Sexy AF | Chocolate Cake

Guys, it’s time to get sexy.

There is nothing in this world so reliable as good ol’ chocolate cake. But over the years, it’s earn itself a reputation as bland, dry, even boring. I mean, I get it. Cheap cocoa powder is no one’s friend. Neither is tins of pre-made frosting (or anything out of a box, for that matter).

But this, this is none of those things. This is the moment in the movie when the nerdy girl takes off her glasses, shakes out her hair and Robert Palmer kicks in as she werks it down the high school corridor. Be prepared to have your jaw drop.

The book that this recipe is from called it The Little Black Dress cake. I get it, it can be dressed up or down, it’s always a winner. But I really don’t think that title really encapsulates just how good this cake is. It is, without question, sexy. as. fuck.

I mean, look at this. It’s gorgeous. It’s pretty hard not to feel very Nigella Lawson while slowly stirring that melted chocolate until it’s all thick and glossy.

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The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of liquor, and this is a good time to get creative, or see what’s in the cabinet. Dark rum and brandy taste expensive and rich, coffee liquor (or just espresso) adds depth, Frangelico or Grand Marnier add a little fun. You can leave it out entirely if you prefer. It definitely could do with a little bit of double cream, because screw it. Be bad. Enjoy it.

 

Sexy AF Chocolate Cake

From Delicious. Simply the Best

500g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
125g unsalted butter, chopped
6 eggs, separated
90g caster sugar
150ml thickened cream
2 tbsp liquor
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

450g good quality chocolate, chopped
175g unsalted butter
600ml thickened cream
1/4 cup liquid glucose

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a springform cake tin and line it with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in either a microwave proof dish or in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the two together until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.

With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the cream, liquor, vanilla and chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix in 3 batches. Do this carefully, you want to keep as much as air in the mixture as you can.

Spread the mixture into the cake pan, and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out with a couple of crumbs. Leave to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl in a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. In a saucepan, bring the glucose and cream to just below boiling point, then remove from heat, pour over the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Chill for 30 minutes until thick. Spread the ganache over the cake and decorate.

Now, how you decorate the cake is up to you. While the those little silver cachous are pretty, they’re a chipped tooth waiting to happen. Stick to edible gold or silver leaf, or for a more modern touch, caramel popcorn.

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Mug lovin’

I have many vices.

I’ve come home from dinner with friends on one too many occasions feeling quite ill. Not because there was something wrong with the food, quite the opposite. I come home sick because I ate ALL THE THINGS. That little voice that tells you that you’ve had enough to eat? I don’t have one.

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Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if I was into salads. I’m not though; my poison is dessert. Panna cotta, mousse, ice cream or gelato, cake or tarts; there’s nothing I don’t love.

So what do you do when you’ve got an insatiable cake craving at 9pm? Sure, you could make a whole cake, but there’s very little chance I wouldn’t eat the whole cake. Plus, there’s no telling my cravings that they have to be patient, because making a whole cake takes an hour.

Enter Mug Cake. Your prayers have been answered; single serve cake in a commercial break!

There are a million recipes for mug cake on the internet, however this one is my favourite. It doesn’t taste eggy, and the consistency is pretty excellent. This recipe serves one, so you can double it where necessary, should you need to share (or just be really hungry. I won’t judge you). Success!

 

2 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

From I am a food blog

1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp chocolate chips
Small splash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, icing sugar (optional)

Combine the egg, oil and milk together in your mug. Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips, and give a quick stir.

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Place the mug on a plate as it’s likely to rise a lot, and may spill over – easy cleaning! Whack in the microwave for 2 minutes.

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Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then serve with a dusting of icing sugar, or like me, with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

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Love and other drugs

Here’s the thing. I absolutely understand why people aren’t into Valentine’s Day. I do. There’s pressure and expectation, and everything is expensive and I hate roses.

Going out for dinner is insane. I saw an ad for a restaurant in the city that was charging $90 a head, with a shared set entree and dessert, a main course. Not even a glass of wine. I’m sorry, you’re going to charge me $90 and I don’t even get to choose my own dessert?! Bollocks to that.

If I’m honest though, I’m a complete and utter hopeless romantic. I like the idea of celebrating love. Yes, you should do it every day, but we don’t. Life kind of gets in the way of that. So it’s nice to have a day where you go to the special effort of taking care of your loved one.

For those of you who remain footloose and fancy free, fear not. There’s Galentine’s Day. An invention of my spirit animal, Leslie Knope, you can celebrate the most important person in your life (being you, duh) with breakfast food, which, let’s be honest, is the best kind of food. Except for this cake, of course.

