Chocolate Fudge Cake

This past weekend was one of those weekends that are just a little bit too crazy. Adrian was organising a Regional Youth Rally at Church and with a friday night program the evening before we didn’t end up getting into bed until 2am Saturday morning. The rally was fantastic but needless to say I wasn’t surprised to find Adrian dead to the world when I called him to lunch at about 2pm that afternoon!

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It’s weekends like these that require some very necessary self medication in the form of sugar and chocolate. What better way to give a much needed boost to my worn out Pastor husband than a delicious fudgey chocolate cake and this fudgey chocolate cake is unapolagetically opulent. Its a very simple recipe and within the hour our serotonin levels had peaked with the sugary goodness. What better way to relax on a Sabbath afternoon then with a steaming hot cuppa and deliciously decadent choccy cake.

The best part is enjoying the leftovers now with a nice little cup of tea.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
(adapted from Women’s Weekly Classic Cakes)

Ingredients:
250g Dark Chocolate
125g Butter
150g Caster Sugar
100g Plain Flour
2/3 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 and line a lamington tin (20x30cm) with baking paper.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
3. Combine chocolate mixture in remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium until smooth and changed colour.
4. Bake for 20 minutes and allow to stand for 5.

Just what you need on a cool winters arvo…

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Dark Chocolate and Plum Clafoutis…

 

I’ve been completely addicted to stone fruit recently… not just because they are naturally sweet and succulent.. but they are also very much seasonal which equals very much affordable… something that has been especially important since the move down to Sydney where grocery prices are exorbitant to say the least… luckily I had an excellent excuse to bake this week… worship ministry meeting!

 

 

 

Worship ministry is a ministry in our church that is responsible for the inspiring church services every week… and as corny as it sounds work a little bit like this tasty clafoutis… separately all the ingredients are pretty bland (except maybe the plums and chocolate)… but by bringing them all together using the right processes and finesse… equal a truly remarkable experience!

 

 

Clafoutis is originally a french dish from the Limousin region… traditionally made with dark, sweet cherries (pips left in for added flavour) this twist on a classic takes these beautiful ruby blood plums and transforms them into a concentrated little gem perched in a moussy and rich chocolate pillow… this recipe is so simple to make and yet the results are truly incredible… I expected a light sponge style cake but was surprised to cut into a spongey, thick and warm dessert with the consistency of thick double cream… this ones a keeper so get in quick while the plums are fresh and frugle…

 

Dark Chocolate and Plum Clafoutis
Adapted from: Donna Hay’s Seasons
Serves: 8

Ingredients
1/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup cream
175g dark chocolate, chopped
20g butter
5 blood plums

Method

  1. Place dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix wet ingredients in a jug.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients in the dry and stir in the dark chocolate.
  3. Melt the butter in an oven proof fry pan then fill with the batter.
  4. Slice the plums in half and top with the plums.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until puffed up and cooked through.

Happy Baking!

Tea and Chocolate…

I had the most wonderful Sunday afternoon outing today… I don’t often get the chance for Sunday outings and though the time may have been better spent contributing to my current thesis word count, I felt the Sunday outing was an unavoidable opportunity just the same… Generally, I don’t make a habit of looking up the what’s on sections of touristy websites…

I like to think I have a general idea or am in the ‘loop’ enough to know what’s going on… But it just so happened that I stumbled across a museum exhibit! Very exciting… I can’t remember the last time I went to a museum! Also very exciting was the admission price (or lack there of)… Being a student you take all the free entertainment you can get.. And it was a TEA exhibit! Yes that’s right! The history of tea and of all the daily meals… I learnt a lot!

In the 1800s dinner was at 10pm and afternoon tea was invented to stave off the hunger pains… Green tea was the original tea of choice in Britain (here o was thinking it was very modern and chic to drink green tea) and though an afternoon tea usually ran for 3 or 4 hours it was generally good manners to stay between 15mins and up to an hour…

After all that learning I was genuinely needing something to contribute to the sugar levels…

Something sweet and delightful…

So Adrian and I endeavoured to find a cafe or patisserie that was actually open on a Sunday afternoon… Quite a challenge in Adelaide…

Enter the Chocolate Bean Cafe! Aaaah bliss! Pokey, sweet, warm and brown are the best words to describe it… Oversized Tea and coffee and chocolate bliss… We indulged with milk and white chocolate shots, chocolate mousse and chocolate cake… And my favourite thing about this place? Vegan friendly 😀

