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Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

25 Jan

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Ok first of all I have to say a huge apology for not posting anything in months! Being at school is even more hectic then I could have imagined and I rarely have time to just sit and take a deep breath let alone cook something delicious, photograph it and write up a whole post. But it was my birthday on Wednesday and I made an amazing cake (Yes, I made my own birthday cake… Some may call this sad others may see it as a fabulous afternoon of eating cake batter!). Nevertheless, here is the recipe and I would love to say, I’ll be posting more recipes soon but it all depends on the amount of time I may be able to muster together, again my apologies!

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So one of my favorite flavor combinations ever is chocolate and coconut. It is just a glorious marriage of rich and creamy delight that I don’t see how anybody can reject it. I researched a bucket load of recipes and yes, wasted many hours drooling over Pinterests vast array of coconuty delights but finally chose this beauty of a cake and and invented a sumptuous frosting of my own.

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The cake is not too sweet I would even admit that you could jack up the quantity to 3/4 cup if you have quite a sweet tooth but I personally adored it as is. The cake is light yet incredibly moist and the tangy cream cheese coconut frosting is out of this world, no universe! This amount of frosting is enough to sandwich in between the layers and to put a nice layer on top but I think it would be even more delicious with a snuggly layer around the sides as well!

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Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting (Serves 4)

3/4 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1tsp baking soda

1/2tsp baking powder

1/4tsp salt

1/2cup coconut milk

1/4cup coconut or vegetable oil

1 egg

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2cup coffee, made with 1tsp instant coffee

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

200g cream cheese, room temp

50g butter, softened

icing sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, or to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and flour a 7inch round springform tin. You can also line the bottom with baking parchment if you want.
  • Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, egg and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  • Add the hot coffee and again whisk until combined, it will be quite runny.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with sticky crumbs on it.
  • Let cool for 15mins in the tin then remove and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile whip up the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add enough icing sugar to reach the desired consistency and taste (This requires a bit of frosting taste testing but I’m sure that won’t be a problem!). Add the desiccated coconut and stir through.
  • Slice the cake in have horizontally with a sharp knife (and a steady hand!) then spread half the frosting on one layer, place the other layer over it and spread the remaining frosting over the top.
  • Decorate with extra desiccated coconut and flaked chocolate.

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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares

4 Nov
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This cake is just wow and it literally is the easiest cake I have ever made, like ever! As anyone with taste buds knows, lemon and poppyseed is a taste sensation between the zesty sweet lemon and the crunchy texture of the poppyseeds. Usually the glaze for a lemon cake is made out of icing sugar but here I made it out of caster sugar, heated to make a basic syrup with the lemon juice. This makes it thick and glossy giving the cake a delicious moist top layer.
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Lemon cake is a great dessert or tea time treat if your looking for something light and refreshing. I do love chocolate but sometimes a zesty treat is more appropriate and equally delicious. I haven’t attempted it but you could also probably bake this in two small round tins and sandwich them together with some lemon curd and softly whipped cream. You get a decadent, homemade dessert for minimal effort! Always a bonus 🙂
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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares 

255g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

225g caster sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

225g butter, softened

4 eggs, lightly beaten

4tbsp milk

Zest of 2 lemons

20g poppyseeds

For the lemon syrup glaze:

175g caster sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f and grease and line a 9 x 13inch baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add in the vanilla, butter, eggs, milk, lemon zest and poppyseeds. (Yes you really are just supposed to put everything in one bowl!)
  • With an electric mixer beat everything together until smooth and fully combined, about 2mins.
  • Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 30-40mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cook for 5-10mins. Meanwhile make the lemon syrup.
  • Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Prick holes all over the cake with a skewer and slowly pour over half the syrup. Leave for 2-3mins to allow that to soak in then pour the rest of the syrup over. Making more holes with the skewer if the syrup is pooling.
  • Allow to fully soak in them remove from the tray and cut into squares. Enjoy!

