Chocolate Cake for Easter

The most indulgent chocolate cake to grace my table is this one that I made in collaboration with the Central England Co-Operative.  Unlike most chocolate cakes, it’s not dry as it has evaporated milk in the recipe.  It’s slathered in a rich and creamy chocolate ganache and is decorated with rather a lot of chocolate mini eggs along with some decadent praline animals.

 

It’s certainly not a cake you’d make every week, but for special occasions and a little indulgent treat, this is the cake sure to be a hit with any chocolate lover.
All of my ingredients were sourced from my local Co-Operative, and where possible, FairTrade ingredients were used.

 

Cake:
300g Self raising flour
340g Caster sugar
40g Cocoa
150g Butter (room temp)
3 Large eggs
110g Evaporated Milk
80g Water
5ml Vanilla extract
Ganache:
200g Dark chocolate
100g Milk chocolate
250ml Double cream
Decoration:
Cadbury Mini eggs (my cake took 9 bags)
Box of Co-Operative Spring praline chocolates
1. Heat the oven to 180℃.
2. Grease and line two 20cm/8″ cake tins.
3. In a large bowl place all the cake ingredients.
4. Mix together for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

 

5. Divide equally between the two cake tins.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out into a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst the cakes are cooling, now is the time to get your ganache ready.
8. In a saucepan, break the chocolate into squares and add the cream.
9. Heat very gently until the chocolate has melted, stirring frequently.
10. Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl, then set aside to cool and set.
11. When the cakes are cold and the ganache has set, use ¼ of the ganache to sandwich the cakes together.
12. Place the cakes onto a serving plate and use the other ¾ of the ganache to thickly coat the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth and pretty as you’re going to decorate the sides and top with lots and lots of mini eggs.
13. Starting at the bottom, place a row of mini eggs all around the cake, adding extra layers until you either run out of mini eggs, or you’ve covered the sides completely.
14. Decorate the top of the cakes with the spring praline chocolates.
You won’t want a large slice of this cake unless you’re a raving chocoholic with the sweetest tooth known to man, so this cake will certainly go a very, very long way indeed!  You could even (perish the thought!) share it with friends and neighbours, as I did!
Happy Easter, enjoy my recipe xx
I was sent a voucher from the Central England Co-Operative to buy ingredients with which to create a recipe for them.

Cranberry, Blueberry & Chocolate Flapjacks

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After watching Nigel Slater making flapjacks on TV this evening whilst making dinner, it put me in the frame of mind to make some myself.  This one uses my basic flapjack recipe with added fruit and a treat of hidden chocolate.

175g Butter
175g Molasses sugar
125g Golden syrup
350g Porridge oats
200g Cranberry and Blueberry mix
100g Dark chocolate drops

1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C.
2. Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup together until the sugar has melted.
3. Mix in the porridge oats until thoroughly coated.
4. Stir in the cranberries, blueberries and chocolate.
5. Pour into a lined baking tin, 30cm x 20cm.

6. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

8. Cool on the rack for a further 10 minutes, then mark into individual sized portions.
9. Cool completely then cut into individual pieces.

Easter cocktails, mocktails & chocolate?

The clocks have changed to British Summer Time which means the days are getting longer, the nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting warmer. This weekend sees two bank holidays in celebration of Easter, giving us a long weekend, so what better way to enjoy and celebrate than with a cocktail, a mocktail or a drink with friends and family? (Not forgetting enjoying some chocolate of course!).

Aldi sent me a hamper full of goodies with which to celebrate the season.

A dark, rich Pinot Noir (£4.49) which went beautifully with our lamb roast on Sunday.

A lovely, creamy white chocolate Easter Bunny that I couldn’t help but nibble on as I took my photos (oops!)

Another nibble on the bunny’s ears and I was ready to assemble all the ingredients to prepare a cocktail from their dark Hopking Rum (£9.99) and the Cocobay Caribbean White Rum & Coconut blend (£4.99).  Shaken (not stirred) with some ice and fresh double cream in my new cocktail shaker. Wow! What a combination.
For those that don’t like either cocktails or spirits, why not try a bottle of their Orchard Cider (£0.99) served cold and poured over ice for a refreshing, longer drink? Or a glass of cold, fresh sparkling Chardonnay (£6.99).

However you celebrate the Easter season; I wish you & your family good weather, good friends, happy families and amazing memories. Cheers!
The Aldi hamper and contents was sent to me free of charge from their PR company.  I was under no obligation to review the contents.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is an incredibly moist chocolate cake that’s not too sweet.  The chocolate fudge icing is a wonderful topping which balances it out perfectly.

300g Plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
450g Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
5ml Bicarbonate of Soda
125ml Milk
15ml Lemon Juice
250ml Water
250g Butter
3tbs Cocoa
5ml Vanilla
Icing:
150g Butter
30ml Water
5ml Vanilla
30ml Cocoa
325g Icing sugar

1. Heat the oven to 180C
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, eggs, bi-carbonate of soda, milk and lemon juice.
3. Set aside for 5 minutes, whilst you:
4. Heat the water, butter, cocoa and vanilla extract together until the butter has melted.
5. Add the butter and water mix to the bowl and mix well to combine.
6. Grease a 25x30cm deep dish.
7. Pour the cake batter into the dish.
8. Cook for approximately 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the dish.
10. Melt together the butter with the water and vanilla.
11. In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and cocoa.
12. Add the water and butter mixture into the icing sugar and cocoa and beat until thoroughly mixed, with no lumps.
13. Pour over the cake and leave to set.

I chose to make this for my daughter’s 13th birthday in a bundt tin.  After cooking, I left it in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack until cold.  It was then transferred to a cake stand and the fudge icing poured over the top.  If you leave the fudge icing to set and cool for a few minutes you will find that it thickens up a bit and therefore coats the cake better.