Monday, 27 January 2014

Monday Bake - Devil's Food Loaf

We have had a very exciting weekend in the Bakebake house as on Saturday we picked up our rescue cat.  The rescue centre did ask us if we wanted to change his name but we decided we liked his original name, but on here he will be known as CatK!  

He has settled in very quickly.  I was prepared for him to find somewhere to hide for the first few days, but when we let him out of his carrier - he had a good wander round the living room and by the afternoon had sat on Minibakebakegirl's and my lap.   Minibakebakegirl found the massaging he does with his paws on her lap really funny - I understand this is a sign of contentment.  Today I have given him a bit more of the house to explore: the hall, kitchen and bathroom.  He seems to like running up the stairs really quickly!   He has tired himself out, as I type he is fast asleep by the patio door.  He sleeps anywhere!

Yesterday, when I asked for suggestions for pudding after Sunday lunch, Minibakebakegirl requested a chocolate cake.  In last week's You Magazine there was a  Mary Berry recipe for Devil's food loaf.  I have eaten Devil's food cake but never baked it before.

50g cocoa
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 medium eggs
250g light muscovado sugar
120ml groundnut oil
130g self raising flour - sifted

125g dark chocolate
20g unsalted butter
30g cocoa - sifted
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp treacle
white chocolate shavings to decorate

Line a loaf tin with a liner or lightly grease the inside with butter.  Whisk the coca with 100ml boiling water in a medium-size bowl using a small whisk, then whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/GM4.  Whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl using an electric whisk until smooth and combined.  Stir in the flour and then the cocoa solution, until combined.  Pour the mixture into the tin and give it a couple of taps on the work surface to bring up any bubbles.  Bake for 60-65 minutes until the cake is risen and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean.  If you didn't use a liner run a knife around the edge of the cake, leave for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool, standing it the right way up.

To make the icing - gently melt the chocolate with the butter in a large bowl set over a small pan containing a little simmering water, stirring until smooth.  At the same time combine the cocoa, milk and treacle in a small saucepan and heat almost to boiling point, giving it a whisk.  Pass this through a sieve into the bowl with the melted chocolate and whisk to a thick, glossy icing.  The icing can set quickly so should be used straight away (but if necessary you can re-whisk it in the bowl over the heat with a teaspoon or two of water).

Set the cake rack on top of a sheet of clingfilm or paper to catch any drips.  Slit the cake in half horizontally, smooth about a third of the glaze over the cut surface, taking it almost to the edge, then sandwich with the top half and smooth the remaining glaze over the top, taking it to the edge and letting it drip down.  Leave this to cool for 10 minutes and then scatter over some chocolate shavings.  Set aside for a couple of hours for the frosting to set.  The cake will keep well in a covered contained for several days.

My icing was glossy when in the bowl but as soon as I spread it on the cake it lost its shine.  Still tasted good though.   The cake is very chocolately but still manages to be light - delicious! 

Before I go I must show you my crochet progress from last week.  My granny square has grown from this to...


I decided to keep going and now plan to cover a cushion with it.  I started with left over wool but I have now run out - I will have to go wool shopping :o)

See you next week,

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. It Must Be Love - Madness
2. Walking On The Moon - The Police
3. When Smokey Sings - ABC

Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Inspiration - Lamingtons

We had a Tana Ramsay tea on Saturday night - from her Real Family Food book I made her Sweet and Sour Pork (but I used chicken) followed by chocolate mousse.  Both were good and I would make again.  Flicking though this book I saw a recipe for Lamingtons.  Sister had made these before and said that everyone had enjoyed them.   

Tana's recipe was made in a tray bake tin, at the time of making I thought the mixture was quite dinky - once baked it was less than a centimetre high and quite dry.  This has been frozen and is destined to be made in to cake pops!  I then made Rachel Allen's Lamington cake.  This produced a cake that was more the size I was looking for.  So this is a bit of a mixed recipe as I had already made Tana's icing.  

My only complaint is that covering the cakes in the icing is a bit messy!  I speared each one with a fork and then holding it over the icing bowl I spooned the chocolate over.  But then I found it hard to get the fork out without messing up the icing.  I also tried a skewer but then several of the squares dropped off into the icing!  If anybody knows an easy way to do this please let me know!

Having googled these I see them some people sandwich them with jam or buttercream before icing - both sound good to me.

I took these some of these round to CrochetFriendS's house for coffee this afternoon.  I had been practicing my treble crochet and me and CrochetFriendR had a lesson in how to do a granny square.  Once I got past the first round I started to see the pattern emerging and found it easier to work - I'm not ready to show you a picture quite I am off to practice some more.

See you next week.


Today's top three spotify songs:

1. I Feel Love - Donna Summer
2. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) - Sylvester
3. Le Freak - Chic

Monday, 13 January 2014

Monday Inspiration - Oat and Raisin Biscuits

One of the first things Minibakebakegirl says when she comes home from school is: "what can I have to eat".  Today there was a tin of Oat and Raisin biscuits waiting to be munched.  

I used the recipe in Rachel Allen's book Bake - this recipe isn't on her website but several people have blogged the recipe - if you want to google it.   The trickiest thing I find when baking biscuits is knowing when to take them out of the oven - take them out too early and they're not baked enough - keep them in too long and they will be rock hard once cooled!  I have made these a few times and now know exactly how long to bake them based on my oven.  I think practice is key when it comes to biscuits!

See you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Sing - Travis
2. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? - Travis
3. Driftwood - Travis

Monday, 6 January 2014

Monday Bake - Coffee Banana Buns

Coffee cake is one of my all time favourites and I don't think I have made a coffee cake on my blog before.  I make Nigellas Italian Breakfast Banana bread a lot; however it isn't on her website so I can't blog it - but you can find the recipe in her Nigellissima book.  It's great with some butter spread on top.   Hubby thinks this is an odd thing to do but I love butter on  this and gingerbread!

I decided to tinker with a basic recipe and have come up with these coffee and banana buns.  Sometimes I just have the one over ripe banana and I have found adding it to a basic cupcake recipe is a great way to use it up.  This recipe either makes 12 small or 9 large buns - which is what I have done here.

100g margarine
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 mashed banana
125g self raising flour
1 tbsp instant espresso powder.

Line a muffin tray with paper cases (12 fairy cases or 9 muffin cases)

Cream the margarine and sugar together until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each one.  Add the vanilla extract and banana and beat again.  Sift in the self raising flour and espresso powder and fold in.

Divide between the cases and bake for about 15mins for the small or 20 mins for the large buns.

Allow to cool in the tin.

Delicious - perfect for a mid morning snack with a cup of coffee.


Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Hey Brother - Avicii
2. Happy - Pharrell Williams
3. Ordinary World - Duran Duran