The Great Christmas Cake Off

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!

cake 2

Ingredients

Chocolate cake:

  • 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
  • Raspberries

Chocolate ganache icing:

  • 150ml extra double cream
  • 150g plain chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 4 table spoon apricot jam

Decoration:

  • 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
  • String/ribbon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Prepare sandwich tins by greasing with butter and lining with the non-stick baking paper.
  5. Evenly distribute the mix into the tins, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top and sides of the cake (however leave a little in the bowl for step 10).
  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.
  11. Pop it in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours) and voila!

Cake

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.

Bx

 

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