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Moist Baileys Espresso Layer Cake

25 Sep

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It was my moms friends birthday a while back and I was asked to make a cake for the occasion. As per usual, I pounced on the opportunity to concoct a decadent cake with some delicious flavor combination! Both my mom and her friend adore baileys and have a slight addiction to coffee so I just had to inject these flavors that always work so amazingly together. I really wanted the baileys flavor to shine so I weakened the coffee and really amped up the baileys.

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And of course I had to smother it with a crazily indulgent cream cheese baileys frosting… Because what would any cake really be without its glue? 🙂 The cake I presented at the end was completely drool worthy and thank god it was for somebody else or I would have scoffed the lot! It was a light and airy cake but insanely moist. It was pitch black in colour which contrasted beautifully with the light and fluffy frosting. If you or any loved ones likes baileys and/or coffee whatsoever, go make this for them and you will forever be worshiped. Happy reining!

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Moist Baileys Espresso Layer Cake 

200g plain flour

200g caster sugar

75g cocoa powder

1 1/2tsp baking powder

1 1/2tsp baking soda

1/2tsp salt

2 eggs

125ml coffee, cooled (espresso or instant)

100ml baileys

1tsp vanilla extract

225ml buttermilk

100ml vegetable oil

For the Frosting:

1 x 300g tub cream cheese

60ml baileys

21/2tbsp cocoa powder

500g icing sugar, more or less depending on your desired consistency

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350°f and grease and line 2 9inch sandwich cake pans.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
  • Whisk the eggs, coffee, baileys, vanilla, buttermilk and oil in a large jug until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, a little bit at a time and whisk together by hand or with a mixer until everything is combined, scraping down the sides as needed. It is supposed to be quite liquidy so don’t worry.
  • Divide between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 20-30mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let cool for at least 30mins then remove from tin and let cool fully on wire racks.
  • Meanwhile make your frosting. With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth then add the baileys and cocoa powder. Gradually add in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition until you achieve the right consistency.
  • When the cakes are fully cooled use about 1/4 or a little more of the frosting to sandwich the cakes together and the rest to cover the top and sides.
  • Decorate however you wish and enjoy eat blissful bite!

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Banana Bread with Chocolate Crumble Layers

18 Jul

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Because of the wonderful weather, we decided to go camping for a night. Food is a major part in this and we opted for easy meals all the way through (Post coming soon!) but for a handy dessert/something to have with a hot cup of tea, I made this banana bread. Usually when I make banana bread it is more of a spicy, rustic loaf with raisins and nuts like my recipe for the Best Banana Bread in the World but this one is basically the complete opposite.

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It is a more refined, cake like banana bread that of course is more indulgent and not as good for you as my other recipe but everyone has to have a bit of yummy, sinful banana bread in their life, right? I think so! This loaf has a lovely moist banana cake part with layers of rich, rough chocolate crumble. Because of the chocolate pieces in the crumble, the middle layer becomes wickedly gooey and fantastic when eaten straight out of the oven or after being reheated in the microwave.

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When we were camping I had my slice with a warm baked banana, done on our portable hob/grill set, and at home I had it with a blob of natural yogurt. Both were delicious and balanced out the richness of the chocolate to perfection. This was such a handy loaf as it was really robust and handled the traveling really well, wrapped up in a bit of tin foil. It was the perfect camping treat and I will definitely be making on a regular basis!

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Banana Bread with Chocolate Crumble Layers (1 substantial loaf)

For the Chocolate Crumble:

55g butter, melted

1/2 cup plain flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup coarse brown sugar/granulated sugar

2tbsp good quality cocoa powder

50g/1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

For the Banana Bread Batter:

2 cups plain flour

1tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

85g/6tbsp butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup fat free natural yogurt

3 small very ripe bananas, mashed

1tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • To make the crumble, mix the flour, two sugars, cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a small bowl and then pour in the melted butter while mixing with a fork and breaking up the clusters. Set aside.
  • For the batter, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In another large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy, about 30sec, then add the sugar and beat for 3-4mins or until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated then add the yogurt, mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix again.
  • Fold in the flour mixture with a large metal spoon, half at a time until it is all mix through.
  • Spoon half the batter into the tin then scatter half the crumble over. Layer the second half of the batter on and finish with the last of the chocolate crumble on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 50-60mins until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the tin then slice thickly and serve with a hot cup of tea.

