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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chocolate Mud Cake

There are three days between my sister-in-law's birthday and mine. In addition to several other celebrations, we had a small get together over tea and cake to mark the date. 

I made a Chocolate Mud Cake with a pink butter cream icing. This cake is one that I often make with the children at work and is dairy free (excluding the icing!) and also relatively cheap to make. 

I have a wee fascination over different 'icings' at the moment and have looked far and wide for a good butter cream icing - I am sad to say that I have failed to find one that has set me to contentment. All the ones I have tried seem to be way to thick, or make way to much. Although it took some serious trial and error, I have concluded that all recipes for butter cream icing fail to include the fact that much milk or cream is needed! I was pretty happy when I discovered  a perfect creamy buttercream by adding way more milk than was suggested in the recipes. Something for you all to note: Add more milk/cream and don't be afraid! 

Anyway, enough about icing and more about cake. I like cakes that are richly moist and velvety and that melts in your mouth. If you have similar tastes buds then this is cake you should make. 

Chocolate Mud Cake
(I doubled this recipe and divided the mixture into two tins to create two layers. Do whatever takes your fancy)
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp cocoa 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 rice bran oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup chopped chocolate melts (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a cake tin. 
Measure and combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Make a well in the dry mix and slowly fold in the wet mix, being careful to rid the mixture of any flour balls (eww). Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until cake skewer comes out clean when inserted. 

Ice with the icing of your contentment. For a buttercream icing see recipe below:

230 grams (2 cups) Icing sugar (confectioners sugar, powdered sugar)
120 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
milk or cream
Pink food colouring
Cream butter until creamy and pale. Add vanilla and then gradually add the sugar, mixing to combine. Add as much milk until you get the consistency you want. I think I used about 1/3 cup but will depend on the temperature in your kitchen. 
You want the icing to be light and fluffy. I find using a mixer for this job pretty useful, but a good strong hand should do the trick also. 
Don't forget to add the food colouring - Not to much if you want a pale pink colour. It only takes a smigin to do the trick. 
Use this icing to decorate the cake to your sweet heart's desire. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011



I know, I know, I've been doing a TERRIBLE job at keeping in touch, sorry - truly I am. But late is better than never, right?

I thought I should update you on my exciting news...I finally started a cake stall at the Frank Kitts Markets. I called it cakejoy. If all goes well, I may just think of changing my blog name to cakejoy or perhaps start a new blog especially for cakejoy. What do you think?

The week leading up to the market was a bit of a stress (I wouldn't advise doing this on top of a full time job) but it was still uber fun and I loved every sweet (and not so sweet) bit of it.

I think I've caught the bug and I can't wait to have my next stall. I'm hoping to maybe have one twice a month. Ideally every week would be awesome, but just not feasible whilst working another job as well. Maybe if little cakejoy makes me heaps of money then I'll be able to...

The salvation army church down the road were so kind to lend me their commercial kitchen for a very cheap donation - thanks again SVA!

Want to see what it looked like? 

I apologise about the photos, they're not the greatest. 

What was on the menu?
Mini Key Lime Pie
Mini Pecan Pie
Peanut Butter Cookie Parcels
Triple Chocolate Brownie
Vanilla Ruffle Cake
Chocolate Cake Pops
Mocha Meringue Kisses
Nutty Nostalgic Cookie Mix Gift Bags

So looking forward to my next stall! I'm hoping to go bigger and better next time. Will keep you posted!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chocolate Hot-Pots

This my friends, is something else. It is stupidly delicious. It's a marriage made in heaven. It's the best thing you'll ever taste. It's also a recipe by Nigel Slater. I do like him.

Listen to this: Melted chocolate (of the best kind), nutella, butter, sugar and eggs all combined in a ramekin and cooked to a gooey perfection. Sound good? Want more?

Thought so. Well you're going to need 6 buttered ramekins. An electric beater. A couple of bowls and a a couple of spoons.

Turn the oven on to 200 Degrees Celsius. Break 200g of chocolate into rough pieces and put it in a bowl over simmering water. Let this melt without stirring, occasionally poking any unmelted chocolate down into the liquid chocolate. Mmm liquid chocolate..

Put 100g/1/2 cup caster sugar (or sifted sugar) into a food mixer or bowl. Separate 3 eggs and add the yolks to the sugar. Beat until thick and creamy.In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites till airy and almost stiff. 

