29 May 2008
28 May 2008
We had a family birthday this week and a when a chocolate fudge cake (with extra chocolate flakes) was requested I couldn't wait to make this cake.
Why have I waited so long to make it.
Chocolate fudge cake
for the cake:
400g plain flour
250g golden caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
50g best quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
142ml sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
125ml corn oil
300ml chilled water
for the fudge icing:
175g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter, softened
275g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180c/ 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 or wide necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a freestanding mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended, then beat in the water.
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 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 - and let cool slightly.
In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.
Serves 10. Or 1 with a broken heart.
This cake is to die for, it is so delicious. The sour cream in the cake really cuts through the sweetness, it is light and fluffy, so moreish.
I covered mine in, as requested, chocolate flakes, they made a tasty addition and covered my not-so-perfect cake decorating skills. Although I must say that the icing was a dream to work with and I had more than plenty left for a bowl licking treat afterwards.
Everyone who had a slice of this cake raved about it, it is a must bake, even if you don't have a broken heart. Well, why would you want to wait around for that to happen.
25 May 2008
19 May 2008
17 May 2008
(based on half quantity)
225g plain white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 teaspoon easy blend yeast
1 1/5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
110ml warm water
I added to this:
8 cloves garlic, chopped
12 cloves garlic unpeeled.
3 tbsp olive oil
Few sprigs of rosemary
Preheat oven to 200c.
Grease a baking tray and set aside.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, stir in the yeast.
Make a well in the centre, then add the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead till soft and elastic. Shape the dough into a round, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave until doubled in size.
Gently saute the garlic in a 1 tbsp of olive oil, when golden brown, remove from the pan and pour over the remaining oil. Set aside.
Gently simmer the unpeeled cloves of garlic for 10 minutes in a pan of water. When soft drain and set aside.
Knock back the dough and roll out to a large rectangle, spread the sauteed garlic (keep the oil for later though) over the dough and fold over the edges to enclose the garlic.
Turn the dough over and brush with the remaining garlic infused oil, stud with the cooked garlic cloves and rosemary. Sprinkle a little flour over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes.
This bread was delicious, and very simple to do. The garlic centre was very mild and the garlic cloves steamed in their skins, making them a aromatic contrast to the rosemary.
I will be baking this bread again and again.
11 May 2008
Thank you so much Rosie!
I am going to pass this award on to Anna from 'At Anna's kitchen table. http://atannaskitchentable.blogspot.com/ I love Anna's blog, it has a lovely homely feeling, as if you are part of the furniture there. She is passionate about food and her family and it really comes though in her writing. She is very deserving of this award. Please go and visit her kitchen.
09 May 2008
I decided to make these as I had half a packet of pastry leftover from the curry puffs, waste not want not.
Basically this is what to do:
1 x 375g ready rolled puff pastry
1 x 100g dark chocolate
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 220c. Unfurl the sheet of pastry and cut into 6 squares.
Cut each square diagonally to give 2 small triangles. Put the triangles with the wider part facing you, and the point away from you.
Break off small pieces of chocolate (approx. 1cm) and place on the pastry triangles, about 2cm up from the wide end nearest you.
Then carefully roll from that chocolate-loaded end towards the point of the triangle.
You should now have something resembling a straight croissant. Seal it slightly with your fingertips and curl it around into a crescent.
Place the 12 chocolate croissants on a lined but not buttered baking tray and paint with the beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes until they are golden and puffy and exuberantly, if minaturely, croissant-like.
Well they were cute, even though they refused to turn golden brown. My daughter, croissant conosseuir, asked why I had tried to replicate her favourite French pastry with puff pastry, sacrilege indeed.
Would I make these again, only to use up leftover puff pastry, not that they weren't tasty, they were, if you like chocolate wrapped puff pastry. They were wolfed down rather quickly, but a visit to a good baker would be just as easy and far more delicious.
08 May 2008
This recipe for a simple cheats samosa really caught my eye, if I can give in too curry powder I can live with a puff pastry style samosa.
Chicken curry puffs, from Tom Norrington-Davies.
450g potatoes, cut into 1 cm dice
3 garlic cloves
3 -4 sprigs fresh coriander
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp tomato puree
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp groundnut oil
250g coarsely minced chicken
500g block puff pastry
Cook the diced potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water until they are just tender. Drain and cool.
Chop the garlic, shallots and coriander to a near paste using a food processor, place in a small bowl and season with the curry powder, sugar, tomato puree and soy sauce.
Heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan, and fry the curry paste over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until it is a deep golden brown colour.
Add the minced chicken and a couple spoonfuls of water to moisten and continue frying until the meat is cooked through.
Fold in the cooked potatoes and check the seasoning, you might one more soy or a pinch more sugar. The flavour should be spicy-salty-sweet. Cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200c / gm 6, roll out the puff pastry. Use a saucer as a guide and cut out 8 smallish discs; the size is up to you really, they could be canape or snack size. I use a 13cm saucer.
Make a egg wash by beating the egg with 3 tbsp water. Egg wash the edges of the pastry discs and fill the centres with the curry filling. Fold the discs into turnovers and crimp the edges before egg washing the pastries.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the curry puffs on the tray, bake for 125minutes or until they are golden and fluffy. Rest for 5 minutes before attacking.
I was unsure how the curry puffs would live up to my beloved samosa but the filling of cooked potato and spiced chicken, tasted absolutely divine, so good that I almost did away with the pastry and had the filling as a side. Combined with buttery, flaky pastry these were a real treat along side my Saturday night 'curry' definatley a keeper. I will make these time and time again.