Monday, 15 February 2010

mega mega chocolate cake death.

i have tried many chocolate cake recipes, but i always come back to this one! it's rich, fudgy and very unhealthy. awesome.



200g good quality dark chocolate
200g butter, cut into pieces
85g self raising flour
85g plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
75ml buttermilk


200g good quality dark chocolate
284ml carton double cream
2 tbsp golden caster sugar


1. butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the base. preheat the oven to 140c/gas 3. break the chocolate into a saucepan, add the butter and melt together. don't overheat as the chocolate will burn.

2. mix the two flours, bicarbonate of soda, both sugars and cocoa powder in a bowl. beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and add the buttermilk. pour the melted chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir. add the egg mixture and stir, making sure everything is thoroughly mixed together.

3. pour the mixture into the prepared tin. bake for around 1 hour 30 minutes. test the mixture with a skewer before you take it out - if the skewer comes out with some mixture on, the cake needs to stay in for a bit longer! once out, leave the cake to cool.

4. turn the cake out of the tin. make the ganache by breaking up the chocolate and putting it into a bowl. heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan until it's about to boil then pour over the chocolate and stir in. ensure the mixture is smooth and silky. pour the ganache over the cake and serve.

verdict: 9.6/10. this really is a perfect cake!

parsnip, cranberry and chestnut loaf.

i made this on boxing day, as an alternative to meat to go with our boxing day roast dinner. it was fucking awesome. next time, less cranberries. i think i only used half the recommended amount, and it was totally sweet enough! also, i burnt the cranberries whilst cooking them and they made my eyes sting, that's probably why i hold a grudge against them now. haha!


4 tbsp butter
3 onions, chopped
15g pack sage
200g cooked chestnuts
100g walnuts
100g breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp mace
1 egg, beaten
500g cranberries
175g caster sugar
550g parsnips
1 tbsp honey


1. melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a pan and add the onions. gently cook for 10-15 until the onions soften. stir in the sage for one minute, then tip the contents into a large mixing bowl. pulse the chestnuts in a food processor until chopped into small pieces, then add them to the onion mix. repeat this with the walnuts. add the breadcrumbs, mace, egg and season with salt and pepper. mix everything together.

2. put the cranberries and sugar into a pan and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes over a high heat. the cranberries will pop slightly and the sauce will become sticky. set aside to cool. grease a 900g loaf tin, and line with greaseproof paper that covers the base and two ends.

3. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. add the parsnips and boil for three and a half minutes. drain well. from the thinner ends of the parsnips, cut off lengths that fit widthways across the bottom of the loaf tin. chop the remaining parsnip into the nut mixture.

4. heat the oven to 180c/160c fan or gas 4. coat the parsnip lengths in 1 tbsp of butter and the honey, then fit them into the tin. top with half the nut mixture. make sure it's pressed down firmly. spread a third or so of the cranberry sauce on top, then top this with the remaining nut mixture. press down as before. cover in foil and bake for an hour.

5. melt the remaining butter and add the remaining sage, and pour over the loaf, to serve. use the rest of the cranberry sauce as an accompaniment.

my verdict: 9/10

i have been in an unproductive rut...

but now i'm out of it.

recipes to follow!