Most Excellent Chocolate Raspberry Cake And Thick Chocolate Icing.

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My daughter turned 14 years old this week. I don’t know where the time has gone? She is turning into an amazing young lady and is way taller than me. She comes in very handy for getting things off shelves and general reaching tasks. I don’t think I will need a step stall for a few years.

As it was her birthday on a Wednesday and her party on Saturday she was lucky enough to get two cakes. One was a rerun of the Cheesecake Shops Rainbow Cake and I made the most lovely chocolate cake for the actual day. I want to put the recipe on here for next time as this is going to be my go-to chocolate cake recipe and it went really well with the thick chocolate icing. Afer a couple of days of being cut, I microwaved a slice for 15 seconds and this turned it into a pudding type cake.

The cake recipe is from the Chelsea Sugar Website and the icing from Yummy Tummy Aarthi. 

The icing is very thick and this is how I intended it to be. It can be spread with a dinner knife dipped in hot water.

I used Lindt Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Chocolate for the cake.

Enjoy. I have to squeeze the dreaded word in somewhere, the jam keeps it moist.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake- Muffinmum.com

125g butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1/2 cup raspberry jam, homemade is optional

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup milk, warmed

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cake

Grease and line a 24cm cake tin.

Cream butter and Caster Sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then beat in vanilla and raspberry jam.

Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa.

Dissolve baking soda in milk.

Fold dry ingredients and milk alternately into butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into cake tin and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.

Leave in tin on a rack to cool for ten minutes, remove from tin and allow to cool
Ice with chocolate icing when cold.

Thick Chocolate Icing

30 grams butter

1 tablespoon water

3/4 c icing sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder ( I love Pams)

Place water and butter in a saucepan on a low heat, gently melt the butter

Sieve cocoa powder and icing sugar

Beat cocoa and icing sugar into the butter mix

This will be thick, slowly add some more hot water if needed

Place in the centre of the cake and work outwards using a knife dipped in a cup of hot water

 

 

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You Baked A Cheesecake In A Pressure Cooker?

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Yes, I did.

We recently purchased a multi cooker with a pressure cooker setting and we are loving it. I am using the term we because Mr has got on the Pressure Cooker bandwagon and has perfected a chicken and cashew dish. The most interesting thing I have made is the cheesecake.

This cheesecake is the best I have ever made. It is a thing of beauty, well not when it first comes out and looks a bit like the moons surface, it defiantly needs some form of decorating to make it look fab. It certainly tastes fab.

The recipe I used is a mash up of a couple. I combined my favourite biscuit base from Hummingbird Bakery and the cheese part is from Great Big Pressure Cooker Book : 500 Recipes For Every Day And Every Make Of Machine.  I tweaked and made it mint flavoured with nice layers effect. One layer was chocolate mint and the the top was mint chocolate chip.

Right, the recipe. If you don’t get any of my bumbling let me know and I will clear anything up. The most important thing is to have the sour cream and cream cheese at room temperature, I said ROOM TEMPERATURE. My plan is to keep the basic recipe the same but use different types of chocolate. I see a future where I add cherry in some form.

Above you can see the foil sling, the cheesecake in the cooker with the handles folded back and the final result. If you look closely at the final result you will see a few finger dents. I tested it by touching it and feeling it was solid.

 

Chocolate Cheesecake In The Pressure Cooker - Muffinmum.com

A 20cm (8 inch diameter) spring-form cake tin (check fits in pressure cooker) lightly oiled – butter is fine.

About 50 cm length of foil folded in to 1/3 length ways

Base

220g (8oz) digestive biscuits (I used Wine biscuits)

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

2 packets of cream cheese (Philadelphia)

1/4 c packed dark brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks (at room temp)

250g Whittakers Ghana Dark Peppermint

1/4 c sour cream

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker and put the rack in too (should come with cooker)

Crush biscuits and stir in melted butter, leave for a few minutes for the butter to absorb

Put crumbs mix in base of prepared pan and press gently with a glass, craft the biscuits up the side of the tin so there is a lip of 2/3cm up the side

Place in fridge for a minimum of 1/2 hour

Break off 2 rows of the chocolate and set aside

Gently melt remaining chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler, allow to cool for 10 mins

In a food processor with a blade process the cream cheese and sugars until smooth

Scrape down the sides, add the whole egg and process.

Add yolks one at a time processing in between

Scrap sides again and add , sour cream , flour and vanilla

Process again until kind of soft and fluffy

Remove 1/3 of the mix and put into a bowl, cut the 2 lines of chocolate into chunks and stir through this mix

Add the melted chocolate  in to the remaining  2/3 of mix

Place prepared tin onto the centre of your foil sling , you are going to use it to take the pan out of the pressure cooker

Pour  chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and then top with the chocolate chunk mix

Give it a gentle wobble to level

Using the sling, lower the pan into the pressure cooker. Try to make sure the foil is pushed away so it doesn’t cover the pan at all but you can unroll to use as handles

Cook on High for 25 mins

Unplug the pressure cooker at the wall and allow to release pressure naturally

Remove using the sling

There may be water on the top, don’t panic just blot with a piece of kitchen roll

Run a knife around the outer edge/tin to loosen

Allow to cool on a rack for 1 hour, refrigerate for a few hours before eating.

