Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Scandinavian Chocolate Cake aka Rye Bread and Blackcurrant Cake

Scandinavian Chocolate Cake aka Rye Bread & Blackcurrant Cake

I must be better. My baking mojo has returned and I almost leapt out of bed this morning thinking I’m going to bake that Scandinavian chocolate cake that’s been on my mind. I know January isn’t traditionally the time for indulgence, but because we were both ill, CT and I had quite an abstemious Christmas, so I feel justified in making and eating a few ‘naughty’ things.

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Chocolate Treacle 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.

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Birthday Cake

Salted Caramel Cake

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.

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Chocolate Blackberry Cake – We Should Cocoa #49

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.

Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Lemon Curd & Strawberries

Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Lemon Curd and Strawberries - A birthday Cake fit for a Princess

So enamoured was I with the chocolate, lemon curd and strawberry combination after I made these chocolate waffles, that I knew immediately that was what I would use for my birthday cake last week. What I didn’t then know was that I would add pomegranate to the mix. I give you my uber lush chocolate pomegranate cake with lemon curd and strawberries.

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Eton Mess Chocolate Cake

There’s nothing quite like the scent of ripe strawberries in summer. This Eton mess chocolate cake makes the most of this delectable bright red summer fruit. Two layers of chocolate cake are sandwiched and topped with lots of strawberries, cream and meringue. It’s perfect for birthday parties, celebrations or any alfresco occasion which requires cake.

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Lavender Chocolate Goose Egg Cake for Mother’s Day

Lavender Chocolate Goose Egg Cake with a rich chocolate ganache.

This dark rich lavender chocolate goose egg cake is made with a single egg. You can, of course substitute the goose egg with chicken eggs, but it’s well worth trying to get hold of one if you can. The cake is filled and covered with an unctuous chocolate ganache which is also flavoured with lavender. Ideal as a Mother’s Day cake and probably best enjoyed by adults.

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Mini Orange Sponge Cakes with Blood Orange Curd

Mini Orange Sponge Cakes with Blood Orange Curd

This recipe for super cute mini orange sponge cakes are filled with whipped cream and blood orange curd. They’re a little fiddly to make, but well worth it if you’re looking for dainty additions to  an elegant afternoon tea. There’s also a recipe for the curd which is sweet and zingy with an attractive strawberry pink colour. If you’re looking for more miniature treats, read on for a book review that might be of interest. Otherwise, head to the bottom of the post for the blood orange cakes recipe.

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Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu Cake

My mother asked me back in November (oh dear where does the time go?) if I would make a cake for her. She volunteers at her village community centre and wanted the cake as a leaving and thank you present for her boss. I knew it was time to make Ruth Clemens’ (aka The Pink Whisk) Tiramisu Cake. This is not a natural choice for me as I am in a small minority of non-coffee lovers. However, I do know it is considered to be one of the most popular flavours ever and I have supporting evidence. When The KitchenMaid chose coffee as the We Should Cocoa special ingredient, we had a record number of entries and Lucy had to do the round-up in two parts. Tiramisu, everyone assures me, is a delicious dessert, so transformed into cake form, how could it fail to please? That was my reasoning anyway.

Cream Cheese Marsala Icing

Ruth is one of those bakers whose recipes I trust. I’ve made a number of her bakes and not once has she let me down. However, as I am completely incapable of following a recipe, I did make a few adaptations. As it was meant to be tiramisu, I used cream cheese in the icing. I wanted to use the classic mascarpone, but when I went down to our local co-op, I found it had stopped selling it, which was mighty annoying. I had to make do with Philadelphia instead. I didn’t cover the cake with ganache either as I wanted the contrast between the chocolate and cream colours to stand out. I reduced the amount of icing sugar in the icing and also used slightly less sugar in the cake.

This is how I made:

Tiramisu Cake

  • Brewed a strong batch of filter coffee and left to cool.
  • Creamed 165g unsalted butter with 250g soft brown sugar and 70g dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 3 duck eggs, one at a time.
  • Sifted in 260g flour (100g wholemeal, 100g white, 60g self-raising white), 70g cocoa and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
  • Stirred this in gently, alternating with 220 ml of sour milk.
  • Added 4 tbsp of the cooled coffee and stirred until just incorporated.
  • Divided the mixture between 2 x 20 cm cake moulds and baked at 180°C for 30 minutes until the cakes were well risen and an inserted skewer came out clean.
  • Left to cool for ten minutes, then turned out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • Creamed 60g unsalted butter with a couple of large spoonfuls from 250g icing sugar.
  • Beat in 100g cream cheese, then slowly added the rest of the icing sugar.
  • Added 1 tbsp Marsala and 3 tbsp strong coffee. Beat until all smooth and a good spreading consistency achieved.
  • Spread one cake with half the mixture, placed the other cake on top and topped with the remaining icing.
  • Sprinkled with whatever chocolate bits I could lay my hands on.

 

Tiramisu Cake

I wasn’t expecting it to turn out to be such a stonker of a cake, but petite it was certainly not. CT was rather upset to find his tasting services were not required; unlike me, he enjoys coffee flavoured cakes. Nevertheless, the feedback I received via my mother was very positive and was most gratifyingly demonstrated by an empty plate.

I’m sending this off to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays

I’m also entering this into Emily’s Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too.

