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.

chocolate whirl cake copy 2

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

DSC_0869 copy 2

It’s a scone off!

I love scones.  They are the perfect morning/afternoon tea, and super easy to put together. For the last few years I’ve used a traditional recipe (source unknown) and apart from the couple of times when I used plain flour instead of self raising (I blame baby brain) they have never failed. In the past I’ve also tried Lemonade Scones (made using a can of lemonade and cream), but there is nothing like the traditional recipe in my opinion.

After devouring Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ – something I wish I was, but constantly fall short on – I was keen to try her recipe ‘Lily’s Scones’ which rather than using self raising flour, use plain flour combined with bicarb soda and cream of tartar.  What better way to compare the two than to have a scone off!

My little helper as well as my family have enjoyed this challenge.  We’ve had a few debates over which scone is better, I think they have been watching too many cooking shows with comments about the ‘crumb’, ‘texture’ and ‘overall appeal’ being tossed about.

Always eager to help out!

Always eager to taste test!

We found Nigella’s scones to be VERY light and fluffy – thanks to the cream of tartar, although they rose, I felt they could have been higher. The egg wash gave them a good colour and they tasted great.

Nigella's scones

We didn’t find a huge difference in taste, it was really the different textures that set the two apart.  Personally I prefer the original recipe, they rise well and have a great texture and taste.

Original and still the best?

Original and still the best?

Both of the recipes are below – you be the judge!

‘Lily’s Scones’ – How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

500g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

50g cold unsalted butter diced

25g trex, in teaspoon lumps (or use another 25g butter)

300ml milk

1 large egg beaten for egg wash

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees
  • Sift the flour, bicarb and cream of tartar into a large bowl
  • Rub in the fats until it looks like breadcrumbs
  • Add the milk all at once and mix briefly with a knife
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly to form a dough
  • Roll out to about 3cm thickness
  • Dip cutter into some flour (6 1/2 cm round cutter) and cut out scones.
  • Bring excess dough back together to cut out more scones (I made 11)
  • Place on a lightly greased baking tray quite close together and brush with egg wash
  • Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until risen and golden

vs

Traditional Scone Recipe – origin unknown

3 cups self raising flour

pinch of sale

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter diced

2 1/4 cups milk

extra milk for wash

  • Preheat oven to 230 degrees
  • Sift flour and salt into large bowl
  • Add butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add approx 2 cups of milk and mix together with a butter knife.  Add additional milk as needed (I find I sometimes don’t need to full 2 1/4 cups of milk)
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly to form a dough
  • Roll out to around 3cm thickness (I don’t use a rolling pin, instead using my hands to pat out/shape)
  • Dip cutter into flour and cut out scones
  • Bring excess dough back together and cut out more scones (I usually make 10 -12 scones)
  • Place on lightly greased baking tray close together so they are almost touching and brush excess milk over for glaze
  • Place in oven and bake for 12 minutes or until risen and golden

Throwback Thursday – Wholemeal Cinnamon Cake

Vanilla and Cinnamon – a winning combination in my opinion.  Whilst this isn’t a traditional tea cake, the taste and texture certainly reminded me of one.  The buttercream frosting was super simple to make and complemented the cake perfectly.  I omitted the sherry from the buttercream & went with vanilla instead.  Another great recipe from the McAlpins book.

For metric conversion, please click here

Yum...

Yum…

8 oz (2 teacups) wholemeal self raising flour

Pinch of salt

1 dessertspoon cinnamon

4 oz butter or margarine

5 oz sugar

1 tablespoon golden syrup

3 eggs

1/4 pint (6 tablespoons) milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

* Sift wholemeal flour, salt and cinnamon

  • Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup, beat in eggs gradually
  • Mix in sifted ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla essence
  • Turn into a greased 7 1/2 inch tin lined on the bottom with paper.
  • Bake in a moderate oven 50-60 minutes (I baked mine at for 30 minutes in a 160 degree fan forced oven)
  • When cold cover the top with butter cream and sprinkle with cinnamon

Butter Cream

5oz icing sugar

2 oz butter

sherry or vanilla flavouring

  • Sift sugar
  • Soften butter slightly and beat to a cream, using a wooden spoon (I chose to use my kitchenaid mixer!)
  • Add sugar by degrees, then flavouring, working in well.
  • Use as a filling or for piping on cake

IMG_7355