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Classic Chocolate Sponge Cake with Rum Infused Chocolate Buttercream

21 Jun

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On my lovely visit to England, it was my Auntie Liz’ birthday, so a big Happy Birthday to her and thank you for such a wonderful holiday. It was the only day in the whole holiday that the sun came out and it was splitting the stones, utter bliss and luck. So for her birthday I wanted to make her a cake.

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She wanted a classic chocolate cake and I was all too happy to make it because I have actually never made a Victoria sponge before (gasp!). I got this recipe from a Nigella Lawson recipe book which I instantly fell in love with, although I did improve on the original recipe. We had leftover rum from making Sticky Toffee Puddings a few nights ago so I decided to throw a bit into the cake mix and the frosting.

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It was the best idea ever as it really gave the cake depth and made it incredibly moreish! Don’t worry though if you don’t like the flavor of rum, like me, because it is a very subtle hint. Although this is a very classic cake, the method is a bit unusual, using only a food processor, but I assure you that it comes out absolutely perfectly.

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Classic Chocolate Sponge Cake with Rum Infused Chocolate Buttercream (Serves 8-10)

225g butter, quite soft

225g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla

4 eggs

175g self raising flour

25g cornflour

25g good quality cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

2-3tsp dark rum, or to taste

milk

For the Buttercream:

200g butter, softened

200g icing suger

4tbsp cocoa powder

2-3tbp dark rum, or to taste (optional)

1tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and grease and line the bottoms of two 8″/20cm sandwich cake tins.
  • This is a ridiculously easy method. Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and whizz until just combined, then add in the vanilla, eggs, self raising flour, cocoa powder, cornflour and baking powder and whizz again until it forms a smooth batter.
  • Add in the rum to taste and whizz, you are looking for a soft batter that falls off a spoon slowly. If your batter is a bit thick then just add milk, a tablespoon at a time and whizzing after each addition until it is soft. Don’t worry if you accidentally make it too runny, it should still be absolutely fine.
  • Divide the mixture as evenly as you possibly can (For some reason I find this ridiculously impossible to do!) and bake in the oven for 25-30mins. To check if they are done, you should be able to press lightly down on the surface of the cake and it should spring back into shape. Remove and leave to cool completely then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack until needed.
  • To make the buttercream, place the softened butter in a large bowl and sieve in the icing sugar. Beat together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until well combined and creamy. Sieve in the cocoa powder  and add the rum and vanilla, beat again until all combined then taste and add more rum if necessary.
  • To assemble, Place one cake half on a clean plate or cake board and dollop the buttercream all over. Smooth it out roughly using a palette knife and place the other cake half on top.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate as desired. I used crushed pistachios and strawberry halves.

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Super Moist Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

1 Jun

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I have been wanting to make olive oil cake for the longest time ever and I finally did it. I am so annoyed it took me this long because it is amazing! It is super moist and simple as anything to put together. It looks so elegant with the contrast of the stark white icing sugar against the beautifully dark cake so it is the perfect dessert for a dinner party. You’ll have your guests drooling before they even have a slice on their plate!

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It is not rich at all which is fantastic because you can get your chocolate fix without the “I can’t get off the couch now” feeling! And to top everything off just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, this cake is gluten free so coeliacs can go wild!

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Super Moist Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Makes 6-7 small slices)

35g good quality cocoa powder

85ml boiling water

1 1/2tsp vanilla extract

100g ground almonds

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

135g caster sugar

2 eggs

100ml olive oil

icing sugar, for dusting

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºc/340°f and oil and line the bottom of a 7/8 inch ring bottom cake tin with baking parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, boiling water and vanilla extract until smooth then set aside to cool.
  • Mix the almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a small bowl and set aside until needed.
  • In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and olive oil with an electric mixer for about 4mins until it is thick, creamy and full of air.
  • Slowly pour in the cocoa mixture while continuously beating the mixture until it is all fully incorporated, make sure to scrap the sides of the bowl.
  • Next slowly add in the almond mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Pour the runny cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40-50mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
  • Let cool in the tin then open the tin and transfer to plate. Place upside down so that you have a flat, perfect surface.
  • Sieve the icing sugar lightly over the surface of the cake, cut into slices and serve with cream or ice cream.

