Zebra Cake- It Is So Cool and Very Easy.

I’ve been a bit absent and not very bloggy lately. I know that isn’t a word but I like it. Life in the past year has been stressful and I haven’t been able to give my time to my alter ego Muffin Mum much of my time. I think I am back.

This recipe is one I have promised people for a few months. People are so impressed when this cake is cut. It is seriously easy and the stripes are just a matter of going slow. I have played around a bit and amalgamated a few different recipes and got it to our taste. I am not normally fussed by oil based cakes but this one is good.

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Zebra Cake- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 6-8
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3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup of canola oil

1 cup of milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of plain/all purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sieved cocoa powder  (for the stripes)

 

Method

Heat oven to 180°

Grease a 9″ cake tin or a ring tin.

Beat the eggs and sugar until well mixed.

Add the oil, vanilla and milk, mix again.

Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt

Mix until all incorporated, don’t over mix.

Tip 1/2 the bowl of cake mix into another bowl, add the cocoa

Make sure the vanilla and chocolate mixes are in a jug or bowl that is easy to pour from.

Now this sounds crazy but I found counting to 4 was a good amount of time for the batter to be tipped into the cake tin.

Start with the one you have the most mix for.

Tip/spoon slowly for a count of four, pick up the other mix and do the same on the same exact spot. For the ring tin choose a spot for the round tin start in the middle of the tin.

The mix will slowly spread. Keep going until you have used all the mixture.

Bake the round tin for 35-40 minutes and the ring for 25-30 minutes. You will see some cracks and the cake pulling away from the edge of the tin when it is ready.

Allow to sit in the tin for 5 minutes and then cool on a rack.

Cover with your favourite chocolate icing when cool, I love this very rich icing.

Chocolate icing

100 grams of butter

1/3 cup of milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup caster sugar

Melt the butter in a small saucepan

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until it thickens. Spread over cake while it is still warm as it will set.

If you want to get daring do more colours, I tried a camouflage look for my husbands birthday. It kids of worked.

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Chocolate Bark – Christmas Is Coming, Great For A Gift.

I had forgotten about chocolate bark and how cool it is. It would make a great teacher gift and is oh so easy. It would make a great gift for anyone who like chocolate really.

Good old Whittaker’s chocolate is my choice. My most recent and favourite bark has been topped with my current favourite Something To Crow About Muesli – Cashew Sour Cherry and Chia Gluten Free Cereal.

One bar and a cup of muesli made enough bark to generously fill a dinner plate. This is one of those recipes that you can really make your own and impress people.

See the full method here.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chocolate Tour – My First Box

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The Chocolate Tour

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A while ago I started looking for a subscription box, I love getting mail and opening boxes. Thinking about it that is rather strange as I don’t like opening gifts from people I know. In my search I looked at all sorts but didn’t find anything that floated my boat. I did consider a socks one, but nah. One day my quest was over.

Fellow blogger, Wellingtonian and Mum Rosa started a chocolate subscription box. Yes, you read right a chocolate subscription box. New Zealand is fast becoming recognised as an excellent chocolate producer. Today my first box arrived. I managed to hide from other’s photos on social media and even wait until after dinner before opening it.

 

Opening it I must to confess to feeling a little nervous and worried that I might be disappointed. I shouldn’t have bothered with the negative thoughts, it contained a fantastic stash of chocolate goodness. This months box has the theme, The Inner Child.  So far I have just eaten the J’aime Les Macaron’s Choc Pop. It was so very good and I am having an internal argument about what to eat next. I must finish here and solve the argument!

*This is not a sponsored post.

Sorry I didn’t use a fancy camera but I needed to get to the good stuff.

A Day Off, Baron Hasselhoff’s And The Beach House and Kiosk.

Yesterday was the first day of summer down this end of the world. In Wellington it started out grey and eventually turned into summer. It was a perfect day for heading over to the south coast of the city and for a bit of an adventure.

I picked up my friend Lily to head to the Beach House and Kiosk. I decided a detour down Adelaide Road with a stop off at a chocolatier’s was in order and I am mighty glad we did.

