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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Dark chocolate and orange cake

I made a similar dark chocolate and orange cake before, last year for Picnic fit for a Queen. As in that post I shared a few recipes, I decided to make this post as a stand-alone recipe. It was so good that I feel it deserves more attention.
This is one of those cakes I have to stop myself from eating. I love the texture of the cream, light due to the mascarpone, but still rich from the butter. The orange gives a lovely texture and the flavour is amazing. This time I used blood oranges, but they weren’t as red as I hoped they will be. I made another small change, I used 30% wholemeal flour. I usually bake with a blend of wholemeal and white.

Dark chocolate and orange cake

Ingredients for 8 slices:
– 1 blood orange and a few more slices for decor
– 200g plain white flour
– 100g plain wholemeal flour
– 3 eggs
– 100g demerara sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 75g soften butter
– 100ml oil
– 3 tsp cocoa
– 125ml milk
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 150g icing sugar (for the cream)
– 100g dark chocolate

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Victoria sponge

I wanted to make a pink Victoria sponge for a series I’m planning for Valentine’s Day, hence the hearts confetti. I have beetroot powder and I thought the cake will turn out pink and beautiful. The beetroot powder is healthy so I really hoped it will be a great alternative to food colouring. The batter had a lovely colour, but after baking there wasn’t any trace of pink left. I should have used food colouring for baking, I know that now.

That being said, I still wanted to share the recipe because it’s different than the Classic Victoria sandwich I made last year. This time I’ve replaced a third of the white flour with wholemeal flour. I wasn’t sure if it will rise nicely, but it did. I’m always trying to make the dishes I cook healthier.

01 Victoria sponge

I am considering another twist to the recipe and if that one turns out just as good, I will share that too. It’s still cake, so it should be enjoyed in moderation, but if it tastes amazing and it has a little bit more fibers, why not making a mix of flour. For the cake I used shop-bought strawberry jam as I finished the one I made last year. I looked and got one that has the first ingredient strawberries and not sugar. It has a lovely texture, with bits, and the flavour is great. I baked the sponges in the new sandwich tins I received this Christmas.

02 Victoria sponge

Ingredients for a cake with 8 servings:
– 225g soften butter
– 150g white flour
– 75g wholemeal flour
– 225g sugar
– 4 medium eggs
– 2 tsp of baking powder
– 2 tsp of beetroot powder (optional)
– 150g strawberry jam
– 300ml whipping cream
– 20g icing sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– 1 spoon of icing sugar to decorate and redcurrants

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Peanut butter and Baileys cheesecake

If you want to create something that looks and sounds fancy but it’s easy to make and you have leftover Baileys and biscuits from Christmas, this Peanut butter and Baileys cheesecake recipe is ideal for NYE. I’ve been meaning to share this recipe the last couple of days, but with the holidays I didn’t get the time to finish it. The recipe takes only 15-20 minutes to make and it’s a no-bake cheesecake, after is ready, just pop-it in the fridge and it will set in 1 hour or even less.

I used peanut butter biscuits, but you can use any biscuits you might have from Christmas or just plain shop-bought biscuits. You might find using peanut butter for the base a little difficult to mix, so switch to regular butter if you want to make your life easier.

01-peanut-butter-and-baileys-cheesecake

Ingredients for the pastry:
– 120g peanut butter biscuits
– 80g peanut butter
Ingredients for the peanut butter layer:
– 250g mascarpone
– 70g icing sugar
– 70g peanut butter
Ingredients for the Baileys layer:
– 250g mascarpone
– 50ml Baileys
– 50g icing sugar
– chocolate to decorate

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Chestnut and chocolate cake

I made Chestnut and Brussels sprouts last week. I made Chestnut mousse with apple and I loved that, so tasty, but this was the first time I’ve prepared whole chestnuts. I was delighted with their texture and taste, it is slightly different than the chestnut puree, as that one has sweetener in it. I thought they will be great in a cake too and I was right. This is how my Chestnut and Chocolate cake idea was born. I prepared the cake a few days ago, to celebrate my 5th anniversary of moving to UK.

 Chestnut and chocolate cake

Ingredients for the sponge:
– 300g plain white flour
– 3 eggs
– 100g demerara sugar
– 90g whole chestnuts
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 80g soften butter
– 80ml oil
– 50ml milk

Ingredients for the cream:
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 75g icing sugar
– 100g plain chocolate
– 50ml single cream
– 90g chestnuts

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