You can get all aphrodisiac like on V-Day, of course. But cut to the chase, no one hates chocolate, and everyone loves cake. This, I believe, is the ultimate chocolate cake. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is incredible.

Chocolate truffle cake with chestnut cream and ganache

From Delicious Magazine

2 cups (500ml) milk
250g unsalted butter, chopped
300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
300ml thickened cream
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 3/4 cups (385g) caster sugar
2 3/4 cups (410g) plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Chestnut cream
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
300g unsweetened chestnut puree
75g softened unsalted butter, chopped
1 1/3 cups (200g) pure icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line two cake tins.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, stir together the milk, 225g butter, 200g chocolate and 125ml cream, until the chocolate melts and is combines. Leave to cool.

Beat together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until the mixture is thick and pale.

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Mix in the chocolate mixture, then add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

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Evenly divide the batter between cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then on a wire rack.

To make the chestnut cream, melt 50g of chocolate gently in the microwave or in a pan over simmering water. Remover from the heat and leave to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat the chestnut cream until creamy, the add the butter and icing sugar, and beat again until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate.

To make the ganache, place the 175ml of cream in a saucepan over low heat. Bring it to an almost-boil, then pour over the last 100g chocolate, and leave to melt. Add the last 25g of butter, stirring until combined and glossy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, so it thickens a little bit.

Spread the chestnut cream over one of the cakes, leaving a little border to allow for smooshing. Place the second cake on top, then pour the ganache over the top, allowing it to artfully run down the sides. It’s rustic. go with it.

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P.S. Chestnut puree can be found at Fresh Provisions, some IGAs, and the David Jones food court in the CBD (which is where I bought mine – admittedly, it was sweetened, but still awesome).

Welcome to the dark side. We have cookies.

I wish I could tell you that there is some kind of story as to why I made these cookies. Some kind of tale about visiting friends, sharing a biccie over a cup of tea; a true soul bonding moment.

No such luck, my dear reader. It comes down to my two favourite things. Gluttony and obsession. Once I happened across this recipe, I could think of nothing else until I made them. I mean, it’s caramel, with nutella, in a chocolate chic chip cookie. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, if my dreams were anything like this. Which, let’s be honest, they are.

It goes without saying that these are most certainly a sometimes food.

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They’re playing jump rope with that fine line between you and diabetes. But what’s the point in life if you can’t enjoy a sugar bomb once in a while? One that’s not worth living, that’s what. So go ahead.

Salted Caramel & Nutella Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Top With Cinnamon

1/2 cup (110g) butter
1 1/2 cups (350g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
100g milk or dark chocolate chips
flaky salt, for sprinkling
Nutella
15-16 caramel-filled chocolates (or whatever flavour you like – mint would also be excellent)

Preheat the oven to 180*c. Line a cookie tray with baking paper.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the brown sugar and eggs, stirring to combine. Add the cocoa, salt and baking powder, then the flour, stirring well to combine. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips.

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Take about 1 tbsp of dough, flatten it into a disc; take 1 piece of caramel chocolate, dunk it in the Nutella, then wrap the cookie dough around the chocolate.

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Place on the cookie tray, then gently press flat with your palm (but don’t crush the chocolate). Sprinkle the cookies with flaky salt, then bake for 8-10 minutes.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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Sometimes dreams come true

Everyone has their weakness. 

Some can’t leave a bottle of wine unfinished, while Pringles come with a warning literally printed on the can. I know a woman who ate a whole wheel of cheese to herself in two sittings and gave herself kidney stones. Actually, that’s probably an example of what not to do. I think there’s a 12 step program for that. One of my many weaknesses are cookies. Please, do not leave Tim Tams near me if you want them to live to see another day. 

Like many bakers, I’m  always on the hunt for what is our Holy Grail: The perfect chocolate chip cookie.

This is not that recipe, not today.

What it is, however, is a glutton’s dream. A giant cookie, as a cake. With peanut butter icing. And extra chocolate chips for good health measure.

I’ve always found it odd that recipes include measurements for chocolate chips. Let’s be honest, it’s usually a whole packet, minus whatever gets eaten during the cooking process. 

You’re welcome, world. 

If your cake worked like mine, it took nearly twice as long to cook as the instructions said. Maybe don’t do what I did, which is constantly open the door to check on it, because it then also sank. If your cake does do both of those things, then relax because icing hides all sins, and no one will stop eating long enough to care. 