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Double Chocolate Fudge Cake

17 Mar

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Yesterday was my best friends birthday and when she was trying to plan what to do for her birthday, the only thing I could think of was: I wonder what kind of cake she is making? Before I could help myself I blurted out, ooh can I make your cake please? She said yes, so my brain immediately started thinking of recipes and flavor combinations. Eventually, I decided that good old chocolate cake was the best idea. I’ll leave the weird and wonderful flavor combinations for my birthday! Would you believe it, I have never actually made a chocolate cake? I know its a sin but I’ve righted a wrong now and oh how right it is. This is literally like the perfect chocolate cake. It is even better then I imagined. It is moist and fudgey. I reduced the sugar from the original recipe so now it is the perfect level of sweetness that lets the chocolate really take center stage. In other words, this is literally the ultimate chocolate cake ever. And I think it’s safe to say that my best friend and all our other friends would agree with me, especially since they even had a piece for breakfast! Now you can see how irresistible it is!

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Double Chocolate Fudge Cake (Makes 1 x 22cm cake)

200g good quality dark chocolate

200g butter

125ml water

1tsp instant coffee, optional

85g plain flour

85g self raising flour

1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g caster sugar

150g light brown sugar

25g cocoa powder

75ml buttermilk

3 eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 160ºc/320ºf and grease and line a 22cm cake tin.
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and put over a a small pot of just simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Stir constantly until melted completely.
  • Mix the water and coffee, if using, together and add to the melted chocolate. Stir and remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, sieve the two flours, bicarbonate of soda, two sugars and cocoa powder into a separate large bowl. Beat the buttermilk and eggs together in a jug.
  • Add the chocolate mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 80-90mins until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the tin for about 15mins then remove the springform ring and let cool completely.

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Ganache:

200g dark chocolate

285ml fresh pouring cream

2tbsp caster sugar

  • Break the chocolate into a glass bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the cream and sugar in a small pot over a medium heat until just under the boil.
  • Pour onto the chocolate pieces and whisk until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Leave to cool in the fridge for about 2hrs until the ganache is thicker and more set. You want it to kind of be the same consistency as Betty Crocker chocolate icing.

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To Assemble the Cake:

  • Cut the cake in half horizontally.
  • Spread just over a third of the icing over one halt and sandwich the two halves together.
  • Use the rest of the icing to cover the entire cake, using a palette knife.
  • Decorate however you like then cut yourself a nice big slice!

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Apple and Fudge Crumble Squares

5 Mar

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This little beauty is actually one of the recipes that I made for my Junior Cert Home Economics practical exam. The only difference is I did it in a muffin form which is also absolutely fantastic. As a result of it being for an exam, I have made this recipe more times then I could possibly remember and the amazing thing is that it never, ever let me down and nobody ever got sick of them because they were just that darn good. I have to thank my brother, sister and my mom for complimenting me every time I made them which sky rocketed my confidence and which I’m sure is the main reason as to why I did them so well in my exam that got me my A. I decided to make them in a traybake form this time as I was bringing them to a showjumping league and I figured it would be easier to feed a crowd if they were in this form. I’m glad to say that everyone liked them as much as my family and my examiner did and there wasn’t a crumb left to be seen. Personally, I think the most delicious aspect of this dish is the fudge because after it is cook, the fudge pieces melted and become all gooey and down right magnificent. Need I say any more? 🙂

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Apple and Fudge Crumble Squares (9 x 13 inch traybake)

Cake Mix:

100g butter, softened

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

4tbsp milk

3-4tbsp natural yogurt

225g plain flour

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

2tsp ground cinnamon

Flavorings:

2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

30g dark brown sugar

1tsp cinnamon

100g fudge chunks

Crumble Topping:

50g flour

1tsp cinnamon

40g butter, softened

2g coarse light brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tray.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the apple, dark brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  • For the crumble, put the flour in a medium bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk and yogurt. It may look curdled but don’t worry.
  • Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and fold in with a large metal spoon until fully incorporated.
  • Add in the diced apple and fudge chunks and fold in again until fully combined.
  • Spoon the cake mix into the prepared baking tray and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle the crumble in an even layer over the traybake and pop in the oven for about 25-30mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely in the tray then remove and cut into squares.
  • Serve on its own or for a nice dessert , reheat it and pair it with some salted caramel sauce and good quality vanilla ice cream.

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Mini Apple and Cinnamon Cakes

27 Feb

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Since the first moment I made this cake with my sister, I fell in love with it. It is simple and the combination of apple and cinnamon has been used repeatedly in all baking but this cake shows perfectly why these flavors are used so repeatedly. It is incredibly moist and this mini cake variation allows houses with only 2 or 3 people to make cake and not be daunted as to how much cake they’re going to have to either eat or waste. The icing sugar glaze is what makes these cakes as it gives the cakes added moistness and a little extra kick of sweetness and keeps you coming back for more.

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Mini Apple and Cinnamon Cakes (Serves 2 generously)

1 large Granny Smith apple

1tbsp dark brown sugar

3/4tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 orange, juiced

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coarse light brown sugar

1/2 heaped cup plain flour

1/4tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Flaked almonds

3 heaped tbsp icing sugar mix with a bit of water to make a slightly runny consistency

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and line two 5inch x 2inch round tins, preferably with a spring bottom.
  • Peel, core and dice the apple then add it to a small bowl with the 1tbsp dark brown sugar and 3/4tsp cinnamon. Toss to combine and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the oil, egg, orange juice, vanilla and sugar for about 1min.
  • Add in the flour and cinnamon in batches until well combined then fold in the apples.
  • Divide between the two tins and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  • Bake for about 25mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Let cool slightly, pierce holes in the top of the cakes then drizzle the icing sugar mixture evenly over them.
  • Let that soak in a bit then serve with cream, ice-cream or custard.

Oreo and Chocolate Marble Squares

19 Feb

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This is a very easy traybake that looks gorgeous and is also super yummy. Because it is just melted chocolate on top, it is easy to transport which makes it more then ideal for a picnic or get together. But I would advise you to take one for yourself before you do because they will disappear, take my word for it. The recipe is quite simple and straight forward which makes this one great when you need some last minute baked goods in a hurry. This is also great because it is basic but delicious flavors that nearly everyone is guaranteed to devour. I always think, when in doubt make something chocolatey!

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Oreo and Chocolate Marble Squares (9 x 13 inch traybake)

120g butter, softened

1 cup milk

2tsp vanilla extract

2 cups plain flour

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

1 egg white

4-5 oreos

2tbsp cocoa powder

100g chocolate chips, optional

200g milk chocolate

sprinkles

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tin with baking parchment.
  • Beat the butter for about 30secs until creamy then add the milk and vanilla extract and gently try and mix it in a little but not with an electric mixer because it will splash all over you. Don’t panic at this point because it won’t mix together and it will look like your doing it wrong but don’t worry.
  • Sieve in the flour then add the caster sugar and baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to mix that all together.
  • Add the egg white and using an electric mixer, beat the mixture for about 2mins, making sure all the batter is smooth and lump free.
  • Divide the batter between two bowls, about 2/3 for the chocolate and 1/3 for the oreo. Crush the oreos into one bowl and mix through and sieve the cocoa powder into the other bowl and toss in the chocolate chips if using, again mix through.
  • Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Put dollops of the oreo batter all over the chocolate layer and then use a skewer to swirl the two batters together to make a marbled effect.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin then remove and let cool completely.
  • To finish, melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in thirty second bursts, mixing between each interval. Pour the melted chocolate all over the traybake and spread out into an even layer. Decorate with sprinkles and leave to let the chocolate set. Or just dig in, who doesn’t like some melted chocolate!
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