Easy Chocolate Cake

I thought you might have some Easter eggs to use up and still be in the mood for a chocolate hit. This is just the recipe. Soft chocolate sponge sandwiched together and covered with fudgy icing. For the icing feel free to change the chocolate types to all milk or all dark if you desire as both work well.

Ingredients

125g caster sugar

4 eggs

100g self raising flour

25g cocoa powder

40g butter – melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing

150g dark chocolate

200g milk chocolate

250g butter

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c and grease and line an 8 inch cake tin.

Add your sugar and eggs to a large mixing bowl and whisk for approx 5 minutes until all thick and frothy.

Sift over the flour and cocoa, then fold it in gently along with the 40g melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir to fully combine.

Transfer the mixture to your lined cake tin and bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so. Once removed cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cake has fully cooled slice in half horizontally and allow to cool a little longer as the inside of the cake may still be a warm. You need it to be completely cool for the icing to set properly.

Meanwhile, mix up your icing by melting the 250g butter and chocolate in a microwave in short 30 second bursts mixing each time to combine.

Slowly fold in the icing sugar.

Whisk to form a fudgy consistency and smear all over your base of the cake and sandwich the other cake on top.

Now smear the rest of the chocolate on top and all over.


Choc Chip Flapjacks

Perfect for afternoon tea, perfect for lunch boxes, perfect for a post work out treat. Basically perfect for anything, you get the gist. These can be made in a flash and devoured even quicker. If you end up having lots of Easter eggs to use up these are perfect. These are so popular I’d make two batches if I were you.

Makes approx 12

Ingredients

250g oats

125g butter

125g caster sugar

3 tablespoons golden syrup

80g dark chocolate – in cubes or chips

Drizzle of dark chocolate to decorate

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c fan

Weigh out all your ingredients into separate bowls.

Gently heat your butter in a saucepan along with the syrup.

Add the oats bit by bit making sure they get fully coated in the syrup mixture. Allow to cool a little.

Now add your dark chocolate chips.

Grease and line your baking tin and spoon the mixture in. I use an 18x18cm shallowish tin. Don’t worry if the mix doesn’t spread to the sides. I pour my mixture in and leave about 2 inches up the side of the tin otherwise it will be too flat if the mixture goes all the way to the edges.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Once out of the oven quickly score into 12 and allow to set.

Lift out carefully with a palette knife. Allow to fully cool, then drizzle over some dark chocolate.

Put the kettle on and reward yourself with one.


Frosted Chocolate Sponge Traybake

This is heavenly served as a pudding with hot chocolate custard. I’m banned in my family for saying the word pudding as they hate it, so I’ve called it frosted chocolate sponge traybake! Reminiscent of school dinners back in the day.

Ingredients

300g dark chocolate

200g butter

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g self raising flour

Frosting

50g butter

50g cream cheese

150g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c / 160c fan

Line and grease a traybake tin. I used a 28cm x 18cm.

Break up the chocolate into squares and add to a large mixing bowl along with the butter.

Melt in the microwave in short bursts stirring after every 30 seconds until fully melted or you can do this in a bowl over a pan of boiling water if you prefer.

Remove bowl and stir to combine the chocolate and butter. I bet you can’t resist trying a bit!

Stir in all the other ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Transfer to your traybake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 mintues.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so before lifting out and placing on the works urface.

Meanwhile, whisk up your frosting in a separate bowl and set aside.

Once fully cooled spread over your frosting with a palette knife and cut into 12 squares.

Serve with hot chocolate custard for delightfulness.


Butterfly Cakes

A cute and simple sponge cake bringing back all the nostalgic childhood memories.

Makes 12

Ingredients

125g butter

125g self raising flour

125g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons milk

For the buttercream

125g icing sugar

40g butter

Half teaspoon vanilla extract

Few drips of icy water

Method

Preheat oven to 200c / 180c

Add all your ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together and spoon into your cases.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes keeping an eye so when they have risen and are nicely golden they are ready to come out.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire baking rack .

