First of all I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Easter. Yesterday, I made a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate cream cheese icing. It’s destined for Easter tea with my mother and some friends later today. I think it’s going to be a good one. I also have an easy and fun Easter competition for all baking enthusiasts. The prize is the Mary Berry Collection afternoon tea set that you can see in this post, plus a possible added bonus. Read on.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I can’t help but think of cake. I feel something light and spring like is needed. I know, how about a lavender honey cake scented with lemon and smothered in honey cream cheese icing? Sorted.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. I’ll be heading off to visit my mother shortly. I was going to take her out to lunch, but turns out she hadn’t realised the significance of the day and has invited friends over. So I decided to make her an ultra healthy, dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free vegan cake instead. Why? Because I felt like it and thought it would make a nice change. So this chocolate coconut cannellini cake is what she’s getting.
When I chose butter as this month’s We Should Cocoa ingredient, I didn’t have anything specific in mind. But when I woke up yesterday, I wanted to bake and I wanted to bake something decadent. It’s been a long time since I made a full on layer cake and this triple chocolate cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion when you want to show how much you care for the ones you love (if not perhaps their waistlines).
Why, I’m now wondering, have I never made Black Forest gateau before? It’s a fabulous bake; not only is it very tasty but it’s also relatively simple to make.
When I was asked to bake a cake for a rather sad occasion last week, I thought I’d try out one of Will Torrent’s recipes, or two of them in fact. I adapted his Nans’ chocolate fudge cake recipe to make it into a three layered cake, then topped it with a chocolate glaze from his recipe for salted caramel & rum top hat cake.
This is another recipe adapted from my vintage Christmas stocking present which I made back in January – yes I do have a few unposted recipes that have been hanging around in my drafts folder for far too long. I know Bonfire Night has now passed, but this seems a very suitable cake for this time of year, bonfire or no bonfire.
I had a birthday cake to make for a friend and given free rein to make what I thought fit, I was in the mood to create a salted caramel cake. A once unfamiliar concept on British shores, it seems to have taken the nation by storm and is now everyone’s favourite flavour – it’s certainly one of mine.
As this is a We Should Cocoa anniversary, I wanted to do something a little bit special. I also had a cake to make for a friend. I knew I wanted to use the chocolate blackberry jam I made a couple of weeks ago; it’s not only rather special but seasonal too. Leafing through some of my baking books, I came across Ruth Clemens’ Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe in her book, The Pink Whisk guide to Cake Making. The recipe looked good and as we are all in the throws of the Great British Bake Off, it seemed rather appropriate as Ruth was one of the finalists back in 2010.
I decided to follow the recipe for the cake batter and the ganache, but not the buttercream as I was going to use jam. I halved the ganache recipe and changed the cake recipe a little – I just can’t help it! I attempted feathering for the first time using the leftover blackberry white chocolate ganache from the blackberry puddings recipe I have yet to post.
This is how I made:
- Measured 220ml milk into a jug and added 2 tbsp of malt vinegar to make a quick version of sour milk. Gave it a stir and left to coagulate.
- Creamed 165g unsalted butter with 300g light Muscovado sugar and 30g of Molasses sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 3 duck eggs (large hens eggs can be substituted) one at a time.
- Sieved in 200g plain flour, 80g self-raising flour, 60g cocoa powder (I used Food Thoughts fairtrade & organic), 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp mesquite powder (optional – gives a slight caramel flavour).
- Folded in alternately with the soured milk.
- Spooned the mixture into 2 7″ oiled baking tins and 3 small rectangular silicone moulds filling them to about 3/4 full.
- Left to cool in the tins, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Brought 140 ml of cream to the boil in a small pan with 1/2 tbsp golden syrup.
- Added 175g of 53% dark chocolate and left for a couple of minutes.
- Stirred until well mixed and smooth.
- Sandwiched the large cakes together with chocolate blackberry jam.
- Topped with the ganache.
- Piped lines of white chocolate ganache on top and then used a tooth pick to feather the lines – or at least attempted too.
- Cut the mini cakes in half, sandwiched with the jam then topped with the ganache.
The batter rose so well, that it annoyingly overflowed, which was not quite what I was looking for. The mixture was also a little fragile, so needed to be handled quite carefully when still warm. It was, however, very light and quite delicious. CT, who wasn’t party to the intricacies of the creation, was quite taken by the unexpected pleasure of the blackberry jam cunningly secreted in the middle – ooh he said.