Category Archives: Cakes

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves 4. Great with fresh cream or custard.

Ingredients

For the puddings

  • 125g pitted dates
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 60ml whole or semi-skimmed milk

For the toffee sauce

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 60ml single or double cream

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
  • Grease 4 ramekins
  • Soak the dates in the boiled water for a few minutes, then drain and whizz into a paste.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg a bit at a time, making sure to beat it in well.
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl, then add a third to the mixture and fold it in.
  • Add half of the milk and mix it well.
  • Continue with the next third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and the final third of the dry.
  • Mix in the date paste.
  • Split the mixture between the four ramekins and bake for 20-25mins.
  • The sauce only takes 10 minutes so you can start as the puddings are almost done or let the puddings cool and use them later on.
  • Add the butter, sugar and 40ml of the cream to a pan and melt over a low heat.
  • Stir consistently for 7-10mins until all of the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a dark toffee colour.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 20ml of cream.
  • Turn the puddings out onto a plate/bowl and spoon the toffee sauce on top.

Gooey Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes: 16 square brownies

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g high quality dark chocolate (I use 85%)
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 100g white OR milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Method

  • Chop the butter and dark chocolate into chunks and add to a glass bowl.
  • Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, sit the bowl on top and melt over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the bowl once it’s all melted and mixed and set aside to cool.
  • Get a shelf ready in the middle of your oven and preheat to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4
  • Line and grease a shallow 20cm square tin
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, ensuring any lumps are gone.
  • Chop the white and milk chocolate into small pieces
  • Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy like a milkshake.
    You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. Another check is to turn off the mixer, lift out the beaters and wiggle them from side to side. If the mixture that runs off the beaters leaves a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two, you’re there.
  • Pour the cooled melted chocolate over the eggy mousse and gently fold with a spatula. The idea is to mix the two without losing the air so do this very gently and as slow as you like.
  • Add the cocoa/flour mix and fold gently again until it’s all mixed in. Make sure you don’t over-mix it.
  • Add the chocolate chunks and stir them through evenly.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared tin and use a spatula to gently even out the top so it’s level.
  • Put in the oven and set an alarm for 25 minutes. When the time is up, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin before cutting it into squares.

Honey Cake

Serves 8 with a small slice each

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 170g/6oz clear honey
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz self raising flour
  • Water

For the icing:

  • 55g/2oz icing sugar
  • 1tbsp clear honey
  • Hot water

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3, and butter/line an 18cm (7inch) cake tin.
  • Measure the honey, butter and sugar into a large saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Heat gently until melted.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs and flour.
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-45mins (can be quicker than this depending on your oven).
  • Cool for a few minutes on a rack.
  • While the cake is still warm, make the icing by mixing the sugar and honey together with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water.
  • Trickle the icing over the cake in whatever pattern you like 🙂

 

Victoria Sandwich

You will need two cake tins (approx 20cm)

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g softened butter
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder

Ingredients for buttercream filling (double the recipe if you want to cover the cake as well)

  • 75g unsalted butter at room temperature – it should be soft 
  • 170g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Drop of vanilla extract (optional)
  • Strawberry jam

Ingredients for fresh strawberries and cream filling

  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • Fresh strawberries

Method

Cake

  • Heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 5
  • Grease the base and sides of your tins with butter and then line the base with baking paper.
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and use an electric hand mixer to mix until smooth. You can also use a wooden spoon for this.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 25mins or until the cakes are golden – check them after 20mins.

Buttercream

  • First, beat the butter in a bowl for about 5 minutes until it’s really smooth and lighter in colour.
  • Add half of the icing sugar and beat again, then add the rest and keep beating until it’s all mixed.
  • Add the milk (and vanilla if using) and beat some more until it’s a smooth almost white paste.

Cream

  • Pour the cream and sugar into a mixing bowl and use a whisk or electric mixer to beat them until it thickens into a paste.
  • Slice the strawberries.

Cake assembly

  • Once the cakes have cooled down, use a bread knife or cake wire to level them out.
  • Use a piping bag or icing gun to cover the top of one cake with buttercream or cream mixture. Top that with a layer of jam or make a nice pattern with the strawberries.
  • Place the second cake on top and dust with icing sugar.

Baked Italian Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 250g ricotta
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Make Jam for the topping (or use a jar if you’re being lazy), or use fresh strawberries.

