Délice au chocolat (Chocolate Delight)

Jane’s second chocolate delight was aptly named the Chocolate Delight. After a slice of chocolate jam cake, it was the perfect dessert, and left the happy cake clubbers almost unable to move away from the table. Her report follows.

Délice au chocolat

250 g dark chocolate
175 g butter
150 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
125 g crème fraîche
2 tablespoons white flour
pinch of salt
icing sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 23cm round tin. (I use a 20cm cos that’s all I have).
Melt the butter and chocolate over a low heat and stir to combine well.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until the mixture whitens and becomes creamy.
Pour the melted chocolate over the egg mixture and beat until well combined. Add the crème fraîche then fold in the sifted flour.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm and fold delicately into the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for approximately 35 min or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin before transferring to a serving plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours as the cake is very fragile when hot.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.

This recipe comes from Christelle Le Ru’s ‘Simply Irresistible French Desserts.’

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 22:18  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Jam Cake

This week started with birthday cake. Normally this could only be considered a Good Thing, but after your dedicated web editor consumed three slices of bakery heaven on Monday (followed up by a cheeky evening chocolate brownie), it was deemed necessary to herald Tuesday’s cake club with a public health warning about the dangers of cake.

…the desire to eat is reduced and replaced by a feeling of fullness. If you are concerned by the amount of cake you’re eating, then you’re not alone. We all need cake in our diets, but only a limited amount that is made up from “good” cake sources.

New and improved Bring a Friend day at Cake Club can help you to stay focused, motivated and reduce the impact of too many slices of cake. In the real world, we all lose our way from time to time, but the secret to good cake consumption is to take the long term view, employ moderation and enjoy the cake you love. So join in Bring a Friend Day at Cake Club, save your arteries and reduce the quantity of calories available for the rest of us.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone’s friends are already in cake club, so there weren’t many other people to bring. Fortunately, Jane’s two chocolate cakes were both so delicious that we managed to squeeze it all in with a little effort. Her recipe for chocolate jam cake follows.

125 g butter
100 g dark chocolate
300 g jam
150 g castor sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
150 g self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm springform tin.
Melt the butter over a low heat in a large pot. Stir in the chocolate until smooth and melted.
Add the jam, sugar and eggs and stir until well amalgamated.
Beat in the flour bit by bit.
Pour into the tin and bake for around 50 min until a skewer comes out clean.

This cake is my standby, can’t fail, need a cake in a hurry cake and comes from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ where she calls it a Store Cupboard cake. In the original recipe she uses marmalade but I usually use raspberry jam or morello cherry jam for special occasions (such as cake club) cos that’s what I prefer but the idea is to use whatever you have at hand (hence the Store cupboard cake). I’ve also thrown a handful of blueberries in when I’ve had some in the freezer so you could also experiment with other fruit too if so inspired. When you use a ‘sloppy’ jam such as anathoth’s raspberry you end up with a dense brownie type cake, a firmer jam gives a more cakey cake. It can start to burn on top so I often turn it down to 170°C for the second half of the cooking time but it’s easily covered up with some icing sugar sifted on top.

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 22:11  Leave a Comment  

Hummingbird Cake

This artistically named and executed bit of bakery was provided by Robyn despite her own last minute lack of bodily presence. Perhaps 10 am meetings should in future be outlawed? The cake went down supremely well, and it was only with real restraint and dogged determination that the Cake Clubbers present were able to leave a slice of the Hummingbird on the platter to go back to Robyn at the end of tea time. Her recipe follows.

Hummingbird Cake
225 g can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped, blanched almonds
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix all ingredients until just combined. Pour into a 23 cm lined and greased cake tin and bake for 1.5 hours until golden brown.
Leave in tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.

Frosting
50 g softened butter
250 g softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the vanilla and icing sugar. Split the cake into 2 or 3 layers, then fill/cover inside and out with the frosting. Leave to set before serving.

Published in: on September 25, 2010 at 20:33  Leave a Comment  

Rocky Road Cake (aka Quake Cake)

Inspiration for this cake came from Wendy’s muse, the Greendale Fault and her antics on September 4th, 2010. While the cake itself was a basic off-the-shelf recipe for chocolate cake, the decoration was a one-off piece of post-quakorial art. The pieces represent the artist’s personal struggle of September 4th, including the toppled water-tank, death of a cow, and road sagging, but also incorporate the region’s general plight against liquefaction. Her report follows.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup water

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups icing sugar
1 cup miniature marshmallows

liquorice

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Sift once more, and then sift again into a 9 inch square pan.
Make a well in the centre, and measure in the oil, vinegar and vanilla.
Pour water over all and mix with a fork until smooth.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To make the frosting: In a saucepan, combine chocolate, butter and water. Cook over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Fold in miniature marshmallows. Spread over cake.

A note from Chef Wendy modestly claims that while it was a magnificent piece of art, it was a pretty ordinary cake. In fact, this offering came a week later than expected, after the lack of water and multiple agitations by Ms Greendale Fault resulted in the first no-show in Cake Club’s long and revered history. This provided some comedy when the errant chef sat expectantly waiting for bakery to be provided by someone else, the important task of cooking having slipped her mind (see below for the moment when the penny dropped). Nonetheless, Cake Club believes that it was quakenificent, and wishes to put forward the view that it tasted as awesome as it looked, and was well worth waiting for.

Published in: on September 25, 2010 at 20:17  Leave a Comment  

Baklava

After a little shake up on 4th September consisting of an unexpected 7.1 earthquake under Canterbury followed by one or two mild aftershocks, Cake Club was momentarily postponed due to the site tea room being inconveniently closed for business. Fortunately the building was cleared for use during tea breaks and the hungry clubbers bounced back quickly, rearranging sugar-time for a different day. Gareth provided Baklava to console those with less than perfect brickwork and newly installed sand (and silt) pits in their living rooms, and this very sweet treat went very well with water boiled carefully for three minutes before turning into tea. His report will follow shortly.

Published in: on September 25, 2010 at 20:06  Leave a Comment