Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Rich Chocolate Cake

Guess what my kids are having for afternoon tea? Chocolate Cake!!!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients (serves 12)
         200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
         200g butter, softened
         1 cup dark brown sugar
         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
         3 eggs, at room temperature
         1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
         2 tablespoons cocoa powder
         1/2 cup milk
         chocolate curls or shavings (optional), to serve (see note)
         Chocolate icing
         200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
         1/2 cup thickened cream
1.            Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base and side of a 6cm deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan.
2.            Place chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
3.            Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add melted chocolate. Beat until well combined. Sift flour and cocoa together. Fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4.            Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread icing over top and side. Top with chocolate curls, if using. Serve.
5.            To make chocolate icing: Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes or until thick enough to spread.
         To make chocolate curls, run a clean potato peeler down the side of a block of chocolate, allowing curls to fall onto a plate.

I didn't make the icing, just dusted with icing sugar!
Photos are a little dark, but you get the idea.......

     T x


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

I found this muffin recipe on The English Kitchen Blog and couldn't resist making them for my family. The recipe is simple, quick and my kids love them.

The recipe makes about one dozen, but trust me they won't last long!

3 tsp finely grated lemon zest
220g caster sugar (1 cup)
335g of self raising flour (2 1/4 cup)
2 TBS poppy seeds
80ml of fresh lemon juice (1/3 cup)
250ml of milk (1 cup)
60g of butter, melted (1/3 cup)
2 large free range eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 200*C  
Butter a 12 cup muffin cup pan really well.  
Set aside.

Place the sugar and lemon zest into a large bowl.  
Rub the two together with your fingertips really well. (This smells great!) 
Remove 3 TBS of the mixture and set aside.  
Sift the flour into the remainder.  
Stir in the poppy seeds.  
Whisk together the lemon juice, milk, beaten eggs and melted butter.  
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the liquid all at once.  
Stir together only to combine.  Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it equally.

Sprinkle the tops of each with the reserved lemon sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out 
Allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
Serve warm or at room temperature.

T x

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