Decorate the top with whatever takes your fancy, sorry but it isn’t pretty. I grated a Whittakers Mint Sante Bar over the top

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hummingbird Bakery Books – You Need Them All.

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I have just discovered that I am missing a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook from my collection. Don’t worry, I have fixed things and ordered Home Sweet Home.

These books are the most amazing, mine are full of bookmarks. Everything I cook comes out fabulous and they are an enjoyment just to look at when you need to feel happy. My one regret from my last trip back to the UK was that I didn’t go to the actual bakery when I was in London. Next time I will make it top of my list.

My most recent bakes have been very successful, if I do say so myself.

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Yesterday, I made the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (p 54) and it saw off my grumps and was a bit of a challenge. I enjoyed every moment of making it and eating it. It is the kind of cake I would be happy to pay too much for a slice of.

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A couple of weeks ago I also made the Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake from Cake Days (p174). I did reduce the cheese layer and did 2/3 of the original recipe. I kept the amount of base, nuts and delicious butterscotch layer the same. It was so very good and my friends were all impressed.

So, off you go…… buy them all. I am not going to blog the recipes because you need these beauties in your life.

 

High Teas Society And Me.

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A few months ago I got a surprise message on twitter from a fellow former blogger, Lady Loves Cake. The message was asking if I would be interested in taking over her post as reviewer of all things High Tea in the Wellington region for the High Tea Society. The answer was a swift yes.

After a few emails back and forth and pinching myself a few times, I got my first assignment at Martha’s Pantry. As photography was required I invited my birthday buddy and fellow food focused Brit along, Lucy from Wellington Foodies. We are now a High Tea Team.

Our first experience was lovely and at the same time, overwhelming. We ate, we laughed and were made to feel very welcome. After a couple more reviews we are both more confident and enjoying our journey.

This weekend we will be at another venue scoffing our faces and trying to behave. I can’t wait. Thank you Michelle Milton for giving us the opportunity to indulge.

Here are the reviews Lucy and I have sacrificed ourselves for so far. I would like to say to my personal trainer Tim that I don’t eat it all but we both know that is a lie.

 

Martha’s Pantry

The Intercontinental Wellington

The Gear Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

Shared Lunch- Jalapeño Popper Pies?

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Friday was a sad day at work, we said goodbye to a friend. In the grand tradition of our branch we had a shared lunch. Said friend is a spice fiend and rather than do my predictable sweet baking, I opted for something with jalapeños in. After getting lost in Pinterest for a few hours I settled on a recipe for the above pies. They were good and a big success.

I made them the night before, let them cool and stored. Some of my pies burst a bit and while they were still warm I pushed the cheese back in. I will be making these regularly for bring a plate events.

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The original recipe is here and I adapted it to suit me. Now these are not a quick thing to but I did enjoy myself with a Luke Cage Spotify music fest and a dance.

Jalapeño Popper Pies- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: enough for a group
  • Print

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

150g cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/3 cup jared jalapeño peppers chopped (we use Delmaine)

1 packet frozen puff pastry with 5 sheets

Lay pastry  sheets out to defrost.

Heat oven to 200°

Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar, flour and jalapeño peppers.

Cut pastry with a fluted 5cm cutter.

Place heaped teaspoon of cream cheese mix in centre of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg/water mix.

Put another circle on top and crimp shut with a fork.

Lightly prick tops with a fork.

Place on a greased baking tray.

Continue until all circles have been used.

Brush finished pies with egg/water mix.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool on tray.

 

Use The One Egg Up- Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin.

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There was one egg left in the box. Do you know how nuts that drives me? All day I have been thinking of using that egg up as the oven was going on at dinner time. At the last minute I decided to experiment , this Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin was the result. They are smaller than your average muffin, I used a cupcake tin. I also managed to use up the dregs of the peanut butter . Winning. Also, this is a bung it all in and stir mix.

 

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Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Heat oven to 180º

55g butter

2/3c plain flour

1/2 c caster sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg lightly whisked

3 tsp peanut butter (I used crunchy)

Grease a 6 hole cupcake tin.

Melt butter in a saucepan or microwaveable bowl.

Add all of the ingredients except the peanut butter.

Stir until all the flour is mixed in.

Share mix between the 6 cups.

Put 1/2 tsp peanut butter on top of each muffin.

Swirl with a chop stick so it mixed a little.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.