Method

  • Crush the biscuits.
  • Add the butter to the biscuits and mix with your hands.
  • Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of your dish
  • Separate the eggs and keep the whites to one side
  • Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. Add the creme fraiche, ricotta and yoghurt.
  • Whip the eggs to stiff peaks (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them falling out).
  • Mix in the cheese mixture
  • Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base
  • Bake for 30-40mins on 180.
  • When the cake is cool, add the jam or strawberries (or whatever topping you like) to the top.

“Melt in the Middle” Chocolate Puddings

Chef’s Tip: I like to put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. This helps keep the middle molten when cooking, although you might have to add 1-2mins on.

Ingredients

  • 100g dark or plain chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g plain flour

Method

  • Put a saucepan on the hob on a medium heat with a bit of water in the bottom.
  • Place a bowl on top of the saucepan with the chocolate and butter in it. Melt the chocolate and butter until smooth.
  • Leave for 15mins to cool down.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Mix in each egg one by one.
  • Add the vanilla and finally the flour.
  • Divide the mixture into 4-6 ramekins.
  • At this point you can put them in the fridge for later, or cook them for 10-12 minutes on 200C.

 

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Chef’s tip: To add something special, mix some icing sugar with lemon juice, grate in a small amount of lemon zest and decorate the top of the cake with lines/squiggles.

Ingredients for the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 225g self-raising flour

Ingredients for the drizzle

  • Juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan, gas mark 4)
  • Beat the butter and sugar together
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time
  • Mix in the flour and then the lemon zest
  • Bake for 45-50mins
  • Mix together the drizzle, poke some holes in the top of the cake and drizzle the drizzle in a drizzly way to cover the whole cake. It will go nice and sugary/crunchy on top.

 

Raspberry Ripple Cake

Chef’s Tip: Mix the leftover raspberry juice with icing sugar to make a drizzle that you can pour on top or use to decorate with squiggly lines.

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g sour cream (a regular 300ml pot will get you this, just make sure you pour 250g into a bowl)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas Mark 4)
  • Grease and line a 23cm tin.
  • Put the raspberries into a bowl and lightly crush them with a masher – try to release as much juice as possible so it’s worth getting them out early.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in 2 spoons of the sour cream
  • Alternate dry and sour cream until it’s all in and mixed up.
  • Spoon approximately a third of the batter into the bottom of your tin, then spoon over half the raspberries.
  • Repeat with another third of the batter, then the remaining raspberries, and top with the rest of the batter.
  • Don’t worry if the batter and raspberries mix a bit when you’re spreading it all out.
  • Bake for 45-50mins (check how it’s going after 30mins) or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

No-Bake Chocolate Strawberry Tart with an Oreo Base

Chef’s tip: Serve with ice cream or clotted cream. If you’re feeling fancy, you could melt some extra chocolate and drizzle it on baking paper to make pretty patterns. Once it’s dry, you can use these as toppers to the cake.

Original recipe video can be found here so you can follow along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4fbOGxiFDc

Ingredients (makes 10-12 slices, or halve the ingredients to make 6 slices)

  • 32 (330g) Oreo cookies, whole
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 7 oz/200g milk chocolate
  • 3.5 oz/100g plain/dark chocolate (I use 85%)
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 300g fresh strawberries
  • OPTIONAL: chopped nuts

Method

  • Place Oreo cookies (with filling) into a food processor and blend until it turns to crumbs.
  • Pour the melted butter into the crushed Oreos. Process until evenly moistened, or you could mix them with a spoon if you haven’t used a blender.
  • Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon and your fingers where necessary, into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch (12 x 36 cm) tart pan.
  • Really press it in and up the sides to make a nice edge.
  • Freeze the base while you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
  • Prepare your strawberries by removing the greenery.
  • Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat on medium-low for a few minutes. No boiling or simmering needed. This doesn’t take very long so keep an eye on it!
  • Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it has all melted and is smooth. 
  • Pour the chocolate filling into the Oreo crust and make sure it’s level, then get your strawberries and press them gently into the chocolate so that they are half submerged.
  • If you imagine the slices you’ll cut, you can arrange the strawberries alternately in the large part of the slice.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 350g/12½oz caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250ml/9fl oz milk
  • 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml/9fl oz boiling water
  • 1x dark chocolate ganache

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
  • Place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
  • Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.
  • Make the ganache.
  • Spread a thin layer of the frosting on top of one cake and sandwich the other one on top.
  • Transfer to a plate or a board and cover the cake with the remaining ganache.