Monday, 20 May 2013

Pina Colada Cake

 I saw a pina colada cake recipe in my new book. I loved the idea (coconut, rum, pineapple) but I didn't like the recipe-sorry author. The cake was a simple sponge, with buttery-sugary cream....aghhh
So I made my own version, because  I also think that in order to call a cake a boozy cake you need more than 2 tbsp alcohol in it. The end result was fab (and incredibly easy to make), one of my favourite cakes I ever made...it is in my top 3.

Pina Colada cake


For the sponge
200 g self-raising flour
210 g butter at room temperature
200 g golden caster sugar
50 g dessicated coconut
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1-3 tbsp milk

For the cream
250 g mascarpone
125 g cream chese
150 g melted white chocolate
40 g dessicated coconut
1-3 tbsp white Rum/Malibu

Filling
1/2 pineapple
3-5 tbsp dark Rum
1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar


Slice the pineapple to small pieces, coat it with the muscovado sugar and rum and place it to the fridge. Leave to absorb the alcohol for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Preheat your oven to 180C and prepare a 23 cm round tin with baking paper.Put all the cake ingredients in a  large bowl. Beat them together with an electric mixer until you have a creamy mixture and add milk as needed.

Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes or until the sponge springs back when pressed. Leave to cool completely than cut the cake in half with a cake leveler.




For the cream, put all the cream ingredients in a bowl and mix it with an electric mixer. That's it:)

Put 2/3 of the cream in between the sponge layers and all the pineapple except a handful that you can reserve for the top decoration. Leave it to rough, I love the rustic look of it.
Place the second sponge on top and cover it with the rest of the cream and pineapples.
Keep it in the fridge, but remove it 20 minutes before consuming.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

This was the chocolate cake I made for my boss who is now off to get married next weekend. I baked a chocolate cake (his absolute favourite) and a Lemon Curd filed Zila Cubes cakes. The Zila cakes were the perfect start of the morning (as it was conveniently sliced) before we dig in the oozing chocolate mountain. I took the recipe from the BBCgoodfood (Angela Nilsen) website as it had over 800 positive ratings, so I thought it must be good.........and ohh my God how good it was. I only changed the cream and made a 10% bigger cake so it would be a nice size in my rectangle tin (I found the rectangle shape better for he office cake sharing/it is easier to divide and share). Oh I made a poor attempt to replicate my boss and his fiancee to sit on top of the cake....sadly later during delivery his leg broke into pieces...........but I still sit them on top of the cake as I worked too hard not to put them on. I also made the mistake to cover the freshly covered cake with kitchen foil which later stuck to the cream and left some marks, but nobody complained about this:) 

Ultimate Chocolate Cake


For the sponge
220 g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
220 g butter
1 tbsp instant coffee ganules
95 g self-raising flour
95 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
220 g light muscovado sugar
200 g golden caster sugar
30 g cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
85 ml buttermilk (5tbsp)

For the cream
500g mascarpone
200 g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
3-4 tbsp hazelnut liqueur

To decorate
50 g chocolate for chocolate curls 

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 19X25 cm rectangle tin with baking paper.
Break the dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy based pan. Cut the butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125 ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat.

While the chocolate is melting, mix the self raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, light muscovado sugar, golden caster sugar and cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk.

Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25 -1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the middle it should come out clean and the top should feel firm. 

Leave it to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the cream:mixing the mascarpone with the melted but slightly cooled chocolate and the hazelnut liqueur.


Sandwich the layers together with the mascarpone cream but leave enough cream to cover the outside of the cake with a palette knife.

Decorate with chocolate curls: melt 50 g of dark chocolate and spread it on a sooth chopping board. Pop it to the freezer for 10 minutes so the chocolate  hardens, then with a long bladed sharp knife start shaving curls of the surface. It doesn't have to be precise, the more shape and size you have is the better.

The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days......haha it took 30 minutes for the office staff to demolish the whole cake:)



Friday, 3 May 2013

Lemon Curd filled Zila Mould Cubes

It is my boss's wedding is in two weeks time and I volunteered to bake a cake for him. Well two cakes as the the team is quite big. I made the Ultimate Chocolate Cake and a Lemon Curd cake. I decided to try my new Zila Cake mould: the cube one. I made 25 cubes (well only 23 on the picture as my husband couldn't resist it any more) which were all the same size and consistency and more importantly: delicious. For the sponge I used the one published on the Zila Cake Mould's website and the lemon curd is still the Kabi's Kitchen version.
If you want to see the Zila range or buy some, you can do it here: Link to buy Zila Cake Mould

Lemon Curd filled Zila Mould Cubes

For the sponge
6 eggs
140 g sugar
210g plain flour
45g melted butter
1/2 lemon zest
1 vanilla pod

For the lemon curd
2 eggs
2 egg yolk
80g sugar
3 lemons
70g butter
1 tsp honey

To decorate
100 ml double cream
1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 160C. 
Whip the egg whites to medium peaks and add the sugar. Mix in the melted (but room temperature) butter, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and the egg yolks. Fold in carefully the plain flour and pour the mixture to the Zila Cake Mould (that you previously prayed with a vegetable fat based releasing agent).


Tap the mould on a tray to the kitchen surface so the liquid can spread equally in the mould and you will have nice smooth sponge without holes in it.

Bake it for 20-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. 

While it is still warm sprinkle some sugar on top and turn it up side down to another sheet. Remove the silicon top and the square inox frame and leave it to cool.


For the lemon custard whisk the eggs and yolks in a heatproof bowl with sugar, lemon zest and juice. Set the bowl over simmering water and add the butter and honey. Stir continuously. It takes roughly 12-15 minutes to thicken. It should reach the consistency of custard. Turn of the heat and leave it to cool.


Fill each cavities with lemon curd and decorate with a small portion of whipped cream and a small slice of lemon.