While the cakes are cooling mix up your buttercream.

Once fully cooled cut out a circle about 1cm deep in the centre of the cake leaving about a centimetre around the outside of each cake. Spoon your buttercream in the centre and cut your sponge circle in half and stick on into the buttercream to replicate butterfly wings. Dust over a little icing sugar to pretty up.


Blueberry and Raspberry Muffins

I love blueberry and raspberry muffins but I don’t like them too sickly sweet and artificial tasting. These are not heavy on the sugar, gorgeously fruity and heavenly split in half and buttered with a cup of tea.

Makes 12

Ingredients

275g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

75g caster sugar

225ml milk

100g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

85g blueberries

85g raspberries

Icing sugar to dust over – approx 1 tablespoon

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Line your muffin tin with muffin cases ( slightly larger than the fairy cake ones).

Literally throw all the ingredients into the mixing bowl except for the blueberries and raspberries. You gently fold these in once you have whisked the mixture and it is smooth and creamy.

Spoon evenly into the muffin cases.

Place in the centre of the oven and bake for approx 22 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack and then dust over with icing sugar.


Oat Funfetti Cookies

You can never have too much funfetti in your life. Crunchy oat biscuits dipped in a burst of bright sprinkles. How is that not going to cheer up anyones day?

Ingredients

Makes 10 medium cookies

75g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

75g oats

50g brown sugar

75g butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

2 tablespoons milk

100g white choc chips

Shake or 2 of sprinkles.

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c / 160c fan

Sift your flower and baking powder into a large bowl, then add your oats and sugar.

Over a low heat melt your butter and syrup together with your milk. Stirring all the time.

Add to your mixing bowl of ingredients making sure every oat is coated.

Roll into golf ball size mounds shared between two lined baking sheets and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 15 minutes. So approx 5 cookies per baking sheet.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.

Dip your cookie half in and quickly scatter over your sprinkles to the melted chocolate.

Allow to rest on the baking sheet until fully dry.

Serve to smiley faces.


Amaretto Chocolate Cake

Inspired to make this by something similar that Nigella makes. My version has a variation on ingredients and no ground almonds as my girls can’t eat them. The delicious end result of a dense Amaretto chocolate cake is the same though. It’s hardly the most pretty of cakes but what it lacks in aesthetic charm it makes up for in flavour. I recommend chilling overnight and serving straight from the fridge the next day with creme fraiche.

Ingredients

250g dark chocolate

4 eggs separated

110g of caster sugar

3 tablespoons of warm water

2 tablespoons Amaretto

Cocoa powder for dusting

Creme fraiche to serve (optional)

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C. Grease and line a loose bottomed tin approx 20cm.

Break up the chocolate into little squares and melt gently either in the microwave in short bursts of a few seconds, stirring occasionally or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. I prefer the microwave method as its quicker. Allow to cool for a while.

Whilst the chocolate is cooling crack your eggs into two different mixing bowls, whites in one and yolks in another.

Add the caster sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk for a couple of minutes. You want them looking pale in colour. I’d recommend an electric whisk for this.

Gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture which should be a smooth and runny consistency and then add the water bit by bit and finally the Amaretto. Try not to eat any of the chocolate mixture!

Lastly whisk up your egg whites in your separate bowl for a minute or so until they start to hold their shape. You want them looking almost marshmallowy. Finally fold them bit by bit into the chocolate mixture.

When you have a gooey, chocolatey liquid pour into your baking tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow too cool. The cake will look a bit wobbly but don’t worry, just leave to cool in the tin as this will soon set. Once the cake has cooled transfer in the tin to the fridge and leave overnight. You don’t have to leave overnight but it really is best that way. This is meant to be a rich dense cake rather than a soft spongey one so it works best straight from the fridge.

