Tuesday, 28 May 2013

This month i'm loving...


With all the sunny spring weather in England, i been loving outside with all the apple and cherry blossom making the garden look pretty and getting me thinking about new ideas for apple crumble in the autumn. 

I've also been loving roasting rhubarb in the oven, to pop on top of my porridge for a great spring treat for breakfast...

....and my favourite spring dessert with a cheesecake base, then boiled rhubarb mixed with lemon jelly and left to set in the fridge. ( look out for a later post for a full recipe).

 Not to forget the glorious late asparagus season, served lightly grilled or boiled with a dab of butter or a sprinkle of course sea salt, or go Italian and wrap it with parma ham.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Chocolate cake with chocolate style graffti edge

OK, spring might not be the best time to eat chocolate cake. When attempting to get "beach ready", but if its someones birthday or your own, a chocolate cake cake is really the best option.I little cake won't hurt...

The chocolate graffiti style edge is a big showstopper, it takes practise to get right. I used a can of spray duster (used for cleaning in between computer keys)held upside down, produces a very cold air (i recommend using gloves).If you are rich and fancy enough, then dry ice or liquid nitrogen will work in the same way. A normal freezer isn't cold enough because the chocolate needs to solidify on the outside but not the inside making it easy to bend. I then spray the can of duster upside down on the it on a metal baking tray(on the side you won't drizzle chocolate on), then quickly drizzle melted chocolate on it. You will see it harden, then carefully lift and wrap around the cake.



250ml milk
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
125g softened butter
2 eggs
250g of sugar
1 teaspoon bicarb
225g plain flour
50g cocoa powder

1. preheat oven to gas 4, 180oc
2. line a large cake tin or two smaller tins ( i prefer two as i can't cut straight in the middle) with grease proof
3. stir lemon juice into milk
4. beat the butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy.
5. beat in the eggs one at a time
6. sift the cocoa, bicarb and flour together
7. fold in half the milk, then the flour. Then the milk, then the flour.
8. pour mixture into the cake tin, and bake until well risen and a skewer comes out clean.
9. leave to cool

i usually just ice the middle , top and sides. although i sometimes put a layer of raspberry jam in the middle a well as icing, i find this adds something and lifts it.double this icing recipe if you want icing on the sides as well as one top and in the middle.


75g butter
150g icing sugar
15g cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons of milk

1. beat butter
2. sift cocoa and icing sugar together
3. mix into the butter
4. beat in milk to make it spreadable
5. spread onto cold cake
6. decorate while icing hasn't set