Chocolate peanut butter cake

This is a cake for one of my husband’s and I anniversaries. We talked about the flavours a lot and we’ve decided on a Chocolate peanut butter cake. The cake was lovely, we both liked the flavour a lot. The Chocolate peanut butter cake is really different, with peanut butter in the sponge and in the cream. So this is why I wanted to share the recipe.

Chocolate peanut butter cake

I’ve added peanut butter in the sponge and in the cream too. As for the cream, we’ve tried creme pat instead of buttercream and it worked lovely. Adding peanut butter in the creme pattiserie was another great idea. I used smooth peanut butter.

Ingredients for the sponge:
– 225g plain white flour
– 200g sugar
– 180g butter (soften)
– 50g peanut butter
– 4 free range eggs
– 3 spoons of cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking powder
– Rum flavouring (optional)

Ingredients for the cream and icing:
– 100g muscovado sugar
– 50g plain white flour
– 500ml milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 50g peanut butter
– Rum flavouring (optional)
– 100g dark chocolate
– 50ml milk
– 50g salted peanuts

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Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe

The recipes I’m sharing today is called Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe. I hope you’ll like the story behind it. I was asked by Forever Manchester, a local charity that organizes Caketober.

Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to support local people through community activity, across Greater Manchester. They are supporting a range of activities for young people, older people and disabled people. The charity was established in 1989 and their projects benefited 1.1 million people.
One of their projects is Caketober, that is a month long celebration combining cakes and fancy dress. I was asked to make a recipe using a secret ingredient. I had no idea what I’m going to receive and it was very exciting. I was delighted to receive the cute package and discover matcha. I’m a big fan of matcha, I already shared plenty of recipes with matcha, like Matcha pie, Vanilla and Matcha Baked Doughnuts, Matcha and cocoa fruit loaf, and many more.

 Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe

I made this Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe with pineapple because my husband likes Charlotte Russe, but there aren’t any recipes of vegetarian ones. I tried it once with a well-known brand vegetarian gelatine and it was a mess. Now I’ve tried with agar agar and it worked out amazingly. Discovering agar agar was one of the best things I did, culinary wise. Recipe is for six servings.

Ingredients for the jelly:
– 1/2 l water
– 30g sugar
– 3g agar agar (2/3 tsp)

Ingredients for the charlotte cream:
– 1/2 l milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 50g flour
– 100g sugar
– 5g agar agar (1 heaped tsp)
– 3g matcha
– 1/2 medium pineapple
– 12 lady fingers
– 300g double cream
– 2 tbs of icing sugar

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Orange and Strawberries Cake

This weekend I’ve made this Orange and Strawberries Cake for a special occasion, our 3rd Home Anniversary. For this cake I’ve combined orange and strawberries and it was fab. I enjoyed it a lot and my husband loved it too. I’ve decorated the cake with a fresh strawberry because it was the only one ripe in our garden. For the filling I’ve used canned strawberries that are delicious, but loose their colour, so not pretty enough for decorating.

Orange and Strawberries Cake

Ingredients for the sponge:
– 1 orange
– 300g plain white flour
– 100g plain wholemeal flour
– 4 eggs
– 125g demerara sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 150ml oil
– 5 drops of Strawberry flavouring (optional)

Ingredients for the cream and decor:
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 100g icing sugar
– 2 spoons of Orange jam for decor
– 1 fresh strawberry (or more)
– 1 can of strawberries in syrup

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Upsidedown Pear Cake with Port

I was challenged to make a recipe with Port by Monarch Airlines, to mark their new destination: Porto in Portugal. I haven’t tried Port before and I never cooked with it. So, I was delighted to try it. I’m glad I did as I liked Ruby Port a lot, it’s nice and sweet.
Port is made in Porto, in the Douro region. This wine was introduced in England in the 17th century, when a Liverpool merchant imported it after tasting it on one of his trips in Portugal. Its higher alcohol percentage made the trip possible, as it will not go off.

The Port I bought for this recipe is Cockburn. In 1815, two wine merchants scots, Robert Cockburn and his brother John, set up a branch of their firm in Porto. The family ran the company until the 20th century, having different partners. They are known for their fine Vintage Port. Many other companies that import Port have a similar heritage.

Upsidedown Pear Cake with Port

Ingredients:
– 2 pears
– 100g self raising flour
– 3 small free range eggs or 2 large free range eggs
– 100g muscovado sugar
– 100ml oil
– 10g cocoa powder
– 20g butter, at room temperature
– 20g white sugar
– 100ml Ruby Port
– 100ml milk
– 100g dark chocolate

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Foret Noire Cake

I made this Foret Noire Cake for our 10th wedding anniversary. As we wanted roses and rose petals on our wedding cake, I though I should recreate our idea on this cake.

01 Foret Noire Cake

I am delighted with the cake. It looked beautiful and it tasted good too. Initially I thought I will cover the cake with white fondant, but we both prefer less sweet cakes, so dark chocolate was a better option when it comes to taste. I think the red roses looked beautiful on the black. I did put some petals on the chocolate before melting it to see how it would look like, just to make sure it wouldn’t have a Halloween’ish effect.

