During the last year, I have somehow developed a love for baking. The day I woke up on a Saturday morning with the urge to hand craft some chocolate brownies was the day I left behind my young wild days and entered adulthood of a twenty something. I personally blame the Great British Bake Off, unashamedly one of my favorite things on TV!
I am now a dab hand at loaf cakes with Bara Brith, Lemon Cake, Banana Cake and Carrot Cake all going down well at work and with my housemates. I have also branched out into muffins, cakes and sponges (are your mouths watering yet?)
Anyway, back in November I received my monthly The MS Trust newsletter (something I subscribed to a few years ago) and within it they were encouraging people to organise and take part in The Great Christmas Cake Off in aid of the charity. Being a charity and condition that means so much to me, I was instantly keen to get involved! The next day in work the date was set and posters went up around the office!
I was also extremely lucky that I had so many baking volunteers at work. All in all 10 other happy bakers volunteered their skills and made multiple goodies for the sale. I also got busy in the kitchen and made my (shockingly) first ever Chocolate Cake! It was crazy easy to bake and, if I do say so myself, bloody tasty too. Have a look at the recipe below and give it a go!
- 3 eggs
- 175g self-raising flour
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g softened butter
- 1½ level tea spoon baking powder
- 40g cocoa powder
- 4 table spoons of boiling water
Chocolate ganache icing:
- 150ml extra double cream
- 150g plain chocolate (broken into pieces)
- 4 table spoon apricot jam
- 3 x boxes of milk chocolate fingers
- 1 x SHARE bag of maltesers (or 2 x regular bags)
Tools of the trade:
- 2 x 17cm (7 in) deep sandwich tins
- Non-stick baking paper
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
- Put the cocoa in a separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. (This looks terrible at first, but go with it!) Add to the cake mixture.
- Prepare sandwich tins by greasing with butter and lining with the non-stick baking paper.
- Evenly distribute the mix into the tins, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins.
- Leave to cool in the tin (or waft them with a oven tray for 5 minutes like me) then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
- To make the icing: measure the cream and chocolate into a bowl and carefully melt over a pan of hot water over a low heat. Stir until melted, then set aside to cool a little and to thicken up.
- To ice the cake: spread the apricot jam on the top of each cake. Spread a small amount of the ganache icing on the top of the jam on one of the cakes, then add the raspberries in a circular pattern on top. Carefully lay the other cake on top, sandwiching them together.
- Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top and sides of the cake (however leave a little in the bowl for step 10).
- To decorate, start with the chocolate fingers. Moving around the cake, adding the left over ganache like a glue to stick them one. Once done, secure with ribbon and string. Move onto adding the maltesers again in a circular pattern starting from the outside and moving inwards.
- Pop it in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours) and voila!
I’m very happy to say the bake sale raised £226.41 to for The MS Trust all from a from a few cakes and a cheeky raffle. Handy hint for bakes sales, rather than pricing your cakes, ask for a donation! People are far more generous that way and helps make a few extra pennies.