Chocolate & Pear Sponge Cake

It’s been a while but Christmas did what it does best, piling on the pounds, a couple at least, so I thought it best to stay away from baking for a bit…. I actually baked this cake a while back and simply forgot to post it! Pears compliment really well chocolate and it adds a healthy touch… My baking apron is back on!

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Ingredients:

  • 175g softened butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp espresso powder *optional
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp room temperature milk
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and lined
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually, add the eggs to the mixture, beating well after each addition. Don’t worry if it starts to look a little curdled.

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  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, coca powder, espresso powder if used and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients gently into the creamed mixture until well combined.
  • Stir in the milk and pour the mixture into your cake tin. Level the surface.

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  • Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter.

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  • Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the cake is just firm to the touch and the sides have started to shrink from the side.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10mn before transferring to a wire rack.

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Baseball Cake

At least, I was given enough notice: since the “football cake”, I had been told what was expected of me….

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For the base, I used my recipe of “Custard cake”, without the rhubarb

https://farandoleofcakes.com/2014/09/15/custard-cake-with-roasted-rhubarb/

Two of, sandwich together with some plain vanilla icing, also used for the top. For the sandy texture of the playing field, I just coloured some sugar

IMG_3696 and let it dried… any left over can then be used for a carrot cake! 😉

As for the ball, I used the same method as for my football

https://farandoleofcakes.com/2015/03/31/football-cake/

in order to have something “chocolatey” too…

 

Not perfect but the Birthday Boy was happy!

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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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Football Cake

It might be a bit strange to post now about a cake I made over a month ago but With work and my computer playing up, it is only now that I am managing to post about my 2nd son’s birthday…. The idea came to me 2 weeks before the due date, at night as sleep eluded me: he hadn’t asked about his cake yet ( the usual being whatever cake with an icing cake topper picture) and I was thing, he loves football so what about…..

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I am sharing this with you to show you that anyone can do that sort of thing: I had never attempted anything of the sort before and I am no professional! All you need is to get organised, this was done over 3 days!

  • Day 1: bake a chocolate cake, simple 8″ round cake and once cooled put it in the food processor to make it into breadcrumbs. Mix in a chocolate fudge made to taste and enough to bind it all together into a ball

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  • Day 2: I bake another chocolate cake, rectangular this time, as my hubby pointed out the ball had to be perched somewhere! That’s when I came up with the idea of a “pitch”…. Covered with chocolate buttercream

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  • Day 3: I spent the morning just decorating…. I had cut out polygon shapes on icing paper to create an exact football but quite frankly it became too fiddly and geometrical for my liking…. did you know that on a football, the white shapes have 6 sides and the black ones only 5? you do now!

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And it doesn’t have to be to size either! That was just enough to feed about 10 hungry boys!

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Good Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

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At the week-end, I just fancied a good chocolate cake, no re-thinking of the recipe, as is! I liked the sound of  Nigella’s, quick and easy:

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-119

My tiny alteration was to reduce the sugar amount from 200g to 150g and I used honey instead of golden syrup! The icing being a little sweet to my taste, I decided not to cover the whole cake….