Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

It feels like it has been awhile since I have made something truly decadent.  When searching for a recipe to rectify this, there is no better book to turn to than ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.  This is now the second recipe I have made from this book, where she suggests leaving the cake for a day or so for the flavours to develop (see lemon and almond cake), and while this is VERY frustrating for me – I like the instant gratification baking brings, it it truly worth waiting!  This cake is extremely moist, and although I used a mixture of milk and dark chocolate to make up the 100g required, it was still very rich.
I highly recommend putting the cake tin on another tray, as even though I used the cake tin suggested, it still leaked over the sides…. and yes, I will admit to eating the overflowed cake pieces!

Chocolatey Goodness x

Chocolatey Goodness x

225g soft unsalted butter

375g dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g dark chocolate – melted

200g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250ml boiling water

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees and fully line a 23 x 13 x7cm loaf tin.

* Cream the butter and sugar, then gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating together well

* Fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to over beat

* Gradually add the flour, alternating with the boiling water which you need to add the bicarb soda to – the batter will be quite runny

* Pour into the lined tin – it’s also a good idea to place tin on a baking tray lined with foil/baking paper as there will be drips!

* Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down oven to 170 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.  When you test the cake it will still be quite moist, so a skewer won’t come out completely clean

* Leave cake in the tin to completely cool before turning out.  It can even be left for a day or so as the flavour will improve.  Also don’t worry – the middle of the cake will sink, as it’s so moist, this just adds to it’s charm!

Throwback Thursday – Wholemeal Mocha Cake

I’m still enjoying making the old recipes from my Nan’s McAlpins cookbook.  The recipes are pretty basic, and they stick to tried and true flavours and techniques.  When I saw this recipe, I thought it was a winner before I had even tasted it!  It goes without saying that a coffee and a piece of cake go together – so why not combine the two?  The addition of chocolate icing literally tops off the flavour of the cake, and I love the walnuts too.  Before I started making the recipes from this book, I’d never used coffee essence before in my baking.  Whilst it did give this cake a good flavour, next time I think I will substitute the essence for an espresso shot…  or maybe two!

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

 

6oz Wholemeal self raising flour

pinch of salt

3oz butter

4oz caster sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 dessert spoon coffee essence

walnuts to decorate

* Sift flour & salt

* Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs gradually

* Mix in sifted ingredients alternatively with milk and coffee essence

* Pour into a greased and lined 20cm tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)  for 20 – 25 minutes.

* When cake has cooled, top with a simple chocolate icing and decorate with walnuts if you wish.

Throwback Thursday – Orange and Sultana Cake

This week’s trip down memory lane is a SUPER quick and easy orange and sultana cake.  After a week of Liam deciding he doesn’t want to sleep in his big boy bed (in reality it’s still his cot, just with one side rail removed) and the subsequent crankiness and tantrums, I was after a recipe that wouldn’t take up too much time.

I find that most of the McAlpins cakes require creaming. This one is different, all the ingredients are just popped in together, mix, and you are all done.  It certainly isn’t the best cake I’ve ever made. But for little time and ingredients it needs, it will do the job for a quick arvo tea.

 

1 heaped cup self raising flour

1 cup castor sugar

Juice & rind of 1 orange made up to 1/2 a cup by adding milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 egg

1/2 cup sultanas

 

* Place all ingredients together in a bowl and mix for 3 minutes

* Pour into greased cake tin (I used a loaf tin) and bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes

That is seriously all there is to it!!

Super simple

Super simple

Apple Tea Cake

Earlier this week, after a disastrous outing with the boys, I visited a newly opened woolies  in one of the trendier inner city suburbs (it even has a coffee bar INSIDE the store)!  All of the produce looked super fresh, and when I saw large shiny Granny Smith Apples, I had to buy some. Originally I had set out to make apple and cinnamon muffins (which I probably will still do), but when looking through my Margaret Fulton ‘Baking’ book, I decided to try her recipe for Apple Tea Cake instead.  This recipe is different to other tea cakes I’ve made in the past – I’ve never whisked egg whites for this kind of cake before.  I didn’t have an 18cm round tin, I used my 20cm tin instead and the cake still looked fine.

I’m a sucker for anything with apples in it, and I did enjoy the slice (a very small one) that I tried.  Compared to the Apple and Blueberry Cake I have previously made, I think I prefer the apple/blueberry combination better.

