Mini Egg Cake

Later than planned I have managed to write up this Mini Egg Cake on the train(s) to Gatwick (thanks to holiday engineering work it’s taking 3 hrs just to get to the airport). I’m heading home to Cornwall for Easter and made this chocolate and vanilla cake for my neighbours as a thank you for feeding my little monsters while I’m away. Rob declared that he doesn’t like chocolate cake but I’m pretty sure this will bring him round. Happy Easter folks!

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Bounty Bar Cake

Last weekend I was feeling a need for dense chocolate cake and an even greater need not to have to get dressed and buy ingredients or spend ages baking so I remembered this super easy Bounty Bar Cake from the River Cottage Handbook No 8 – Cakes by Pam Corbin. Aside from having the patience and fore thought for soaking the coconut for a few hours, it’s almost an all in one recipe and it hit the spot with a hot mug of tea.

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Dairy Free Chocolate Layer Cake

Our houseguest is off backpacking round Europe from Wednesday so I decided to bake her a dairy free chocolate cake this weekend to bid her bon voyage. I used my go to chocolate cake recipe but swapped the milk for goats milk as Amber is just cows milk intollerant but soy or nut milk can be used instead. If you don’t need a dairy free cake you can swap 240g unsalted butter back in rather than the dairy free alternatives I used.

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Mini Egg Chocolate Slab

Post move my mac has decided it’s full. Despite having no photos on the HD it seems to think it has over 3GB of the swines. I have had to sacrifice a whole series of New Girl just to open Photoshop and everything is painfully slow. It took me less time to make this mini egg chocolate slab than it did to edit the shots! It makes a great alternative to Easter eggs. I love Hotel Chocolat’s slabs so thought I would have a go at making my own in the run up to Easter. Super easy to do and a fraction of the cost of shop bought eggs.

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Rocky Road

I’m sure a psychologist would have a lot to say about Rocky Road being the recipe of choice post move. I had high hopes of stock piling recipe posts so that I could seamlessly blog away this past month despite the near breakdowns, running out of bubble wrap, learning to disconnect fridge freezers from junction boxes, house buyer gazumping and generally enduring one of the most stressful times in my life.

I’m pretty sure I’ve come out the other side addicted to sugar yet somehow lighter and before I try to ween myself off the white stuff thought I’d have one last hurrah. It is also a recipe that requires next to no equipment or technical ability so seemed the perfect thing the christen the new kitchen. To Nigella’s recipe I added hazelnuts and raisins and swapped the rich tea biscuits for digestives.

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Baked Churros with Chocolate Sauce

I recently found this recipe for baked churros on a blog I follow What Jessica Baked Next and thought it wouldn’t hurt to try a healthier baked rather than fried version of the Spanish classic doughnuts. Although they were quite nice they were not entirely churros like and being hollow, reminded me a lot of chocolate eclairs without the cream filling. Never the less, they were consumed by my workmates with their usual gusto!

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Whisky & Ginger Truffles

These whisky and ginger truffles make an excellent homemade Christmas gift and are pretty easy to make, save from covering yourself in melted chocolate as you roll them into balls! I sadly also found out last week that they are extremely comforting after I had to say goodbye to my faithful feline friend Erin. Her final vets bill will no doubt result in everyone getting homemade gifts for Christmas this year and possibly 2015……..

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Creme Cupcakes

This last week Fork and Pixel turned one so to celebrate, I thought I would share my ‘signature bake’ chocolate and peanut butter creme cupcakes which I usually bake as a big 8″ cake for friends birthdays. The recipe is an amalgamation of a Reece’s chocolate cake recipe that is my favourite chocolate sponge as it’s not too rich or heavy and an adapted icing that I have changed over the years after stumbling across the original via blog SugarLaws.

Double the cake mixture to make two 8″ or 20cm round sandwich sponges, bases lined with parchment circles and bake in tight fitting pans (as the mix will leak otherwise) for 35-45 mins.

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Chocolate and Mulled Cider Cake

As soon as I spotted this recipe for chocolate and mulled cider cake by Will Torrent in the December issue of Jamie Magazine, I knew I was going to have to give it a try. It would make a great alternative to christmas pudding and has the wow factor in both looks and taste. It keeps well for several days in an air tight container. Most supermarkets sell mulled cider or make your own by heating apple cider in a saucepan with a mulling spice sachet or star anise, cloves, a cinnamon stick and a squeeze of orange.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies

It dawned on me recently that I had never made full fat brownies before. I regularly used to make lower fat brownies from the “Cook Yourself Thin” cookbook and have even turned my hand at Gwyneth Paltrow’s vegan brownies but never the indulgent, no calories spared brownies. Last week this changed as I researched the ultimate brownies and settled on Nigel Slater’s ‘Very Good Chocolate Brownie’ with the addition of hazelnuts as I had some that needed using but you could use brazil or walnuts or leave them out altogether.

As I have learnt with the modified brownies I have made before, timing in the oven is crucial. Nigel suggests the following: ‘it is worth checking after 25 minutes, just in case, then every three minutes after that. I reckon you are looking for a cake whose outside edges feel a little springy, the inside soft, but not at all liquid. Stick a thin skewer or knitting needle in. If it comes out with visibly wet cake mixture stuck to it then put it back for three minutes longer. If, on the other hand, you have a slight goo stuck to your skewer then you are probably there. Leave the cake out to cool before cutting. It needs time to calm down. Oh, and if you pull out your skewer and it comes out clean then I’m afraid you have blown it’.

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