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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

Recipes with water

04Jun 12

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate fudge cake with Cream Cheese FrostingIf there’s one thing I’m completely ‘over-the-top passionate’ about, it’s chocolate.  And you can’t get much more chocolaty than this!  This melt-in-your mouth chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese frosting is like a little piece of heaven on your tongue.  Other versions have a hint of Earl grey, although the cake itself is very, very rich, the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting offsets that richness in just the right way, making this the perfect dessert for any occasion. A spot of tea is a nice complement for my recipe or try this Earl Grey chocolate fudge cake.

If you want to go all the way over the top, try adding around a half-cup of cocoa powder to the icing mixture for a true chocolate lover’s delight.

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 45g (½ cup) of pure cocoa powder
  • 235ml (1 cup) of boiling water
  • 8 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 250g (2 cups) of sifted all-purpose flour
  • 400g (2 cups) of granulated white sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml (½ cup) of sour cream or Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 200g of cream cheese
  • 320g (2 ½ cups) of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Instructions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Mix the cocoa powder, the boiling water and the butter in a large bowl.  Make sure the cocoa powder is completely dissolved and the butter is completely liquiefied.
  3. Let the mixture cool.
  4. In a different bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the cooled cocoa mixture a little at a time.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  7. Add the sour cream (or Greek yoghurt) and the vanilla extract and stir well.
  8. Pour the batter into a buttered and floured tube pan.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted into the centre and comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake on a wire cake rack.

For the frosting:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and blend very well, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
  2. Cool the icing in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  3. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and serve.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves:  10

Difficulty: Medium

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02Apr 12

Grandma’s Apple Pie

Grandma's Apple PieAlthough there are many versions of this traditional apple pastry, this is my grandmother’s original apple pie recipe. Rather than using traditional red baking apples, this recipe calls for tart Granny Smiths, which in my mind provide the perfect balance to the high sugar and cinnamon content in the filling.

 

I’ve provided instructions for making the pastry from scratch, but if you prefer, you can go ahead and use ready-made chilled or frozen crusts. I won’t tell anybody, I promise!

Another popular fruit dessert is an apple and walnut crumble. I suggest serving the both the pie and the crumble with vanilla ice cream on top.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 312g (2 1/2 cups) sifted white flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 226g (1 cup) butter, chilled and diced
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) ice water

For the filling:

  • 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated white sugar
  • 110g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Instructions:

To make the crust:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut into the butter using a pastry knife and add to the bowl. Do NOT use your hands.
  3. Stir in the ice water using a spoon, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms into a ball.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 balls.
  5. Wrap the balls separately in plastic and chill for 4 hours.
  6. Roll out the balls into two flat crusts about 30 cm in diameter.
  7. Press one of the crusts firmly into the bottom and sides of a 26 cm pie dish.
  8. Cut the other crust into 1 cm wide strips (for making a latticework on the top of the pie).

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Stir in the flour to make a paste.
  4. Add the water, white granulated sugar and brown sugar, and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and let simmer on minimum heat.
  6. Fill the pie crust with the sliced apples, mounded slightly in the centre.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the apples.
  8. Cover with a latticework of crust from the strips you made earlier.
  9. Pour the sugar and butter mixture over the top of the latticework crust.  Pour slowly and take care that it doesn’t run over the sides.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
  11. Reduce the oven temperature to 175º C and continue baking for 40-45 minutes until the apples are soft.
  12. Serve with cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus 4 hours chilling the pastry.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty: Medium

 

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25Mar 12

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate RollThis rich and creamy chocolate roll, similar to a chocolate roulade, is a bit labour-intensive, but I guarantee that the result is worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 150g of semi-sweet milk chocolate
  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 30ml (¼ cup) of water
  • 6 eggs with the yolks separated from the whites and the whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 356ml (1 ½ cups) of double cream
  • 2 tbsp. of icing sugar
  • ½ a tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Kirsch (or neat cherry brandy)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a jelly-roll pan with buttered and floured parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan over simmering water.
  3. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for two more minutes over medium heat.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a bowl in the meantime.
  5. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks and beat vigorously with a whisk for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is light, smooth and pale yellow in colour.
  6. Mix in the coffee and the melted chocolate.
  7. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until well mixed.
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula.  Mix them just enough to combine the ingredients, but take care not to overwork it.
  9.  pour in the batter.  It should be about ½ inch thick.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, until the cake springs back when you press on it.
  11. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic film and let it cool for at least 2 hours more.
  12. Start whipping the cream until it is thick but not stiff yet.
  13. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and Kirsch and keep beating until the cream is firm.

Now for the hard part – rolling the cake:

  1. Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
  2. Spread the whipped cream on the cake.
  3. Start at one end and begin rolling up the cake with the paper still on.
  4. Peel off the paper as you go a little at a time with each roll.  Try not to press down so that the cream doesn’t get squeezed out.
  5. Continue rolling and removing the plastic until the roll is completed.
  6. Using two spatulas, slide the cake onto a serving platter with the end on the bottom so that the top looks smooth.
  7. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top with a sieve to garnish, then refrigerate.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty: Difficult

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14Feb 12

White Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting

White Birthday Cake with Nutella FrostingBirthdays! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they come around every year!  And although I adore cheesecake, there is just no better way to celebrate than with my white birthday cake with Nutella frosting!  I admit it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but that’s why birthdays are only once a year.

This hearty and delicious white birthday cake recipe was a staple around my house at birthday time when I was growing up.  It was handed down to me by my mother, who got it from my grandma, who got it from her mother, who supposedly invented it – although I make no claims as to the authenticity of this fact!  Either way, the cake is absolutely scrumptious and the Nutella frosting (my own addition) provides a great nutty/chocolaty contrast to the spongy white cake base.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try cutting the cake into two layers (after cooking and cooling, of course).  You can fill the middle layer with more Nutella, or strawberry jam, or any other flavour of jam, or whatever else tickles your fancy.  You could also garnish it with sliced almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, or whatever other nut you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 400g jar of Nutella

Instructions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy.
  2. Add the boiling water and the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the vanilla and stir well.
  4. Add the baking powder and stir it in to the mix.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, mixing vigorously.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all the flour and eggs have been added.
  7. Pour the mixture into an approx. 23cm round tube cake pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC for one hour or until a toothpick inserted at the top comes out clean.
  9. Turn out onto a cake rack and let it cool.
  10. Spread the Nutella over the outside of the cake and serve.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves:  10

Difficulty:  Medium

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