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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter.
- 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.
At least, I was given enough notice: since the “football cake”, I had been told what was expected of me….
For the base, I used my recipe of “Custard cake”, without the 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
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
in order to have something “chocolatey” too…
Not perfect but the Birthday Boy was happy!
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!
- 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
- 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
- Add the milk and make sure it is well incorporated
- I change to my paddle attachment and chop the butter into the mixture
- 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!
- 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
- Leave in the tin to cool completely then dust with icing sugar or top with a simple chocolate buttercream
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…..
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
Cover in cling film and keep in the fridge overnight
- 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
- 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!
And it doesn’t have to be to size either! That was just enough to feed about 10 hungry boys!
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:
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….