Category Archives: Cakes
The question I always tend to ask myself before baking something is: would I eat this if I was offered it? This stems from back in the day when I found myself making things because they looked pretty in the magazine but that didn’t ‘really’ appeal to me, in terms of ingredients. It’s these types of pitfalls of experimenting we sometimes fall into, especially if you are on the first try of a dish and you are doubtful to begin with about it’s taste. Another one of those pitfalls is the ‘how hard can it be’ thought and ‘this looks fancy, must be delicious’. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m easily charmed by nice pictures for example, there is something about a lovely glossy piece of fruit or meat that gives an instant gratifying feeling and you wish to extend that feeling as long as possible by making the meal as soon as possible.
One thing that has never disappointed me is chocolate. It’s the (sometimes) solid brown or white rock that I can always count on to taste just as delicious as I imagined it. In any shape or form it has always delivered on it’s promise. Till this day I have yet to taste chocolate, melted or otherwise, that was not good.
While tinkering in the kitchen on a batch of cupcakes as a gift for a friend I decided I would try out the mother of gruesome chocolate-y tasks: tempering my own chocolate for decorations. I wanted to make letters to spell out her name and after watching about a dozen YouTube videos on the subject I was confident, only a little, that I could pull it off. With no candy thermometer on hand ( or any thermometer at all really ) I worked my way through 2 bars of 250 grams of chocolate. In the end I managed to make the chocolate do what I wanted and the result was exactly as I hoped: sweet, delicious chocolate that snapped properly and looked lovely. The wasted chocolate was a small price to pay for this success, and even if my first decorations were quite small they brought plenty of joy that cannot be found in a packet in a store.
The busy week is finally over, weekend is here and we are preparing for Easter celebrations. With friends and family coming over for a late brunch I decided to add something deliciously sweet to have with our coffee and teas. A super easy Apricot Spongecake that honestly was a breeze to make, with a summery feel. We are in dire need of summery things at the moment, the weather insists on being gloomy and very anti-Spring.
The best part about this that you don’t have to stick to the apricots. If there are certain fresh fruits in season I use those as a layer instead of the jam. Keep in mind if you do this the fresh juices will be soaked up by the spongecake so it’s best to bake 2 cakes instead of cutting one in 2 halves like I did for this one. Below the recipe for cake and filling.
If I am very honest I really love making a mess in the kitchen. I don’t go out of my way to smear stuff on the wall mind you, but I do get a feeling of rebellion when everything is not so neat anymore because you have bowls and pots covered in chocolate sauce. The type of sticky situation I found myself in yesterday when I set out to make a sticky Honey & Chocolate Cake. This cake is lovingly dubbed The Sweet Bomb by my friends and for a reason. It’s sticky, sweet and lush, a perfect mate for some light mint tea.
Below the recipe!
Spring is upon us and with that new opportunities, fresh flowers, spring colors and scents. I was thinking today that there are only a few things I will miss about winter: Christmas, clean and crisp air, and of course the food.
In honor of winters past I made a batch of chocolate rum cakes, with the warmth of rum soaked sultanas, cinnamon and cocoa. The best way to say adieu and so simple to make.
- 125 grams of self-rising flour
- 100 grams of plain all-purpose flour
- 25 grams of cocoa
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 pitch of salt
- 1 tsp of grounded cinnamon
- 175 grams sugar
- 1 egg
- 200 ml milk or buttermilk
- 75 ml of vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of rum extract
- 75 ml of rum
- 100 grams of sultanas
- Place the sultanas in a bowl and soak them with the rum for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl lightly, for best results sift everything into the bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined in a smooth batter.
- Add the sultanas, make sure to squeeze them so they are not too wet.
- Bake in the oven on 225 C for 25 minutes.
- Leave them to cool on a rack and sprinkle with some powdered sugar.