The weeks seem to be flying past particularly fast at the moment. I’m travelling a lot with work and my book deadlines are fast approaching. Not long left at all now and an awful lot to do .
When I am not required to be in other parts of the country, I am home in Dorset, and these are the days I spend recipe testing for the books. I have to be happy with a recipe before I send it out to my testing team. At the moment, however, I am working on rather a lot of sweet treats. I made 24 cakes in two days this week.
Despite all the baking going on for work purposes, last week was a week of birthdays, with some good friends celebrating their birthdays, and mine. I had to bake. Both cakes were much enjoyed by everyone.
Chocolate hazelnut cake
A dense, moist chocolate cake which keeps well. It’s naturally gluten free and is delicious eaten chilled.
For the cake:
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 150g butter, cubed
- 6 eggs, separated
- 75g caster sugar
- 200g ground hazelnuts
To finish the cake
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 50g dark chocolate
- Fresh raspberries
1) Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
2) Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
3) Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until thick and creamy. Add chocolate mixture. Beat to combine. Add hazelnut meal. Beat to combine.
4) Place egg whites in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form. Using a metal spoon, stir one-third of egg whites into chocolate mixture. Gently fold remaining egg white through chocolate mixture.
5) Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
6) Make Chocolate icing: Place chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. Spread over top and side of cake. Stand for 10 minutes or until icing has set. Decorate with fresh raspberries
Chocolate fudge cake
For the cake
- 400g self raising
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g light brown muscovado sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch salt
- 3 medium eggs
- 145 ml sour cream
- 1tbsp vanilla extract
- 175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 300 ml water, chilled
For the chocolate fudge icing
- 175g dark chocolate
- 250g unsalted butter
- 275g icing sugar
- 1tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream, water and vanilla until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed.
- Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.
- Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave – 2-3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
- In another bowl beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy and then sift in the icing sugar and beat again until light and fluffy
- 10.Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too.