Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chocolate Cake

When I got up this morning all that was on my mind was what cake I was going to make for my special Birthday.  I am 30 I cant believe it, but I guess I cant be 21 forever. I was wondering to myself where have the years gone? I started to look in the mirror to see if over night I suddenly have more wrinkles or grey hairs! No, but I defiantly feel different, like maybe there is an unwritten rule that you have to wear knee length skirts or use that eye cream my mum has begged me for years to use. I have to pull myself together and get over it. So on with my cooking mission, lets do something real fattening...... chocolate cake it is.

Chocolate Cake
3 eggs
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter
100ml sour cream
210g plain flour
40g almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder 
100g good quality dark chocolate

Chocolate Icing
60g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
25g good quality cocoa powder
100g cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
Beat together the eggs,  sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy
Melt the butter, add the sour cream and blend into the egg mixture
Mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder carefully fold into the mixture
Melt the chocolate and add to the mixture
Pour into a lined round springform pan
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 45min or until cooked
leave to cool
Make the frosting by mixing together butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa powder and cream cheese
Spread the frosting all over the cake and decorate with choclate curls and sugar flowers.

Happy 30th to me!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Roasted Almond Shortbread

Just had the most amazing trip to Sydney with my mum, we definitely shopped till we dropped. I loved the quant coffee shops around the Rocks and the superb shopping in Paddington. 
On our last day we went for a stroll around Darling Harbour, and stopped at the Lindt Cafe. Since 1845, Lindt has been producing the worlds finest chocolates. We could not resist buying some of their hand made chocolates,  which we knew would not last the trip home, and they didn't!   
These almond shortbread have been filled with this gorgeous chocolate, they just melt in your mouth.

Roasted Almond Shortbread
100g butter,unsalted
55g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
70g almond meal
140g plain flour
150g Lindt chocolate
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees
Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and mix until pale
Add egg yolk and mix in well
In a separate bowl combine almond meal and flour
On a low speed mix in almond mixture into the butter mix until just combined
Place shortbread dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 10min
Use 100g of the chocolate and cut each square in half and put aside
On a floured surface roll out shortbread to 3mm thick
Cut into rectangles 4cm wide 7cm long
Place one piece of chocolate onto rectangle and wrap with the shortbread. Make sure the chocolate is visible on both sides
Place shortbread on a lined tray and brush with the egg wash and back until golden brown(20min)
Allow to fully cool
To decorate, gently melt the rest of the chocolate and drizzle over the shortbread
Allow to set and will keep in a sealed container for one week.

This mixture can also be used to make plain almond shortbread, just use 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, place onto the baking tray, use a folk to press down to slightly flatten.