ALL THE CHOCOLATE!

In this post we give you not one, but TWO fabulous chocolate cake recipes.



The first is Zoe's favourite recipe, adapted from the wonderful Aussie master pastry chef Adriano Zumbo - if you're a Bake Off nut and have Netflix you need to check out Zumbo's Just Desserts - like Bake Off on drugs basically.

The cake is light, not dry in the slightest and really chocolatey. Here's how you do it:

Zoe's Roarsome Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS 64g butter at room temperature 320g soft brown sugar 2 eggs 144g greek yoghurt half teaspoon salt 24g cocoa powder 200g self raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 200ml hot water

Icing: 75g best possible dark chocolate 220g softened butter 125g icing sugar 2 x 20cm round cake tins, greased and lined with baking parchment Preheat your oven to 170 degrees centigrade (fan oven)

Prep time: 30 mins Cooking time: 30 mins


METHOD 1. In a large bowl or freestanding mixer, combine the butter and sugar together until crumbly.

2. Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate.

3. Add the greek yoghurt and incorporate.

4. Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix until smooth.

5. Add the hot water and mix. This will create a liquid batter, pour it equally into the two prepared tins.

6. Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack. Cool completely before applying the icing...

Icing! 1. Break your chocolate into chunks and place in a heatproof bowl such as Pyrex You can either melt the chocolate on a medium or low setting in your microwave in 20 second bursts - stirring / checking after each interval, or set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and let the steam gently melt the chocolate.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy and aerated.

3. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the buttercream mixture whilst it's still warm (or it will seize) and thoroughly combine).

To assemble: 1. Put one of your cakes on a cake board or plate and slather a layer of icing over the top.

2. Put the other cake on top of your icing layer.

3. Slather the rest of the icing on op of the second cake and around the sides too if you have enough!

4. Decorate with mini eggs, chocolate truffles, chocolate orange segments, chocolate shavings or whatever you fancy.

Pimp that cake! A layer of raspberries between the cakes is a thing of beauty but you'll need to eat it quick / keep it in the fridge.

A Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Fudge Traybake


We tried this out at Babes In Arms last week and the recipe was requested. Basically I busked this one, taking a standard Mary Berry recipe and replacing various ingredients for their vegan / non gluten counterparts. Try it with or without it being either vegan or gluten free - it works.


INGREDIENTS

4 level tablespoons cocoa powder

4 tablespoons hot water

225g dairy free spread (Vitalite or similar)

225g caster sugar

275g gluten free self raising flour

quarter teaspoon of xantham gum

2 level teaspoons gluten free baking powder

4 tablespoons chia seeds

10 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon of dairy and gluten free milk


Icing:

150g dark vegan chocolate

6 tablespoons water

350g sifted icing sugar

1 teaspoon flavourless oil (sunflower etc)

freeze dried raspberries or vegan chocolate curls to decorate


METHOD

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Fan 160 C. Grease a 30 x 23cm traybake tin and line the base with baking parchment.


2. Blend together the cocoa and hot water then allow to cool slightly.


3. Put four tablespoons of chia seeds and ten tablespoons of water into a bowl - this is your egg replacement, the chia will thicken in the water almost instantly. If you want to replace eggs in other recipes, the ratio is one tablespoon of chia to two and a half tablespoons of water.


4. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.


5. Bake in a pre heated oven for 30 / 35 minutes until the cake has shrunk away from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin.


6. To make the icing, break the chocolate into pieces and melt gently in a pan with the water until smooth. Leave to cool slightly, then beat in the icing sugar and oil. Pour over the cake and smooth gently with a palette knife. Leave to set for half an hour or so, then decorate with freeze dried raspberries, chocolate curls or whatever takes your fancy.

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