Chocolate Fudge Custard Cake

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caa 29/06/2017

I would love to provide a picture of the cake as a whole with its silky, chocolate custard covering but once I removed it from the fridge to serve, it didn’t last two seconds before everyone crowded round for a slice! I made this for my little brother’s birthday. He is a massive chocolate fan and this cake certainly delivers in that respect.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate sponges:

  • 150ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g plain flour
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 200ml buttermilk
  • 100ml strong coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the chocolate custard:

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 140g chocolate, 85% cocoa solids, broken into cubes
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Make the custard first as it needs to chill. Put all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a large pan and bring gently to the boil, whisking all the time, until the chocolate has melted and you have a silky, thick custard. It will take 5-7 minutes from cold. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt then scrape the custard into a wide, shallow bowl. Cover the surface with cling film, cool then chill for at least 3 hrs or until cold and set.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment – if your cake tins are quite shallow, line the sides to a depth of at least 5cm. Put flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, light brown soft sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and mix well. If there are any lumps in the sugar, squeeze these through your fingers to break them up.
  3. Measure the buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla in a jug. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the two tins, and bake for 25-30 mins until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool.
  4. To assemble, cover one of the cake layers with a generous helping of the custard. Add the second layer to the top of this and spoon the remaining custard on top of the cake then spread it around the top and down the sides until smooth. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up the custard again.

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Chill for 2 hours, or longer if possible, before serving, and eat it cold. This cake can be made up to 2 days ahead. The cake gets fudgier and more enticing the longer you leave it. The coffee in the recipe cannot be tasted but really brings out the intense cocoa flavours in the custard and the sponge and the addition of a small pinch of salt in the custard really intensifies the chocolate even further.

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Double Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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IMG_20151128_151233[1] 28/11/2015

I felt like making cookies today but wanted something more than a standard chocolate chip mix and pistachios and dark chocolate is what I had in the cupboards. It’s a combination that goes really nicely together. The rich dark chocolate and salty roasted nuts are great together in a buttery, chocolate shortbread round. An impressive, tasty bake with minimal effort required – Result!

Makes 12-15 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup coarsely ground pistachios
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup 60% dark chocolate chips
  • Coarsely ground pistachios, for garnish

IMG_20151128_151315[1]

Instructions:

  1. In a large food processor, process the butter and brown sugar.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk, processing until combined.
  3. Add the flour, pistachios, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and process once more. Scrape the sides of the processor.
  4. Place dough mixture into a medium bowl, and add the chocolate chips. Gently combine until evenly distributed.
  5. With a sufficient piece of parchment paper, wrap the dough into a round log, about 2.5″ in diameter.
  6. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 170C.
  8. Cut the cookie dough off the log in even pieces, about .8″ or so apart, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned. They will firm up once taken out of the oven.

Pinwheel Cookies

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IMG_20150930_085150[1] 30/09/2015

A really simple but impressive looking biscuit recipe here for shortbread biscuits. One is flavoured with vanilla, the other with chocolate. Can’t decide which one to have? Roll them up into funky looking wheels and have both!

Makes about 20

Ingredients:
Vanilla biscuit dough:

  • 50g softened butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • 50g plain flour
  • ½ large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate biscuit dough:

  • 50g softened butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • 40g plain flour
  • ½ large egg
  • 15g cocoa powder

Method:

1. Firstly, make each of the doughs by creaming the butter and sugar together, mixing in the egg, sifting the dry ingredients over the top and mixing until the dough comes together.

2. Wrap each dough separately in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.

3. Flour your work surface lightly and roll each dough out (separately) to a piece 25 x 18cm . Place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough and roll up tightly. Re-wrap the roll in glad wrap and place back in the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.

4. Pre-heat your oven now to 180°C and remove the dough from the fridge, cutting 20 slices and placing them on a lined baking tray. Make sure the dough is very firm before you start cutting the biscuits or else, again, they may become misshaped.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the vanilla biscuit is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve, warm or cool, with a cuppa.

