Blog Archive

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Banana, Orange and Chocolate Cake

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This cake has been in my recipe book for more years than I care to remember and I cannot remember when I actually made it last, possibly decades!

A straightforward, quick recipe and a great way to use up bananas that look more black than yellow. I've tweaked this recipe with a little added milk chocolate to compliment the orange.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
8 oz/250g self raising flour
1 oz/25g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
5 oz/140g soft brown sugar
3 oz/75g soft margarine
2 eggs
1 orange and zest and 1/2 for juice
2 tbsp marmalade
4 oz/100g dark chocolate

Method


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  • Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with a strip of greaseproof paper
  • Peel and mash bananas
  • Beat in flour, almonds, baking powder, sugar, margarine and eggs until well blended
  • Add the orange zest and juice and the chocolate and mix well
  • Pour into loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees C Fan/Gas Mark 4 for 55 minutes. 
  • Remove and brush with marmalade and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  • Check that the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre which should come out clean if fully cooked.
  • Allow to cool in the tin
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The zesty orange and tangy marmalade work really well with the milk chocolate...one slice is not sufficient!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Chocchick Blogspot, Chocolate, The World of Chocolate
Beetroot, a vegetable full of rich, damp, earthy aromas is not an ingredient you would associate with baking. A salad yes but a cake?! 

Well, strange as it may sound beetroot and dark chocolate actually make the most perfect bedfellows. Those earthy smells just melt away leaving a delicious sweet cake.

With all this good weather my late planted beetroots have done really well and are now ready to be transformed into cake! 

I used a recipe from the 'delicious magazine' website just click here to read more. I did not make the icing but the recipe is shown below if required. 

If you want a cake with 'wow' factor click on the link and follow this recipe from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

250g dark chocolate, broken up
3 large eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
a pinch of salt (not in the original recipe)
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
250g raw beetroot

For the icing
150g dark chocolate
100g icing sugar
100g soured cream

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper.

2. Place the dark chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.

3. Place the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and gently fold in, together with the ground almonds.

4. Using a pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers from staining, peel and grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Fold the beetroot into the mixture with the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

The World of Chocolate, beetroot, chocolate

6. For the icing, place 150g dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently until smooth. Set aside to cool, then beat in icing sugar and soured cream until you have a thick, creamy and spreadable icing. Spread it over the top and sides of the cooled cake and serve.

Dingle Hill Tea Rooms

The World of Chocolate, Afternoon Tea
Dingle Hill Tea Rooms, formerly known as the Bridge House Nurseries, can be found in Dunwich, Suffolk. Ideally positioned for both bike riders and hikers alike looking to refuel and rest their weary legs. Car owners are not excluded but you probably haven't burnt off enough calories to deserve a piece of cake! 

Not only does this tearoom serve delicious afternoon teas but it also has a beautiful and colourful nursery to browse around should you so wish. 

All cakes and scones are baked on site and afternoon tea is served with oodles of clotted cream and jam. Eating two scones looked easy enough at the onset but by the time it came to eating the second I was already fit to bursting! 
Sandwiches, salads and other lunchtime delights are also available at reasonable prices.

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Handmade scones, The World of Chocolate

Nursery, flowers, chocolate cake

The World of Chocolate, afternoon tea, cake, scones


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A lovely place to spend an afternoon. A 'hidden gem' indeed! 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ginger Plum Cake

Victoria Plums
If, like me, your Victoria Plum tree has produced a bumper crop this year. Then all things plum are currently featured on my dessert menus in a desperate attempt to wade through the purple fruit mountain that has formed in my kitchen. 

Compote is one simple solution making a delicious accompaniment to yoghurt. 

However, if you're looking for some comfort food then this recipe is for you. 

Ooops! Perhaps I shouldn't be using such a terrible term as 'comfort food'. In a few years Google will be trawling our blogs deleting such terms in a desperate attempt to reduce obesity. Very scary to read child obesity is on the increase...stop giving them those sugary drinks!

I tried this particular recipe from the Good Food website with a couple of minor alterations.

Ingredients

butter, for greasing
2 tbsp demerara sugar
500g plums
For the cake
175g butter
175g dark muscovado sugar
140g golden syrup
2 eggs, beaten
200ml milk
300g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

Method

  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. 
  • For the cake, melt the butter, muscovado sugar and syrup in a large pan over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Cool for 10 mins. 
  • Meanwhile, grease and line the base of a 23cm square cake tin with baking parchment. Butter the paper generously and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. 
  • Wash the plums, remove the stones and slice. Arrange in the base of the tin - see picture below.
  • Once the butter and syrup mix has cooled slightly stir in the eggs and milk. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then mix to a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the tin, over the plums, and bake for 50-60 mins until firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Will keep in the fridge, wrapped in baking parchment and foil, for up to 5 days.


Ginger, Plum, Victoria Plus, The World of Chocolate

Delicious served with cream or ice-cream. Equally delicious sliced cold with a cup of coffee. Cuts into 16 generous squares.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Courgette Bread



Courgette Bread. God knows why, it's really a cake! A simple but effective recipe which producers great results.

Ingredients

This will make two 2lb loaf tins:

600g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon

3 eggs
200ml vegetable oil
400g demerara sugar
400g courgettes, shredded and drained
1 tsp vanilla extract

100g raisins


Method


  • Pre-heat the oven 350 degrees C / 155 Fan or Gas Mark 4 and grease and line two 2lb loaf tins
  • Sieve dry ingredients together into a large bowl 
  • Measure the oil into a measuring jug then add the eggs, sugar, courgettes and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well
  • Finally stir in the raisins
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
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