it over the heater to soften.
- Melted 200g dark chocolate (used 1 bar 70% and 1 bar 85%) in a bowl over hot water.
- Creamed the butter with 200g soft brown sugar for ages until it was really light.
- Then stirred in 4 eggs alternately with 200g flour (4oz wholemeal, 4oz white spelt) + 1 heaped tsp baking powder.
- Stirred in 1/2 pot of sour cream and then the melted chocolate.
- Tried to spoon mixture into 12 cup cake cases – big mistake! The recipe stated that this made 12 cup cakes. I had my suspicions about this and I was right – this is a recipe for 24 not 12, so the paper cases ended up being overfilled which then made it difficult to ice them and I still had some mixture left over.
- Baked these for 17 mins at 180°C.
- Melted another bar of 70% chocolate and stirred in the rest of the sour cream.
- Spread this as best I could over the cooled cup cakes.
- Decorated each with a sugar flour.
This recipe came from an American friend who was so impressed with the cake she’d had in Port Townsend WA that she asked the chef for the recipe. He duly sent it to her and having read my blog, she subsequently passed it on to me. It sounded really interesting with its use of sour cream and vinegar -neither of which I’d ever used in cake baking before.
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 8 oz soft brown cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 duck eggs
- 6 oz plain flour (I used 4 oz wholemeal + 2 oz gluten free flour)
- 2 oz cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 4 fl oz warm water
- 6 fl oz sour cream
- 4 oz 70% dark chocolate
- 4 oz sour cream
I’m probably kidding myself, but I like to think my baking is actively good for folk as well as tasting pretty damn good. Good quality ingredients are crucial for making tasty and nutritious fare. With this in mind I try to use certified organic ingredients where possible, although locally sourced and fairly traded are also important.
Having said I’m not a great fan of chocolate chip cakes, I’ve just gone and made another one! The sun has been shining today and given that we haven’t had much in the way of blue skies recently, I didn’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. Humm – what to make where speed is of the essence? I very quickly decided to have a go at the Stem Ginger and Chocolate Chunk Cake recipe from Linda Collister’s Divine. Being a big fan of ginger, it was this ingredient that sold it to me. Of course I didn’t have any stem ginger, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.