Apple Tea Cake

1 egg – separated

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

30g butter – melted

1 cup self raising flour – sifted

1 apple – peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Topping

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 1 tablespoon caster sugar

  • Preheat over to 190 degrees and grease an 18cm round tin (I used a 20cm tin)
  • Whisk the egg white until stiff, gradually beat in the sugar, then egg yolk
  • Stir in the milk, vanilla and melted butter
  • Fold the flour carefully into mixture
  • Spoon into cake tin and arrange apple slices on the top
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes
  • When cooked, turn out and place top side up onto a wire rack. While still hot, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

Arrgh… It’s another packet mix!

I’ve sure started something now! After my success making Adriano Zumbo’s Salted Caramel Macarons, I took up the Betty Crocker Facebook Challenge to make her Chocolate Fudge Cake using only the materials from the box – the winner will have their cake featured on the side of the box.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I must admit, my entry was a bit rushed.  I would have loved to have had more chocolate icing to play with, as I wanted to ice the middle as well as the top of the cake.  Unfortunately I just ended up with a super thin layer in the middle and not as much icing as I would have liked on the top.  I was planning to take the cake to a morning tea, so I prettied it up with chocolate freckles and vanilla frosting.

Very plain :(

Very plain 😦

I resisted the urge to taste this cake, by all accounts though, it tasted great and when I halved the cake, I could tell it was really moist.

Would I make it again?  Not sure… One of the main reasons I bake is for the ‘experience’. I find it relaxing and I really enjoy creating beautiful and delicious goodies (well at least I hope they are!).  I still enjoyed making it, but the ‘baking experience’ was over so quickly. At least with the Zumbo mixes, there is a little more involved.  I’m now thinking I may have to work my way through the rest of the Adriano Zumbo mixes available….

choc fudge cake

Throwback Thursday – Tropical Cake

As Summer is creeping up on us (the weather we’ve had this past week makes it feel like it’s already here!), a lot of summer fruits are making their way into our basket.  This week I bought some wonderful looking passionfruit – my first for the season, and it seemed there was no better time to make this Tropical Cake from the McAlpins recipe book.

To date, I have followed the recipes from this book to the letter, resisting the urge to tweak with additional ingredients.  I admit to caving with this cake by adding two of my favourite ingredients – vanilla and coconut, because really you can’t go wrong with these two great flavours?  Let me know what you think!

 

Tropical Cake

 

8 oz self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 oz butter or margarine

6 oz castor sugar

2 eggs

2 passionfruit

1 banana

3 tablespoons of milk

My additions:

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons coconut

 

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Cream butter and sugar, beat eggs in gradually
  • Mix in sifted ingredients alternately with milk
  • Lastly mix in pulp of the passionfruit and banana
  • Turn into a greased tin lined on bottom with paper (I used a 20cm round tin)
  • Bake in a moderate oven 40 – 50 minutes (I baked mine for 35 mins in a 170 degree fan forced oven
  • When cold ice with passionfruit icing and decorate with pieces of cherry

 

Passionfruit Icing

  • Boil the skins of the passionfruit in just a little water for a few minutes. Use some of this liquid to mix the icing sugar and you will get a pale pink icing flavoured with passionfruit

* Sift 4oz icing sugar into a bowl and add liquid gradually (approx 1 tablespoon) to make it the consistency required.

Throwback Thursday – Chocolate Whirl Cake

Yikes…  it’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve just realised I haven’t baked anything for Throwback Thursday!  Luckily the McAlpins recipes are all pretty simple,  combine that with a happy baby and a big boy at kindy and the crisis is averted!

This reminds me of a much simpler version of the rainbow cakes we used to have as kids (this may be a project for the weekend).  The cake itself is quite plain, but the chocolate ‘whirl’ and butter icing provide the kick that it needs.

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Click here for conversion table

8 oz (2 teacups) self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 oz margarine (I used unsalted butter)

6 oz castor sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon coca blended with 2 tablespoons of boiling water

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Cream margarine/butter and sugar and beat in eggs gradually
  • Mix in sifted ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla essence
  • Turn into a greased tin lined on bottom with paper (I used a 20cm round tin)
  • Pour the blended cocoa on the top and stir it around with a knife
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 50 – 60 minutes (I baked my cake for 35 minutes at 170 degrees in a fan forced oven
  • When cold, ice the top with Chocolate Butter Icing

Chocolate Butter Icing

3 oz icing sugar

1 oz butter

1 tablespoon cocoa

  • Sift sugar
  • Blend the cocoa into a thick paste with boiling water, mix in the icing sugar well
  • Soften the butter and work into the icing
  • Spread over cake or use for piping/decorating cakes

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