Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Chocolate, Fig and Stout Cake

 Happy St Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, I had to make a chocolate stout cake.  I also received some fresh figs from a colleague, so I checked to see if I could find a recipe with chocolate and stout and figs - and boom! Whole Foods Market came up with the goods with this recipe. Packed with chocolate and fresh figs, and with a full bodied richness from the stout, this cake is a winner.

I wanted it to be a celebratory cake, so I made the full recipe, in the knowledge I’d be catching up with friends so I could share. Here’s a close up of the figs inside, which have been sautéed in butter before being added to the cake:

Tempted? To make this cake, you will need:

175g + 25g butter
2 cups stout
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
225g fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 10” springform pan and dust the insides with the 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.

In a medium sized saucepan, add the stout, 175g butter and 3/4 cup cocoa powder, and whisk over low heat until the butter melts. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.  Transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Melt the rest of the butter in a frypan over medium heat, and when it begins to sizzle, add the figs and season with salt and pepper. Cook the figs until they soften and begin to release their juices. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the figs to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cloves. In a jug, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

Whisking continuously, mix the egg mixture slowly into the cooled cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour mixture, then fold through the chocolate chips.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, arrange the figs on top, then top with the rest of the batter.

Bake the cake in the oven  for 50 minutes to an hour, or until cooked through.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the outer ring, and allow the cake to cool completely on thr pan base.

Before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. Slice and serve.

Do you celebrate St Patricks Day? What will you be doing?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

TWD - Mrs Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers


This week’s Tuesday With Dorie recipe is Mrs Corbitt’s Cake Fingers. It’s hard to describe these - kind of a meringue cookie with browned butter icing.

I thought I’d really like these, but they were a tad too sweet for me. I took Steph’s tip and thinned the icing with water rather than pressing it onto the cookies. I also iced the cookies before cutting them to save time.

To see what everyone else made and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Champagne Cupcakes - La Boheme Inspired

In you, I see the dreams that I have always longed for!
 Rudolfo, La Boheme

My Pilates instructor is soon to be married (their third date after previous cancellations) - I have my fingers crossed that it will go ahead smoothly.  I thought their forthcoming wedding would be the perfect occasion for me to finally make the Champagne Cupcakes from the La Boheme episode of Cupcake Wars. I have wanted to make these cupcakes for ages, and I was so pleased to finally have an occasion to do so.

These cupcakes are made by an unusual method, where all of the ingredients are placed into a mixing bowl at once and beaten together. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but the resulting cakes were light and airy:

For the icing, I made the champagne buttercream from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is flavoured with reduced champagne, rather than the Italian buttercream featured in the original recipe (I am not a fan of Italian buttercream).

I decorated the cakes with pink glittery fondant hearts - I think they are so pretty:

 If you would like to try your hand at making these cupcakes, you will need:

4cups plain flour 
3 cups white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking Skoda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup champagne
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 egg whites 
(makes 24 cupcakes)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line two x 12 hole muffin tins with paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking sofa and salt. Add the milk, shortening, champagne and vanilla and beat in a stand mixer on low speed until just combined, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the egg whites and beat for a further 2 minutes.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly between the papercases and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cakes from the oven and unmoved onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

180ml champagne
230g butter
4 cups icing sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Pinch of salt

Reduce the champagne over low heat in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. Cool.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar on low speed, a cup at a time. Beat in 3 tablespoons of the reduced champagne, the vanilla and the salt.

Pipe frosting on top of the cupcakes and decorate as desired.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

TWD - Peanut Brownie Sables

 This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Peanut Brownie Sables. These moreish biscuits contain peanut butter, chocolate and peanuts, and I also added Reese’s pieces to up the peanut butter factor.

The dough shaped easily and baked up in nice even round shapes.

The finished biscuits are a perfect combination of chewy and crunchy.

I liked everything about these biscuits and would happily make them again.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the  LYL section of the TWD website.