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February, 2016

  1. Chocolate Guinness Cake

    February 15, 2016 by sarah

    I made this cake nearly a year ago and had forgot how good it was until I came across the photos. Then my mouth was salivating at the thought of the damp, slightly tart chocolateliness and I had to share the recipe with you. To be honest, you can’t taste the Guinness in the cake but it lends a slightly sour note to the cake which cuts through the sweetness; although I enjoy the occasional sugar rush, a balanced cake is much better to savour and enjoy in the long-term. Although the cake is only flavoured with cocoa powder (make sure it is decent stuff), it is more than enough chocolately. The slightly sweet, silky icing completements the cake perfectly and of course gives us the appearance of a frothy glass of Guinness.

















    For the cake in the photos, I made the recipe twice and to make each layer thinner, made a 23cm cake plus half a dozen cupcakes. I stuck the two halves of cake together with some plum jam and double the icing was enough for the main cake and the dozen cupcakes. Make sure to line the sides and bottom of the springform tin well to make a water-tight seal and place the pan on a baking tray when placing in the oven as the batter is very liquid and will seep out otherwise. Recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Feast.


    Chocolate Guinness Cake


    For The Cake
    250ml Guinness
    250g unsalted butter
    75g cocoa powder
    400g caster sugar
    140ml sour cream
    2 large eggs (or 3 medium)
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    275g plain flour
    2 and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    For The Topping
    300g full-fat cream cheese
    150g icing sugar
    100ml double cream

    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Butter and line the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform tin.

    Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan and add the butter; heat gently until the butter is melted and then whisk in the cocoa and sugar. In a jug, beat the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and then pour into the beery mixture. Whisk in the flour, bicarb and salt.

    Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool fully in the tin.

    For the icing, beat the cream cheese until smooth then sieve over the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the cream while beating and continue to beat until soft and silky. Spread on the cake once COMPLETELY cold.


  2. Christmas Pudding Slice

    February 7, 2016 by sarah

    At the beginning of the year I like to go through my cupboards and have a clear out. Clothes I haven’t worn all year go to the charity shop and the food cupboards are sorted too. And so I found a lonely Christmas pudding, a few months out of date; it wouldn’t last to next Christmas but neither did I feel like eating it as a pudding. This recipe is a great way of using up Christmas pudding, mincemeat or even cranberry sauce; mix up the filling how you like it! You could have pastry top and bottom or have a crumble topping like I made. Make them yours and use up your lonely cupboard ingredients!

    christmas pudding slice-2

    Christmas Pudding Slice

    For the pastry base
    175g cold butter, cubed
    250g plain flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    25g caster sugar
    1 egg, beaten

    For the filling
    400-500g Christmas pudding or a jar of mincemeat
    2 cooking apples, peeled and grated
    1 lemon, juice and zest

    For the crumble topping
    185g plain flour
    125g butter, cubed
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    150g caster sugar
    50g rolled oats

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan.

    To make the pastry base, rub the butter into the flour and salt, stir in the caster sugar and then stir in the egg using a knife. You may need a touch of ice cold water to bring it together. Tip this crumbly mixture in the base of a tin about 20x30cm and press down to make a smooth layer.

    Bake the pastry for 10-15 minutes until just colouring.

    Mix the filling ingredients together then spread evenly over the pastry base.

    For the crumble topping, rub the butter into the flour then stir in the other ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the filling.

    Bake for 40-45 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares. Enjoy!

    christmas pudding slice