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Excuse the not very good photo but you get the gist.

Baron Hasselhoff’s was amazing and I think I speak for both of us when I say we left happy. It is a small place with chocolates that amaze. It reminds me of visiting choccywoccydoodah in Brighton. You can see the mind at work making the delightful chocolates. These are not your run of the mill chocolates, they are thought out and considered flavours. They are very different chocolates to I have had anywhere else and I will certainly be treating myself to a box of 6 soon.  While in there we had a good chat with the owner and did rather a lot of trying samples, buying chocolates and eating them right there, it was fun. I loved the Rose, raspberry and pomegranate molasses and was surprised by the liquorice root mallow puff.

After our chocolate stop we headed to the cafe at the end of the road and around by red rocks. The cafe that was here previously had rather a sad reputation and was a bit unloved by locals. It is the first stop for many people who have emigrated here or are on holiday, it was our first cafe in New Zealand. Wellington…… you need to rethink that!

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The cafe has been renovated and is now the Beach House And Kiosk, it is stunning. The views around there are the same jaw dropping views and now the cafe is back to matching the scenery. We both loved the decor and the ambiance. It feels good and is a place I would drive out of my way to visit. The cakes on the counter looked lovely, the service was nice, friendly and Kiwi. The food we ordered was also excellent. Our one gripe was the duck fat spuds could have been cooked and little more.

The old owners of Elements and Zoe, one of the chefs from Elements are running this place. It showed in the food, the menu and I will certainly be back for more.

We shared a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad and duck fat potatoes. Lily didn’t want the pecorino cheese on the spuds so I had mine on the side. Both dishes were lovely and we were left full. The smoked yoghurt with the cauliflower was a big winner. Oh, I forgot, we also fitted in half a doughnut each. That was good too.

Fruit Tacos with Chocolate Tortillas – Recipe For Gluten Free Or Wheat Chocolate Tortillas.

 

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We have been eating rather a lot of these babies and nobody has been complaining. The husband did complain a little because he wasn’t so keen on the corn version. Miss and I had no issue and preferred them to the flour version.

I think the biggest factor in the taste being chocolatey and yum is the quality of the cocoa. Using the Equagold Premium Dutch Cocoa  certainly improved  the chocolate flavour.

As with any bread the recipe does depend on the weather. Don’t be afraid to add a touch more water  or a bit more flour to get the dough to the right consistency. You want a slightly sticky, almost gummy dough.

For rolling them out I used my tortilla press. I put the ball between greaseproof paper , pressed it and then rolled it a little more. If you don’t have a press just roll it between the greaseproof paper sheets.

Please let me know if this recipe works for you or not and if you did anything differently.

Thanks,

Muffin Mum.

Chocolate Tortillas GF and Wheat. - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 6-8 tortilla
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1 c masa or white bread flour

2 tbsp Cocoa

2 tbsp icing sugar

Pinch salt

1 tbsp flavourless oil (canola/coconut etc)

1/2 c water

In a medium size bowl mix flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar.

Give it a good stir with a fork to break cocoa lumps up.

Add oil and stir while slowly adding water.

The dough should start to come together as you stir.

As it starts balling get your hands in there and bring it together into one clump.

You may need to add a little more water to make this happen.

Give the dough a good knead, either in the bowl or out on a lightly floured surface.

Knead until it gets a shine and kind of feels like chewing gum.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes and keep covered.

Roll into 6 -8 balls, I weighed each ball out to 25g.

Get your dry fry pans heating on a medium heat.

Lightly flatten a ball and play between greaseproof sheets.

Either press with tortilla press or roll until roughly 10 cm in diameter.

When your first ball is made place it in dry preheated fry pan.

Prepare your next ball and keep an eye on the pan.

Turn the chocolate tortilla when you can see the edges look dry and cook the other side. They only take a couple of minutes to cook and look more like the top of a cake when done.

Place cooked tortillas in a folded clean tea towel to keep warm.

Carry on until they are all cooked.

Serve with fruit and cream.

Enjoy

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