Food | Baking: Chocolate and Ginger Cake

Hello again!  So I have decided to do another recipe from the YOU Magazine extra full of Mary Berry recipes as the last one went down well.  This one is a scrumdiddlyumptious chocolate and ginger cake – perfect for this sort of weather with just a hint of spice mixed with indulgent chocolate.  You can also find this recipe online if you search the recipe name (again, here it is on the Sainsbury’s website).

Recipe

Cake

220g/7oz butter (room temperature and at least 70% fat) plus extra for greasing

50g/1¾ oz cocoa powder

4 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk

3 eggs

175g/6oz self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

250g/9oz caster sugar

2 pieces of stem ginger (finely chopped)

Filling and Topping

225g/8oz icing sugar

115g/4oz butter (room temperature)

2 tbsp stem ginger syrup

1 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk

2 pieces of stem ginger (finely shredded)

*For this recipe make sure you have 2 loose-bottomed, round sandwich tins which are 20cm (8in) diameter and 4.5cm (1¾ in) deep*

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  • I started by lightly greasing the sandwich tins with a little butter and then lined the bottom of each with greaseproof paper.
  • I prepared my ingredients by weighing them out and setting aside until I needed them.  I made sure to pre-sift the flour and baking powder together.  I also made sure to chop the ginger as finely as I possibly could, but you could also use a small food processor to do it quickly.

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  • I preheated the oven to 160°C for my fan oven (180°C/Gas4 for other ovens).
  • In a large heatproof bowl, I sifted in the cocoa powder and then added 6 tbsp of boiling water and stirred until there were no lumps.  I then added the milk and stirred until it became a smooth paste.

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  • I added the remaining cake ingredients and with my electric hand whisk, I mixed the ingredients for 1 -2 minutes (be careful not to over-mix the ingredients as the cake might not rise properly).

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(You can see that I chopped the butter into small cubes – just to make life easier!)

  • I divided the cake mixture between the cake tins and made sure to even out the tops before placing them in the oven and baked them for about 25 – 30 minutes.

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(As you’re making a chocolate cake it can be a little harder to tell if the cake is cooked by just looking at it, so you can always check pressing your finger on the sponge gently to see if it feels firm and springs back or by inserting a skewer and see if it comes out clean.)

  • I took the cakes out when they were done and left them to cool a little in their tins before turning them out gently and peeling off the paper and then turning them the right way round on a cooling rack.

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(I actually should have left them in the tins a little longer as some of cake came off because it was still so warm and moist – but I picked up the runaway cake bits and set them aside.)

  • I then started to make the filling and topping by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and adding the butter, syrup and milk.

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  • I usually just mix using a wooden spoon, as using an electric whisk means that I end up covering the kitchen in icing sugar.  It does involve a little more graft but I usually sit the bowl in my lap and watch TV while I mix – makes it easier!

  • I transferred one of the cakes onto a serving dish and put half of the icing on top and smoothed it over evenly with a palette knife.  Then I placed the second cake on top and added the the rest of the icing, and using the palette knife, I gave it a little texture.

  • I then got the runaway cake bits from earlier and turned them into crumbs and sprinkled them around the edge of top of the cake before placing my shredded ginger on top for extra effect.

Look how purdy it looks!

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I LOVE Mary Berry recipes, I think she has some great ones to try so you should give one of them a go!  The other thing I love about her recipes is that she normally includes some great baking tips that make your life a little easier and that you can apply to other recipes.  A slice of this cake goes great with a cup of tea after a hard day’s work and makes for a yummy treat this time of year as the ginger adds such a nice kick of spice and sweet in one.

What are you favourite chocolate and ginger recipes – are there any others that I should try?  Leave your comments below and don’t forget to like if you enjoyed this post (and follow me via the links on the right as well).

Until next time! x

Food | Baking: Spiced Dorset Apple Traybake

I have been meaning to do this post for a little while but I was a bit over-run with seeing my two little munchkin nephews.  They are adorable little troublemakers!

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My mum is a huge lover of apple-desserts so I thought I would go ahead and make this for her.  The recipe is from a special YOU Magazine extra full of Mary Berry recipes, so I thought I would give it a go!  You can also find this recipe online if you search the recipe name (here it is on the Sainsbury’s website).

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Recipe

225g/8oz butter (room temperature) plus extra for greasing

550g/1¼ lb cooking apples (such as Bramley)

Juice of ½ lemon

225g/8oz light muscovado sugar

300g/10oz self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 tbsp milk (full-fat or semi-skimmed)

icing sugar, to dust

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  • As my older sister, Farah was here I thought I would get her to help a little bit by asking her to start by greasing the tin with a little butter and to then line it with some greaseproof paper.  After greasing the tin a little too much, I think she finally got there – doesn’t it look pretty.

(She told me I had to show a picture of her beautiful lining of the tin otherwise she would beat me up.)

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  • I started by coring the apples and chopping them into quarters and then slicing them finely.  I then added them to a tub and added the lemon and made sure all the slices were covered.

(You may have noticed that I didn’t peel the apples first – I did actually forget to do this step, but in my defence I was distracted by small children running around everywhere…ahem.)

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  • I added the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, ½ a teaspoon of the cinnamon, the eggs and milk into a bowl and then whisked until all the ingredients were incorporated and the mixture was smooth.

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  • At this point, I preheated the oven to 160°C (as stated in the recipe for fan ovens).

  • I spooned half of the mixture into the tin and using a spatula, I made sure to spread the mixture evenly.  I then added half of the apple slices on top and then sprinkled over the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.

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  • I then added the rest of the mixture to the tin, and very carefully levelled it out without disturbing the apples underneath.  Finally I added the other half of the apple slices on top and made sure to gently press them into the surface.

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  • I put the tray into the heated oven and cooked it for about 25 – 35 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and the cake is firm but spongy to touch and the apples are soft.  And as a last minute touch, I sprinkled some brown demerara sugar over the top, concentrating over the apple slices and put it back in the oven to caramelise a little.
  • IMG_4788 I left it in the tin for about 20 minutes until the cake had cooled down enough for me to take it out of the tin and place on a cooling rack.

This was a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe to make (compared to my usual recipes anyway) and it went down well with my family.  It was only until I had cut the traybake into squares to serve, that Farah pointed out I hadn’t peeled the apples… OOPS!  By the time we got to the dessert it had completely cooled down, so we warmed them a little in the microwave and served them with some Madagascan vanilla custard, ice cream or a little double cream depending on preference.

Have you ever tried some to bake any Mary Berry desserts, and if so, which ones have you tried?  Don’t forget to comment below!

Until next time! x