IMG_20150930_085239[1]

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

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IMG_20150412_042151[1] 15/04/2015

During the blackouts of the Second World War, Ebinger Baking Company in the New York City borough of Brooklyn developed its Blackout cake. This cake was extremely popular in Ebinger bakery and many other bakeries across New York. Unfortunately the bakery closed due to bankruptcy but lucky for you, this fantastic recipe for smooth, velvetty chocolate fudgy, custard cake lives on!

This rich, dark sponge is filled and coated with a thick chocolate custard, then finished with crumbled cake. It is best eaten chilled from the fridge so the custard stays set. In my opinion, this cake improves with keeping. A real must try for chocolate lovers and custard lovers alike.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 140g buttermilk
  • 100ml coffee, made with 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g cocoa powder

For the custard filling and covering:

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 140g chocolate, 85% cocoa solids, broken into cubes
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. Make the custard first as it needs to chill. Put all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a large pan and bring gently to the boil, whisking all the time, until the chocolate has melted and you have a silky, thick custard. It will take 5-7 minutes from cold. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt then scrape the custard into a wide, shallow bowl. Cover the surface with cling film, cool then chill for at least 3 hrs or until cold and set.

2. Heat oven to 180C. Grease then line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Melt the butter in a pan, then remove from the heat and beat in the oil, buttermilk, coffee and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together plus ¼ tsp salt and squish any resistant lumps of sugar with your fingers. Tip in the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.

IMG_20150412_042016[1] IMG_20150412_042102[1]

3. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely, parchment-side down.

4. Remove the parchment linings from the cakes. If the cakes are domed, trim them flat. Now cut each cake across the middle using a large serrated knife. Put your least successful layer and any trimmings into a processor and pulse it to crumbs. Tip into a large bowl.

5. Sit one layer on a cake plate and spread it with a quarter of the custard. Sandwich the next layer on top, add another quarter of the custard then top with the final layer of cake. Spoon the remaining custard on top of the cake, then spread it around the top and down the sides until smooth. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up the custard again.

6. Hold the cake over the bowl containing the crumbs, then sprinkle and gently press a layer of crumbs all over the cake. Brush any excess from the plate. You’ll have some crumbs left. Chill for 2 hrs, or longer, before serving, and eat it cold. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. The cake gets fudgier and more enticing the longer you leave it. The coffee in the recipe cannot be tasted but really brings out the intense cocoa flavours in the custard and the sponge and the addition of a small pinch of salt in the custard really intensifies the chocolate even further.

IMG_20150413_222458[1] IMG_20150415_073700[1]

Biscoff Suprise

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IMG_20140919_153426[1] 19/09/2014

Well it’s not really a suprise anymore but these cookies are sure to impress. Chocolate cookies encasing caramilesed cookie butter. Now come on!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1¼ cups plain flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 4oz margarine
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • ½ cup Biscoff Spread
  • 4 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
    Prepare the dough: Blend margarine with both types of sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and blend well.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the bowl. Blend just until the dough becomes uniform. Keep refrigerated while preparing the filling.
  3. Preparing the filling: Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add Biscoff spread and mix well with a spoon until the mixture resembles a soft, comfortable but not sticky dough. Make little balls from the mixture ¾ of an inch in diameter.
  4. Assemble the cookies and bake: Form balls from the dough, slightly larger than the filling balls (approximately 1 inch in diameter) and flatten them manually into flat and thin circles. Place a ball of filling at the centre of each circle, close off the edges of the dough so that the filling is well wrapped and roll between your hands until a ball is made. IMG_20140919_153558[1]
  5. Place on a baking tray and flatten to a thickness of approximately ¾ of an inch.
  6. Bake for about 9-10 minutes, just until cookies lose their shine and their tops stabilize.               IMG_20140919_153509[1]
  7. Remove and cool. You can store for approximately 3 days covered in an airtight container at room temperature.

A beautiful chocolate fix recipe with a hidden caramelised biscuit spread centre.

The cookie dough can be quite soft and sticky. Just add a little more flour and cocoa powder until you are able to handle it and dust your hands with cocoa powder before shaping the dough to prevent it from sticking to you. Refrigerating the dough is also important as it helps the margarine to firm up and the sugar to dissolve for a meltingly soft cookie.

Why not try hiding other fillings in the centre of the cookies such as peanut butter or cubes of white chocolate?!