02 Foret Noire Cake

It’s the first time I used my rose cutters and they are easy to work with. I made rose buds before, for the Matcha & Rose Cake, but never roses in bloom. I was worried they will not look as realistic as the ones I saw online. I shouldn’t have worried, with tools, creating roses is quite easy. I think I might get a few more tools for making fondant flowers and leaves.

03 Foret Noire Cake

For the roses I had a 5 petal cutter in 6 sizes. I used some of the same cutters to make the petals. The same cutters can be used to make a 10 petals flower. I like that the cutters are so versatile.

Ingredients for the sponge, 3 layers:
– 300g self raising flour (mix of white and wholemeal)
– 6 eggs
– 225g demerara sugar
– 225ml oil
– 3 spoons of cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking powder
– vanilla paste

Ingredients for the cream, syrup and icing:
– 250g light mascarpone
– 75g butter at room temperature
– 100g icing sugar
– vanilla paste
– cherry flavouring (optional)
– 1 can of pitted cherries
– 50ml sour cherry liqueur
– 150g dark chocolate + a bit more for fixing the rose petals

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Nutty caramel cake

I wondered how I should name the cake, flavours or decorations. I decided on Nutty caramel cake because Sheep Cake doesn’t sound as good. I will talk a bit more about the decorations at the end of the post.

 Nutty caramel cake

The cake has two fillings, one with cream and a creme patisserie with nutty flavour, peanut brittle and demerara sugar. The classic sponge is flavoured with buttery caramel and it also has peanut brittle.

 Nutty caramel cake

Ingredients for the sponge (8 slices):
– 225g white plain flour
– 150g oil
– 150g sugar
– 4 medium eggs
– 2 tsp of baking powder
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– hazelnut flavouring
– 75g peanut brittle, grounded

Preheat the oven at 180C or 160C fan.

Using a stand mixer, mix the flour, the oil, the eggs, the baking powder, vanilla paste, hazelnut flavouring and the sugar. Mix it for a couple of minutes at slow speed, then increase the speed and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the peanut brittle and mix for less than 1 minute, just so the brittle is incorporated in the mixture. Scoop the cake batter into the baking trays and bake until it springs back if touched, for around 40 minutes. When the sponge is baked, take it out of the oven. Leave it to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray, remove from tray and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
When the sponge is cold, cut it in 3 layers.

Ingredients for creme patisserie layer:
– 100g demerara sugar
– 50g plain flour
– 3 egg yolks
– 500ml milk
– buttery caramel flavouring
– 25g peanut brittle, grounded

Put the milk into a saucepan on the hub and bring to boil. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the sifted flour.

When the milk is boiling, pour it over the egg mixture and mix it for 1 minute until the heat from the milk is transferred to the cream. Pour everything back into the pan and bring to hob on medium heat. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the cream does not catch the bottom of the pan. When the mixture has thicken it’s ready, but keep in mind that once it’s cool it will thicken more.
Pour the cream into a cold container and cover with cling film, making sure that the film is in direct contact with the cream’s surface. This step is important to prevent the formation of a crust on its surface.

Ingredients for whipped cream layer:
– 300ml whipping cream
– 75g icing sugar

Just mix the whipping cream with the icing sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until it’s firm.

To make the cake, put the first layer and spread generously creme patisserie on top. Place the second layer on top and pipe the whipped cream. Place the last tear, cover the top with nutty cream and pipe whipped cream on the sides. Sprinkle peanut brittle if you fancy. The cake is now ready to be decorated with cute sheep.

 Nutty caramel cake

I made these sheep with my husband and we had so much fun. We followed a video I found on youtube and it’s very easy. It does need a lot of fondant, a bit of time and lots of utensils too. We’ve enjoyed it a lot, so it was worth the effort. The video, this one, was made for polymer clay, that is a little different. To make the fleece I used a nozzle for pipping cream, as the method she used wasn’t suitable for fondant. I’m thinking of making a post on how to make sheep from fondant, but that means I will have to make them again as I didn’t take any pictures when I made these.
The fondant character can be used for a long time, as they naturally air-dry. I washed the sheep after we cut the cake and I can use them at least a couple of times. So, this Easter, we’ll have them on the table, as decor or maybe on another cake.

 Nutty caramel cake

Simnel cake

I have to say that this cake was made last year, for Easter. As I thought it would be strange to share a recipe of Simnel cake after Easter, I kept it for today.

Simnel cake is a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle. The tradition of the Simnel cake is a very long one, starting from medieval times, approximately 13th century. Conventionally eleven marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, the story is that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or twelve marzipan balls might be used to represent Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas. This way of decorating started in Victorian times.

01-Simnel-Cake

Ingredients for a small cake, 8 servings:
– 175g soft butter (very soft)
– 175g muscovado sugar
– 85g white self-raising flour
– 90g wholemeal self-raising flour
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 50g ground almonds
– 3 spoons of milk
– 300g mix of dried fruits (I used sultanas, pineapple and apricots)
– 2-3 spoons of apricot jam to glaze the cake
– 450g golden marzipan

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