Chocolate Log with a Whipped Dark Boozy Chocolate Ganache – We Should Cocoa #40

Chocolate Log

The name of my blog might assume that I know what I’m doing when it comes to chocolate logs, even that I’m something of an expert. Well I’m not. My efforts at rolling  have been unsuccessful to say the least, as can be testified by my Liskeard Mess and the various other attempts I’ve made at a roulade. I’ve watched Mary Berry and any number of others do it and I’ve tried various techniques, but invariably my rolls crack hideously and have been known to disintegrate entirely. My least disastrous attempt was this Matcha Chocolate Roll.

Thus, when I was asked recently if I would make a chocolate log, my heart gave a little tremble.

Now it just so happened that I was sent one of the most beautifully packaged parcels I’ve received in a long time. A sturdy but elegant black box contained a newly designed 70cl bottle of Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur, dressed in black and hot fuchsia pink. It was accompanied by two special Thorntons chocolate liqueur glasses wrapped in matching paper and a £10 supermarket voucher nestled in a bed of wood straw. The colour scheme was eye catching indeed and the presentation lifted my spirits – so to speak. The premise was to create a recipe using the liqueur. Ding! With chocolate logs very much on my brain, my first thought was to incorporate the liqueur into the ganache that I’d planned to fill my log with and the thought stuck.

But first, I had to try the chocolate liqueur. CT was not going to pass this opportunity up either. We had a glass over ice followed by a glass neat. We could have gone on, it was so moreish, but I had to apply the brakes before we became inebriated. Originally launched in 2011, this liqueur was developed by the Thorntons master chocolatier, Keith Hurdman; it is a vodka based drink with cream and West African cocoa. It’s hard to think of a better combination than cream, chocolate and alcohol and because vodka does not have a strong taste of its own, the chocolate and cream were allowed to speak for themselves. At 17% volume, this is quite a strong drink, so a little goes a long way. It wasn’t quite as dark or as rich as the Bailey’s Chocolat Luxe, but it was nevertheless delicious. And at £13.99, this is an affordable treat.

 
Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur

If you are able to restrain yourself from drinking this chocolate liqueur just as it is, there are any number of ways you could use it. The bottle came with a recipe card for various cocktails, drinks and desserts. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I think I’m going to have to, as some of them sound very tempting indeed. With the cold weather now upon us, a hot chocolate with a slug of this could be just the thing after a bracing walk. How about a Thorntons Chocolatini or a Thorntons White Russian to indulge and delight your guests. As for the recipe for Thorntons Fondant, it has my name written all over it.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Log with a Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • Melted 50g 72% dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then removed from the heat.
  • Stirred in 2 tbsp Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur.
  • Stirred in 100 ml double cream until just incorporated.
  • Left to cool in the fridge for 1/2 hour whilst getting on with the sponge.
  • Whipped the ganache until light and moussy.
  • Whisked the eggs whites of 3 duck eggs in a bowl with electric beaters until stiff.
  • In another bowl, whisked the yolks of 3 duck eggs with 75g vanilla (caster) sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract for a minute or so until the yolks were pale.
  • Sifted in 30g cocoa powder and carefully stirred in.
  • Folded in the egg white until just incorporated, then scraped the mixture into a 19 x 29 cm Swiss roll tin lined with baking paper.
  • Baked for 20 minutes at 180°C when the sponge had risen and the top was bouncy when pressed. Left in the tin to cool.
  • Covered a clean piece of baking parchment with vanilla sugar. Turned the sponge onto this, then peeled off the backing paper.
  • Spread the ganache evenly over the sponge. Cut half way through the sponge, 1 cm in on the narrow end to help start the roll. Then using the sugar covered paper to help, rolled the sponge up as carefully as I could.
  • Cut about 1/2 cm of either end to neaten.
  • Dusted with vanilla sugar.
Chocolate Log

Well, maybe practice makes perfect, maybe I just got lucky or maybe the glass of Thornton’s liqueur I sipped whilst baking played its part. There were a few cracks, but the sponge held together and I was marginally pleased with the result. I was very pleased with the taste and texture of the chocolate log – thank goodness for neatened ends.

The whipped ganache containing Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur was, though I say it myself, sublime. It was light and moussy in texture with a rich chocolate flavour enhanced by the presence of the liqueur. It was a perfect match for the chocolate log and I’m now wondering why I’ve never tried anything like this before. The ganache is an ideal recipe for the festive season and could be used to fill any number of cakes and biscuits. I will most certainly be making it again.

As I was secretly, or maybe not so secretly, pleased with this chocolate log especially the whipped dark boozy chocolate ganache, I am using this as my entry for this month’s We Should Cocoa where alcohol is the special ingredient.

I am also submitting this to Lets Cook Christmas Party Food over at Simply Food.

Additionally, I’m sending this off to Javelin Warrior for his Made With Love Mondays.

It’s a very tricky letter that’s been picked for Alphabakes this month, but luckily it’s December so X for xmas is allowed. Hooray. I am thus sending my Xmas Chocolate Log to Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline of Caroline Makes.

I’m sending the bottom photo off to No Croutons Required with Jac of Tinned Tomatoes who is looking for Festive Photos this month.

Well it doesn’t get more Christmassy than a Chocolate Log, especially a boozy one, so I am submitting this to Calendar Cakes where the theme this month is Jingle Bell Rocks. This event is co-hosted by DollyBakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

I was sent a bottle of Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur and a supermarket voucher in order to create a recipe. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.

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