No Fail Chocolate cake

This is the recipe I go back to time and time again basically because it is easy, full of flavour and very light in the mouth. When I have my hands full with those more and more complicated birthday cakes, this chocolate cake never fails me to get ahead with no worry and it keeps very well!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 200g/ 7oz sugar
  • 90ml/3fl oz milk, room temperature
  • 250g/9oz soften butter
  • 250g/9oz white self raising flour
  • 60g/2oz cocoa powder
  • 1½tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp good espresso or coffee powder *optional but it brings out the chocolate flavour

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round or square cake tin
  • Beat the eggs and add the sugar, mixing until light and fluffy

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  • Add the milk and make sure it is well incorporated
  • I change to my paddle attachment and chop the butter into the mixture

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  • In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and coffee
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat really well till soft and larger in volume. It does take a few minutes hence the mixer!

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  • Spoon into the prepared tin (I sprinkled chocolate chips because I didn’t want to ice it later) and bake for 55 to 60mn, until dark, slightly firm and the sides shrink from the tin

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  • Leave in the tin to cool completely then dust with icing sugar or top with a simple chocolate buttercream

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Apple Meringue Cake

083When apples are in season, this is one way of spreading the joy….

Ingredients

Apple filling:

  • 3-4 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp flour

Cake batter:

  • 190g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 190g butter at room temperature
  • 90g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (see below)
  • 45g sour cream (or crème fraiche)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 120g sugar

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round cake tin, springform if available
  • Prepare the apples by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside until required
  • Cake batter: in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the yolks, cream and cinnamon extract

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  • Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined

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  • Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and arrange the apple slices on top. Bake as is for 30mn

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  • Prepare the meringue topping by whipping the egg whites until foamy, ideally with a mixer. Gradually add the sugar, whipping the whole time (hence the mixer!) until it holds very stiff peaks
  • Remove the pan from the oven and top it with the meringue

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  • Return to the oven for another 20mn until golden brown (expect it to rise a little)

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  • Run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan and let it cool slightly at room temperature before serving