When you remove it before serving it will have turned into a gorgeous, chocolatey, dense cake which you then need to dust with the best cocoa powder you can find and serve with creme fraiche or if that’s not your thing then, ice cream or fresh double cream.


Triple Chocolate Toblerone Cookies

I made these cookies in a bid to use up the Christmas chocolate. I always buy way too much!

I’m so delighted with how they came out. Big chunky triple choc cookies using miniature milk, plain and white Toblerones. When you make yours and take a bite you will want to marry them. Dip them in milk for extra happiness.

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients

200g mini Toblerones – mix of milk, dark and white snapped into pieces

120g butter – softened

120g caster sugar

120g light brown sugar

1 large egg – beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

220g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Half teaspoon bicarbonate soda

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Line 3 baking trays. For best results cook each tray separately in the centre of oven so you can keep re-lining the same tray if you wish.

Beat together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl.

Beat in your beaten egg bit by bit and then your vanilla.

In another large bowl sift your flour, baking powder , bicarb and cocoa. Gently fold into your butter mixture along with your snapped up mini Toblerone pieces.

When you have a doughy mixture divide in half, roll into two balls and cling film. Pop in the fridge for around half hour to an hour.

Split the dough between your 3 trays and roll into golf ball sized mounds. Pop in the centre of the oven for approx 10 minutes. The cookies will spread so space at least 2 inches apart.

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray as they’ll still be cooking a little when they come out the oven. Best not to overcook them as they won’t be so gooey and delicious.

Transfer onto a wire baking rack.


Brownies

Brownies are amazing any time of year but especially at Christmas. I sieve over a little icing sugar to make them look all snowy and festive. They’re the perfect treat for those that turn their noses up at mince pies which incidentally I could never comprehend the thought of doing!

These are fudgey, gooey and everything a brownie should be. Thank me later!

Makes 16

Ingredients

185g butter

185g milk chocolate

100g dark chocolate

85g plain flour

40g cocoa

275g caster sugar

3 eggs

Teaspoon icing sugar to sieve over when baked.

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C / 160C and line and grease a shallow 20 x30cm tin.

Melt your butter and milk chocolate together. I do mine in short bursts in the microwave. Stopping every now and then to stir. Once it’s fully combined and runny set aside.

Measure your flour and cocoa and sieve into a large mixing bowl.

Weight out your caster sugar in a separate bowl and whisk in your eggs. When the mixture is pale and fluffy and looks like it’s almost doubled in size it’s time to pour over the chocolate mixture.

Now gently fold in your flour in a figure of 8 motion. We don’t want to whisk in or go mad here as we don’t want to knock out the air.

Snap up your dark chocolate into cm sized bits and stir gently into the mixture.

Pour into your tin and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Once fully cooked they will be firm without a wobbly centre.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so. Gently ease out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool further.

Transfer onto a plate and chop into even squares. Sieve over a little icing sugar and adorn with anything you have knocking about that’s Christmassy. Enjoy!


Coconut Snowy Rocky Road

Christmas and rocky road are two of my absolute favourites so I thought why not combine the two together to make a snowy rocky road. It contains all the usual suspects but I’ve packed this one full of sweet coconut for all the snowy Christmas vibes.

Ingredients

200g milk chocolate

60g marshmallows

50g coconut – desiccated and extra to sprinkle when serving

80g golden syrup

180g choc chip cookies

135g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Line an 18cm x 18cm tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by smashing up your cookies into small bits ( not crumbs).

Chop up your marshmallows or just use mini ones to save doing this.

Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a low heat in a saucepan, stirring all the while and once fully melted and slightly cooled add the marshmallows and cookies. Stir so it’s all combined.

Finally, add your coconut and vanilla extract, mix thoroughly so every bite is full of coconut.

Transfer to your tin, smooth over with a palette knife but still leave it a bit rocky. Allow to refrigerate for a few hours but preferably overnight.

Remove from fridge, chop into pieces and sprinkle over more coconut for more snowy delightfulness.