Praise God for the simple pleasures in life…

Oh so frenchy… Oh so chic… Vanilla Macarons with an Orange and White Chocolate Ganache…

For those of you who’ve been watching Masterchef as avidly as I have you would know that in just over 1hr 15minutes they are going to be making mountains upon mountains of Macarons… Very exciting! Thus I was inspired and decided I NEEDED make my own frenchy little almond delights… It may also have been some unusual desire to prove that I also was Masterchef quality… N.B I didn’t have a piping bag… It’s not an excuse I swear.. just.. take it into consideration…

The thing I love about these tasty little morsels? Not only are they moorishly delicious but they are extremely versatile… add a few drops of food colouring and you have some amazing coloured little treats… add a few different flavours or colours to the filling and you can have as many different morsels as you can imagine! So I did a little research last night and found some different recipes but I was a little limited in my ingredients so nothing fancy here just a few little adjustments I made to the recipe below to fit what was in the cupboard (these macarons were a little spur of the moment)…

but I cannot wait to start experimenting with different flavours and colours! Luckily… my Mum turns 50 next month… and I think these would make a perfect addition to the dessert spread….

see the teeny little flecks of vanilla bean? YUMMO!

Now don’t be stressed and don’t feel to daunted but I’m going to provide a little video (they are a lot prettier than mine)…. not because they are super hard to make but because it just shows some different ways of doing things and is also fun to watch… if you’re a food show addict like I am!

Vanilla Macarons with an Orange and White Chocolate Ganache

Adapted from Raspberry Chocolate French Macaroons at Epicurious and Orange Ganache from Happy Flour

For Macarons
  • 2 cups blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tblsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
Recipe

1. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

2. Pulse almonds with 1/2 cup icing sugar in a food processor until very finely ground, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Sift in remaining cup icing sugar, stirring to combine.

3. Beat egg whites with salt in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating, then increase speed to high and continue to beat until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean into the whites and mix at low speed until evenly combined. Stir almond mixture into meringue with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. (Meringue will deflate.)

4. Spoon batter into piping bag with a large round nozzle. Pipe peaked mounds of batter (about the size of a 20 cent coin) onto lined sheets about 5cm apart. Let cookies stand, uncovered, at room temperature until tops are no longer sticky and a light crust forms, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 140°C.

6. Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until crisp and edges are just slightly darker, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on racks, about 30 minutes.

For Ganache

  • 120g white chocolate
  • 50g thick cream
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 2tbsp orange juice

Recipe

1. Heat cream in a saucepan.

2. Pour over white chocolate.

3. Whisk in orange rind and juice, whisking until smooth.

4. Allow to cool.

To Assemble

1. Fill a piping bag with ganache and a medium round nozzle.

2. Pipe from the inside making an even swirl coming just about 3ml short of the edge of the macaron.

3. Gentle push another macaron on top.

4. Share them with all your friends and work mates because they are very high in calories and guaranteed to cheer up even the crankiest boss…

N.B More pictures to come… I was just in a bit of a rush for this post!

Also… Macarons isn’t a spelling mistake.. in fact it’s the actually french way to spell and technically to say it… though I don’t have the sultry french accent together yet…

My little macaron with his best friend Cappucino...

Happy Baking!

Bare Baking

Now don’t get too excited… when I say bare baking I’m not referring to a lack of clothing but rather a lack of food… that was the predicament my cupboards were in this time last week… It had been two weeks since we had done any grocery shopping and we were basically living of frozen vegies and the odd egg on toast… until the toast ran out… and the eggs… anyway the point is I was a hankerin for some bakerin and was incredibly disappointed when I popped open the cupboards and they were BARE…

So I improvised! Exciting yes? There was a teensy tiny little bit of flour so I threw in a little butter, sugar and cinnamon and managed to come up with a half decent dough that made me three little shells.. I then took a massive amount of sugary loveliness and melted it down in a fry pan… I haven’t made caramel in a while and after a failed attempt managed to get the temperature right to add some butter and nuts for a very crunchy praline.. add a little melted chocolate (yes I sacrificed my last few pieces) mixed with some butter and you have a delightful little mouthful of deliciousness.. Admittedly the recipe needs a little tweeking but not bad for nothing…

Needless to say it was a lovely little late night treat… plus maybe I’m biased but I think they’re cute!

Happy Baking!