Cream cheese raspberry brownies

After Canadian Living Best – Chocolate: “from a celebrated Toronto pastry chef”. Modified by busy NZ based scientist not reading the recipe too well, still turns out pretty irresistible.


250 g dark chocolate

500 g softened cream cheese (2 packages)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 cup softened butter

1 cup flour

Pinch of salt

Raspberry jam, or better fresh/frozen raspberries


Melt chocolate, let cool to lukewarm

In large bowl beat cream cheese with 1/3 cup of the sugar until smooth (soften the cream cheese in the microwave at medium heat if needed). Beat in one of the eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla

In separate large bowl beat butter with remaining sugar until smooth, beat in remaining eggs one at a time, beat in remaining vanilla, then chocolate. Mix in flour and salt until just combined

Reserve 1 cup of chocolate batter. Spread remaining chocolate batter in 3.5L cake pan. Spread with cream cheese mixture. Spoon jam and/or raspberries over top.

Bake in center of preheated 180°C oven for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool and cut into squares.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 18:57  Leave a Comment  


5th December was world soil day, and so a mudcake was appropriate. It has a silty to sandy texture, dense structure but no recognizable horizons.

The recipe is from, with slight changes.


250 g butter, chopped

200 g dark chocolate, chopped

2 cups caster sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon instant coffee, or for extra texture: freshly grinded coffee

1 1/2 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup cocoa

3 eggs lightly beaten


In large saucepan, add first 5 ingredients (butter, chocolate, sugar, water, coffee).

Melt together until sugar dissolved and butter and chocolate are melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes

Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into large mixing bowl

Add cooled chocolate liquid and beat gently

Add eggs and beat gently

Pour into greased cake tin and bake at 150°C for 1 3/4 hour, but test frequently

Also on offer were biscotti with alcoholic syrup by John H.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 18:54  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Banana Cake

In what must have been the largest turn-out to cake club ever, Amy said goodbye to her fellow cake clubbers and work colleagues with a tasty chocolate banana cake and a pile of other goodies contributed by clubbers and the WEM team. She will sadly miss the delights of Tuesday morning cake, one of the best incentives for coming to work on a Tuesday, but will continue to drool over cakes from afar.
Banana Chocolate Cake


100g butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 banana, mashed

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup cocoa

pinch salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 180 C. Beat together butter and sugar, add egg and mix well. Mix in yoghurt and then banana and sifted dry ingredients. Sitr through baking soda dissolved in hot water. Pour mixture into a greased, lined cake pan (22 cm). Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

Makes 4 cups

500ml cream

500g best quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Pour the cream into a medium pot and heat it until it is almost but not quite boiling. You’ll know it’s ready when bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream. Whisk until smooth and glossy. When you start to stir it, you think it won’t come together, but it will.

If you’re not using the ganache straight away, store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to serve it, gently warm in a pot or microwave to soften.

Published in: on October 12, 2012 at 15:44  Leave a Comment  

Death By Chocolate

After several weeks of alarmingly healthy looking cakes with real fruit on top, Sam decided it was time for Death By Chocolate. Two blocks of Whittakers chocolate later, and her piece de resistance was ready. The Cake Club were pleased to esteem it, and in short order demolished 90% of the beast. It was both delicious and rich, and unusually for the clubbers, no one could actually face a second helping (or at least recognised the unwise-ness of that path), meaning that a few lucky absentees still managed to get a slice later in the day. Sam’s report follows.

Death By Chocolate

8 oz (225 g) dark semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa; I used Whitakers 50% Dark)
2/3 cup (140 g) butter
1 cup (210 g) sugar
4 eggs
4 heaped tablespoons (1 dl) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sour cream

Ingredients for frosting
2/3 cup (1.6 dl) heavy cream or whipping cream
9 oz (260 g) semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
Line a circular 10 inch (25 cm) cake tin (3 inches tall) with grease proof or other non-stick paper and grease the tin. (Please note that the cake will rise to 3 inches and collapse somewhat when cooled. If your cake tin is less than 10 inches wide and 3 inches tall we recommend that you use two cake tins.)
Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter over hot water.
Beat the eggs with sugar, mix with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.

Slowly fold in the melted butter and chocolate and the sour cream.
Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean, approximately 40 to 50 minutes (if using 2 cake tins 20-30 minutes may be sufficient).
Cool the cake completely. When it has obtained room temperature place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before removing the cake from the tin (the cake is sticky and difficult to cut when it is warm!)
Remove the crusted surface on the top of the cake, and cut in half, horizontally.

Heat 2/3 cup (1.6 dl) of heavy cream or whipping cream in a sauce pan.
Remove from heat, add 9 oz (260 g) of finely chopped dark semisweet chocolate, stir until smooth, and let it cool until it thickens.
Use one 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake. Put the cake into the fridge for one hour or more to harden the frosting.
This cake should be at room temperature when served.

You may add 3 tablespoons of rum to the chocolate and butter mixture.
You can add chopped walnuts and decorate with whole walnuts for a marvellous nutty treat!

Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 22:47  Comments (1)  

Ginger Shortcake and Chocolate Brownies

The Cake Club Calendar having fallen rather silent and empty of late, Kat leaped into the breach with not one but two excellent slices. Cake Club went al fresco for one week only as the tea room was booked – fortunately the sun crawled out from behind the clouds and provided a rather nice morning tea in the fresh air.

Ginger Shortcake (Mackenzie Muster ‘a century of favourites’)
125 g butter
125 g sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 egg
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
225 g flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and golden syrup and beat well. Sift in baking powder, ginger, flour and salt. Mix together. Put mixture into a shallow tin and press out with damp fingers. Bake at 180°C for 15-20. When cool, ice with ginger icing

Ginger icing
1 cup icing sugar
25 g butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Approx 3 tablespoons boiling water

Place icing sugar, butter, ginger and golden syrup in a bowl. Add water one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Pour over the cooled shortcake and spread to make an even coating.

NB: I added more ginger than the recipe described (they suggested 1 teaspoon). Add to your taste.

Chocolate brownie (Women’s Weekly Best Food Desserts, 2004)
150 g butter
300 g dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups (330g) firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (75 g) ground hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line a shallow tin. Stir butter and chocolate in a small saucepan until smooth. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. Stir in sugar, eggs, then flour, sour cream and nuts. Spread mix into the prepared tin. Bake for 30min and cool in the pan.

NB: The recipe calls for 75 g coarsely chopped hazelnuts, but we only had ground hazelnuts.

Raspberry sauce
2 cups raspberries
Sugar to taste

Add raspberries to a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until they fall to pieces. Add sugar to taste and continue cooking until it has reached your desired consistency. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Sieve through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pips.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 19:02  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Cake

To help the cake club get up and running again, Mandy made a pair of awesome chocolate cakes. Drizzled in icing sugar and heavy with chocolate, guzzling these beauties was a spectacular way to spend the tea break.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 18:11  Leave a Comment  

Crazy Cake

Robyn’s first offering for 2011 was the aptly named Crazy Cake. This almost breaks the rules of Cake Club as it doesn’t contain any butter, but there is quite a lot of sugar and quite a lot of oil, so it probably isn’t very good for you anyway so we let her off.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup water

Line a 20 cm square tin with baking paper, and grease and lightly flour the sides.

Measure the dry ingredients and sift together in a large bowl. Measure the oil and add to the bowl without stirring. Add the other wet ingredients, and stir well with a fork until smooth.

Pour into the tin and bake at 190°C for 30-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Dust with icing sugar or cover with chocolate butter icing, and enjoy!

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 20:55  Leave a Comment  

Burns Cake-Supper

January 26th this year happened to fall on a Tuesday, and what better way to celebrate the great Scots poet Rabbie Burns than with cake in his honour? The Sweet Haggis was piped in on kazoos, Irn-Bru and whisky made the rounds and shortbread and cranachan finished everyone off nicely.

Sweet Haggis

Pen borrowed the cake recipe from here for the basis of the sweet haggis.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate buttons
1 bag mini-marshmallows
1 bag chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 23 cm round cake tin.
Pour boiling water over oats, mix well, and allow to cool.
In a larger bowl, combine the butter, sugars, eggs, flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add the cooled oatmeal mixture, and stir to combine.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 35 minutes and allow to cool.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl. Add the chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, and stir to combine. Microwave as much of the mixture as you can fit into the microwave, for just long enough to make the chocolate and marshmallows go sticky. Squash the entire mixture into your substitute sheep’s stomach – clingfilm/gladwrap can be used if you can find a wide enough roll – and leave overnight to congeal. Pipe in the haggis and enjoy!

Recipes for Shortbread and Cranachan to follow.

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 20:32  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: New Mexican Chocolate Cake

The fourth cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Chris’s New Mexican Chocolate Cake. When you go to a vendor of food in New Mexico, they ask you, “red or green?” This apparently refers to the type of chilli sauce you require. If you ask for Christmas, you get both – so this is a chocolate cake with two kinds of chilli lurking beneath its sticky skin.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Dark and bitter smell. Rich and smooth texture with a slight je sais quoi of chilli.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “Worth waiting for,” despite rather full stomachs by this point, and “It smells so good.”

Vote for Chris’s New Mexican Chocolate Cake in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:42  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Possum Pie

The third cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Pen’s Possum Pie. The inspiration arose from a conversation about what Large Sculpture ought to adorn the small town in which Cake Club abides, to rival Rakaia’s Big Fish or Cromwell’s Giant Fruit. It came down to a choice between a Monster Possum or a Hhge Hillyers Pie. Pen proceeded to make a Monster Possum Pie. No animals were harmed in the making of this cake.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Lovely sponge. Good butter icing – even not being a fan of icing, I could eat that. Very tasty.

Other comments from the assembled tasters mostly revolved around a concern that the pie might collapse under its own gravitational field, but also included grunts of delight.

Vote for Pen’s Possum Pie in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:35  Leave a Comment