Overloaded Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

From Sprinkle Bakes

Cookie Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips – use a mix of milk, dark and white (and peanut butter chips, if you can find them)

Peanut butter frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups icing sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk

Extra chocolate chips, chopped, to decorate
Peanuts, chopped, to decorate

Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease a cake tine and line with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla. In a seperate bowl, combine the sifted flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add the flour mix to the butter and sugar mix, and combine until a batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, spreading evenly.

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Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (though mine took 40, keep an eye on it), or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake cools, make the icing.

Beat together the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl. Add the salt and icing sugar, beating until well mixed. Add the milk, a splash at a time, until it comes together and is smooth.

Ice the top of the cake, and decorate with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips.

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No good deed goes unpunished

Karma is a glorious but fickle thing. When it’s in your favour, everything is beautiful. But if it’s not… Pow! Right in the kisser!

While I can’t pretend I haven’t incurred karma’s wrath in times gone by, I do my level best to behave now that I’m older and wiser.

A few years back I had my handbag stolen while having lunch with some friends, and I was devastated.

The next day, in a flurry if trying to replace what I’d lost (so many limited edition lip glosses!), I got a call from my office to tell me that a stranger had found my bag in their front yard with my office ID in it, and returned what remained of my belongings. I was eternally grateful to the Samaritan who returned my bag, so when I happened across someone’s purse on my way into work last week, I set about returning it. Not because I need the karma points or I want to look good, but because it’s the right thing to do and someone was kind enough to do it for me.

Had I been able to thank the person who returned my things (I REALLY loved that bag), I would have given them a plate of these. Gently sweet, but not too much, slightly gooey and with the perfect amount of nuttiness thanks to the browned butter, these are the perfect way to say thank you to anyone, for any reason. Even if it’s just yourself!

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Blondies

From Savory Simple

113 grams unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
White chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180*c. Line a brownie tray with baking paper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring frequently. Increase the heat to high, and continue to stir until the butter browns and smells toasted and nutty. Set aside to cool slightly.

Split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Add to a small bowl with flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, brown sugar and browned butter.

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Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until evenly combined. Add the white chocolate chips, if you’re using them. OF COURSE I’M USING THEM.

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Scrape the mixture into the brownie pan, spreading evenly.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

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Old school

Canteen. Tuck shop. Cafeteria. School lunches hold a
special place in our hearts, for better or worse. I had the
pleasure of growing up pre-food revolution, so my school canteens
were stocked with chicken rolls, noodle cups, vegemite cheesies
(which are still a comfort food of mine to this day) and packet
soups in winter. The only thing better than vegemite cheesies, is
the treats section. Vanilla slice. Yogos. Little Petit Miam
tubs?Mars Bar slice. Anzac biscuits. My highschool made the best
hedgehog slice I’ve ever had, and I’m too scared to try them
anywhere else, least it doesn’t live up to my expectations. What’s
missing from this list? ONLY THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL. Caramel
slice is a classic, the kind of thing that’s met with very confused
faces should you admit to never having tried it. There may even be
claims of being denied caramel slice being akin to child abuse.
Don’t be offended, it’s just really that good. I made this for my
friend Jan’s birthday recently. He explained
that he loved it, but hadn’t had a good one in some time. It’s
everything you remember.

Caramel & Ginger
Slice

From Cuisine Magazine Base 1 cup
shredded coconut 190g unsalted butter, melted 1 and 2/3 cup plain
flour 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 75g crystallised ginger, finely
chopped
Preheat the oven to 180*. Gently toast the
coconut in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Combine the
butter, brown sugar and flour in a bowl, then add the coconut. Line
a slice tray with baking paper, then press the mixture the bottom
of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. IMG_6640 Sprinkle with crystallised
ginger, then set aside to cool.
Caramel 395g can sweetened condensed
milk 2 tbsp golden syrup 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 75g unsalted
butter, chopped 3 tsp ground ginger Put all the ingredients into a
small saucepan, and over low heat, cook,
stirring continuously so it doesn’t burn. Pour the
caramel over the base and then bake for a further 15 minutes or so,
until the caramel bubbles. IMG_6643 Remove from the oven and
leave to cool. Ganache 1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped Bring a saucepan of water to a
simmer, then place a heatproof bowl with the cream and chocolate
over the top. Stir the two together until smooth and glossy. Spread
the ganache over the cool caramel, then put in the fridge for at
least an hour to set. Cut into squares before serving. IMG_6650 IMG_6645 If you’re not ginger
inclined, you can leave it out entirely. Another option is to
sprinkle flaked sea salt over the caramel before you put in the
oven for a shot of salted caramel goodness. Oh. This weekend? Northbridge O-Day. It looks fantastic,
there are activities and fun and snacks. You should go, take your
friends and kids!