Stir 60g butter into the chocoalte and leave to melt, then gently stir 2 tablespoons nutella (or hazelnut spread). Fold the chocolate mixture into egg and sugar, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites with a metal spoon. Take care not to over mix. Also, try to get rid of any floating drifts of egg white. Eww. 

Scoop into the ramekins and place on a tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, till risen. 

The tops should be cracked and the centers still slightly wobbly. Try to resist diving a spoon into these pots until they're cooked. Although it's not the end of the world should your spoon jump before you can catch it..

I recommend serving this heavenly pot with something to cut through the richness such as clotted cream, greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.

Ahh the deliciousness! I made these the other night after having made a Pad Thai with Kev. The recipe made enough to fill 6 ramekins. I was hoping to store them in the fridge and freezer for at least a couple of days but when I had guests around the following night, they couldn't get their eyes off them either. I'll have to make another batch asap.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home-Made Cluster Crisp

I am a bit of a cereal freak. I like it a lot. I have been known to stand in the cereal isle of the supermarket for at least 20 minutes whilst I scope out ALL the options. It's a very important business.
The other day my cereal container was empty and I got my excited pants on as that mean't needing to get more cereal (yes, restocking the cereal container is always an exciting time). However, I didn't want to make a special trip to the supermarket there and then so decided to make my own.

I change my mind frequently about what I like in a cereal, it usually depends on the day. On this particular day I felt like something fairly simple. No nuts, no dried fruit, no chunks. I wanted crunch, not too heavy not too light. I ended up mixing together some oats, maple syrup, oil, spices and putting it into the oven to bake. On another tray I spread some cornflakes and drizzled maple syrup on top, gave it a quick stir and then into the oven with the oat mixture. Whilst they were cooking, I was talking to friends who were on their way home and my cornflakes burned terribly. Keep looking when you're cooking guys. Gee. What a waste of cornflakes.

After waiting for the other lot of cornflakes and maple syrup to cool with the oat mixture, I tossed the two together.

I'm not one to brag, but it tastes a lot like cluster crisp (only my favourite cereal)! I was stoked. Here's the recipe in case you're excited about this too:

Home-Made Cluster Crisp
4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup oil
2 cups cornflakes
1/4 maple syrup 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two large trays with baking paper. Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together to combine then spread onto one of the prepared trays. Bake for about 7 minutes or until slightly golden. I like mine the be crunchy but not too crunchy. Leave it is for longer if you like it extra crunchy. 

Pour the cornflakes onto the other tray and drizzle with the maple syrup. Bake for 3-4 minutes - be careful not to burn them as I did!

Leave cereal to cool completely then combine them together. Pour into your cereal container and you're away laughing (or munching...). 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Long time no see


As you may have noticed, it's been a really long time since I blogged. It's not that I haven't been baking, it's that I haven't had the urge to blog about it. Today that urge came back. I think that deserves some kind of celebration, don't you? We'll get to that in a second.

For now I should probably inform you all of something terribly exciting. Two weeks ago I purchased a KitchenAid. A pistachio coloured KitchenAid. I can feel your excitement too. I still get goosebumps when I see it. I highly recommend them. I know we all know that they're amazing, but they're even better than we think.

I made this Ruffle cake for my best friends birthday the other day with it. I used an Italian Meringue Icing. It used A LOT of butter (500g!). I don't think I would have attempted making it without the KitchenAid.

There are three layers hiding under that icing. How much cooler would it look with and extra cake on top to give it extra height?

I've been making these for presents and have found them to be a handy homemade gift! I thought I'd share them with you seeing as Mother's Day season and all! The cookies are super tasty too...

Now for celebrating. I felt like something fudgy, chocolatey, and crunchy. So I decided to make these:

Mocha Cookies

Sweet little thumb print mocha cookies that is. They sussed out my craving in no time.The perfect way to celebrate.
150g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cocoa
20 chocolate buttons

Pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. 
Beat butter with an electric beater or a cake mixer. Add sugar, egg yolk and coffee paste. Beat until smooth. 
In a separate bowl, sift flour  and cocoa and mix to combine. In two batches, add to the butter mixture.
Mix well until all combined. You might have to get your hands in there!
Form into balls and place on lined tray. Press a chocolate button into each ball.
Bake for 12 minutes.
 Have a great weekend.