Chocolate Loaf Cake

How DELICIOUS does that cake look!? Bragging is allowed when it comes to cake! πŸ™‚ This cake is so easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser. You can tell all my friends are cake and chocolate lovers too… … Continue reading

Gooey Nutella Cookies

I made these last week and posted a pic on the blog Facebook while munching away on them. I wasn’t even going to blog them as I just threw them together really so excuse the lack of pics as I … Continue reading

Biiiiiiiggggg Double Chocolate Cookies! Double the chocolate, double the goodness :-)

I gave in – I made a recipe using cups! It’s been doing my head in since I started baking about 18 months ago. I don’t know why but I have some sort of mental block towards recipes in the … Continue reading

Red Velvet Cake

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If there’s one thing that American’s like it’s their red velvet cakes and cupcakes! I was in NYC last year and paid one too many visits to the Magnolia Bakery, I swear to God that place is my idea of heaven….. I couldn’t tell you how many cupcakes I polished off over my few days there πŸ™‚ One of my faves was their red velvet cupcakes.

Now I won’t lie and pretend my creation was anywhere near as good but for my first attempt this weekend my cake didn’t turn out too bad. I only had the liquid red food colouring and not the paste and I reckon that was part of the reason it wasn’t really as red as I would have liked, must remember to pick up some red paste soon.

There are lots of different variations of recipe for this cake, some with vegetable oil, some with sour cream or greek yoghurt and I’ve heard of some using beetroot to add the colour…. I went for the simplest one I could find πŸ™‚

I LOVE the cream cheese icing. It’s taken me ages to get the consistency right, any recipes I’ve made before that use cream cheese icing, I’ve been left with runny icing that won’t set at all…. so I just messed around with the ratios of the cheese and icing sugar and this time it seems to have worked at 2:1. I always go for full fat cream cheese for this icing, I just think it stops it being too runny.

So anyway – on we go to the cake!

Ingredients List

Cake
120g (4 ΒΌ oz) butter
300g (11 oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
300g plain flour sieved
225ml (8 fl oz) buttermilk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
20g (3/4 oz) cocoa powder sieved
about 1/2 tsp red food colour paste
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Icing
400g full fat cream cheese / Philadelphia
800g Icing Sugar
tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter 3 sandwich tins and line the bases with baking / greaseproof paper. I use these cheapo ones from Argos:
http://www.argos.ie/static/Product/partNumber/8615662/Trail/searchtext%3ESANDWICH+.htm

2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together for until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after adding each one. Β Β Β Β 

3. Now add the flour in three goes, alternating it with the buttermilk.

4. Add the salt, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Start to add the red food colouring until the mixture is a dusky red. If you are gonna use the liquid colouring like I did you’ll need quite a bit.. just keep adding a teaspoon at a time and mixing in.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. It will fizz up a little bit. Add to the batter and mix.

6. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the tins, you don’t have to be 100% accurate here, just roughly the same amount in each tin.

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7. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until firm when pressed in the centre.

8. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack, remove the paper and leave to cool fully for about half an hour at least before icing.

Onto the icing… easiest icing ever to make.

9. Drain of any excess water from the packs of cream cheese then turn the cheese out into your mixing bowl. Sieve in the icing sugar in about 3 goes mixing it in well each time with a fork. You HAVE to sieve it in, no being lazy and just pouring it in or it’ll be a mess. Also try not to overwork the mixture as it makes it go runny if you are beating it for too long. If the icing is a bit runny just fridge it for half an hour or so to stiffen it up a bit again and then ice the cake.

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10. Layer up the cake with a load of icing between each layer and then loooooooads poured over the top and let it drip down the sides. Oh this is so yummy, I want some now! Leave it to set for a while then eat till your heart’s content πŸ™‚

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Chocolate & Vanilla Marble Cake

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It’s not pay day till next week and it was a 5 week month for me – which means I’m broke. When I’m broke my baking is dull, dull, dull! No fancy ingredients or trips to Avoca to pick up “nicies” to make something new…. being broke sucks!!

I was rummaging around for a recipe that is as basic as can be and came across this one for a Marble Cake – all I needed was the ingredients for a normal sponge plus some cocoa powder and then icing sugar – even just before pay day I can stretch to that πŸ™‚ 

You can do this two ways, either using a circular sandwich tin or else a loaf tin – whichever you have or prefer is fine… I think it looks better in a loaf tin to be honest. Just do the usual job of greasing and lining it with baking paper / parchment first (am I the only one who HATES lining the sandwich tins? Drawing around the tin, cutting it out, cutting loads of little rectangles for the sides…ugh, it really annoys me!!!)

Anyway here we go!

Ingredients List

Cake
160g butter
160g caster sugar
160g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Β½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hot water

Icing
50g butter
30g cocoa powder (sieved)
4-5 tablespoons milk
200g icing sugar (sieved)

**** Please sieve the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl first… if you don’t and you just throw them into the pan while making the icing you are gonna have horrible bitter lumps of cocoa powder and lumps of icing sugar – so sieve it first!! 

1. Preheat the oven to 160Β°C or slightly lower for a fan oven. Grease and line your tin.

2. In your mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Every frickin recipe I read says β€œuntil light and fluffy”…. mine is never light and fluffy! Just beat it till it’s very well mixed in I say πŸ™‚

3. One by one add in the eggs, beating well again after each one and add in the vanilla extract. This mixture will look pretty gross – don’t stress, that’s normal!

4. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold the mixture together with a spoon – don’t use a fork or beat this together, just nice and slowly fold it together with the spoon. Add the milk and continue to fold.

5. Spoon about half of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.

6. In another small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and hot water and mix until smooth. Allow this mixture to cool for a few mins then add to one of the bowls and mix well until evenly blended.

7. Spoon the vanilla and chocolate cake mixtures into the tin randomly until you’ve used up all of them – you really don’t have to be neat here, just plop them in any which way. I then sometimes use a skewer and mix it round a bit but again, not necessary – you’re gonna throw icing over the top anyway so it won’t be seen!

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8. Bake in the oven for about 35 – 40 mins. It will be well risen and firm to touch. Once it’s cooked, take it from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 mins then turn it out and peel off the baking paper and allow to cool fully. Don’t get all impatient and try to do this as soon as it comes out of the oven as it’ll be too warm and soft and the cake may start to crumble off with the baking paper (I speak from experience!)

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9. Now to make the icing. Melt the butter in a small pan on a medium heat – DO NOT put this on a high heat… it burns easily (again, unfortunately I learned this from experience!) Add in the sieved cocoa powder and mix well – do this quite quickly. Stir in the milk and add half of the icing sugar.

Now take it off the heat and mix well. It really does need to be taken off the heat here or the mixture gets all dry and sticks to the bottom of the pan! Put the pan back on the heat and mix for about 15 seconds until it all starts to soften up again with the heat. Then add the 2nd half of the icing sugar and again mix well. If it’s really dry add a small splash more milk and mix it all again.

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That’s the icing done – just pour it over the cake, let it pour down the sides or just leave it whichever way it lands. Leave to set for a good half hour at least. Then sprinkle with icing sugar and serve – it’s yum with some nice vanilla ice cream!

Enjoy πŸ™‚

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