Posted in British Cuisine, Cakes, Chocolate, Halloween

Double Chocolate and Banana Devil’s Cake (with chocolate ganache)

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With Halloween fast approaching, there is nothing better to appease that devil inside than a good old chocolate cake.  As I happen to be surrounded by banana trees in this beautiful place I live in the south of Turkey, I thought why not chuck a few of those delicious bananas in too.  Top it off with some chocolate ganache and there you go, one devilishly delicious cake!!

Ingredients (for the cake)

175 g sugar

175 g flour

1 sachet bicarbonate soda (5 ml)

1 sachet baking powder (5 ml)

4 tbsps cocoa powder

100 ml sunflower oil

175 g very ripe bananas (mashed-blacker the better)

3 eggs (1 whole and 2 with yolks and whites seperated)

50 ml milk

100 g chocolate chips

Ingredients (for the ganache)

100-150 ml double cream

A large handful of chocolate chips or bitter chocolate broken into small pieces

2 tbsps desiccated coconut (optional)

Method

Pre-grease and line a cake loaf tin with greaseproof paper or liner.  Preheat oven to 160°c.

You will need 2 bowls. In the first bowl place the sugar, flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Gently stir to combine.

In the second bowl pour the oil, mashed bananas, the whole egg plus the 2 yolks and the milk. Stir well.

Add to the dry ingredients in the first bowl and combine until evenly mixed.  Add about half of the egg whites and mix well.  Now add the rest of the egg white and the chocolate chips and fold in gently.

Pour into the loaf tin, and bake at 160°c for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.  Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 – 20 minutes then remove from tin and place on a cooling rack until cold.

To make the ganache, warm the cream over a very low heat and add the chocolate chips stirring continuously until thickened and all chocolate has melted.  You can add more or less cream/chocolate chips as you prefer.  Add the desiccated coconut (if using) and stir to combine.  This also helps it thicken.

Pour over your cake allowing it to drip over the sides.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the ganache to harden.  It is now ready to serve.

Suggestion

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut or crushed almonds (or both) to decorate (before refrigerating).  Goes well with cream or ice cream.

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Posted in British Cuisine, Cakes, Oven, Quick and Easy

Carrot Cake with a twist

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I love carrot cake, and this is the best recipe I have found so far.  It’s very easy and quite quick to make.

Ingredients

For the cake

4 eggs

200 ml vegetable or sunflower oil

250 g carrots, grated

100 g raisins

100 g walnuts (broken into pieces), plus a few extra for decoration

50 g dried cranberries

Zest of 1 lemon

200 g  flour

1 pkt (5 ml) baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp fine salt

200 g sugar

For the frosting

150 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

45 g caster sugar

300 g full fat cream cheese

Zest of half a large orange

Method

For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease and line a deep, 20 cm round cake tin with baking parchment or a loaf tin.

Break the eggs into a bowl, and lightly whisk using a fork. Add the vegetable oil and whisk again.

Add the grated carrots, raisins, walnut pieces, cranberries and lemon zest. Stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

Slowly add the flour (dry ingredients) mixture to the carrot (wet) mixture, stirring as you go until all are well combined.

Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin (about 3 quarters of the way up – don’t over fill) and bake on the middle shelf for 1 – 1¼ hrs, until the cake has risen and is golden-brown all over, or until you can remove a toothpick/knife cleanly.

If using a loaf tin you may have extra cake mixture which can be put into individual, lined cupcake moulds.  (These small cupcake ones only need 20-25 minutes to cook).

Remove the cake from the oven and set aside in the tin to cool for 10-15 mins, then turn the cake out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

While waiting for the cake to cool, make the cream cheese frosting.

Place the butter in a large bowl with the caster sugar and cream together for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy, then beat in the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the orange zest.  It is best to put the cream frosting in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to stiffen up.

Place the cake on to a serving plate or cake stand. Use a palette knife, or wide flat bladed knife, to spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Scatter more walnuts on the top. It’s now ready to serve.

Posted in Cakes, Cheese, Greek, Mediterranean, Oven, Vegetarian

Lemon Cheesecake

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I have tried many quick and easy no bake cheesecake recipes but was never really satisfied. Having been inspired by our good friend Deniz’s recipe, this is what we came up with and so far people are loving it.  So here is the recipe.

Stage 1

Ingredients for the base:

3 packets of digestive biscuits (finely crumbled) by using a colander.

60 grams melted butter

2-3 tbsps of milk

Method for the base:

Line a 24 cm spring release cake tin with greaseproof paper, on the base and the sides.

Mix the crumbled biscuits, butter and milk.

Press the mixture into the tin, pushing down firmly with the back of a spoon.

Place in the fridge for about half an hour while preparing the next stage.

Stage 2

Ingredients for the cream:

400 g Philadelphia Cheese

300 ml natural yoghurt

3 eggs

250 g sugar

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp corn starch

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method for the cream:

Mix the Philadelphia cheese and yoghurt in a blender on the lowest speed.

Then add the eggs into it one by one. Add the sugar, zest then the starch and finally sift the flour.

Add the mixture onto the base and bake it for 40-45 minutes at 165°c. While it is cooking it will rise but do not worry as it will get flatter once it cools down.

Once it has completely cooled, cover with a cloth and refridgerate over night.

Stage 3

Ingredients for the topping:

100 ml milk

100 ml water

2 tbsps sugar

1 heaped tbsp corn starch

1 heaped tbsp corn flour

1 tsp honey

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 2 lemons

1 heaped tbsp turmeric powder

1 packet (5 g) vanilla

1 tsp butter

Method for the topping:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then cook in a pan until it has some texture.  Allow to cool.

Pour the topping over the cream mixture in the cake tin. Allow to set for a few hours in the fridge.

Posted in Cakes

Orange Cake

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Nothing like the smell of oranges so imagine baking a cake with them…

Ingredients

2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 pkt (5ml) baking powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsps grated orange zest

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 c and grease two 8” cake tins, (or 1 loaf tin)

In a bowl combine the milk, orange juice, oil and eggs and beat well. Add zest and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt then add the sugar and mix.

Now make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in and then mix together until well combined.

Pour into your choice of tin and then bake.  If 2 cake tins then bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  If using a loaf tin it will require longer, around 45-50 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes then place on a rack.

Suggestion

Orange butter frosting is a nice addition to this cake, but if you are avoiding an overload of sugar then just a sprinkling of icing sugar over the top will do.

Posted in Cakes

Fruity Cup Cakes

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Here is a quick and easy recipe for some delicious cup cakes.  I used a selection of dried fruits, but you can select your prefered ones.  Topped with some cream cheese frosting, they are delicious.

Ingredients

100g butter

½ tsp cinnamon (powder)

½ tsp nutmeg (powder)

250g caster sugar

100ml sunflower oil

4 eggs

20g currants

20g mixed dried fruit

20g dried cranberries

20g raisins

300g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

Method

Melt the butter with the cinnamon and nutmeg on a low heat in a small pan.

Pour into a mixing bowl with the sugar and sunflower oil and stir well.

Beat in the eggs until smooth.

Add the dried fruits of your choice.  (You don’t need to use all of them)

Add the baking powder then gradually stir in the flour and mix well.

Spoon into paper cake cups (about ¾ of the way up).

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180c for about 25-30 minutes (or until brown).

Posted in Cakes

Chocolate Pudding Pie

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Ingredients

For the base

80g butter

60g dark chocolate

225g digestive biscuit

For the filling

180g butter

180g dark chocolate

4 medium eggs

180g brown sugar

180g cream

For decoration

1 tsp icing sugar

Choc chips or fruit (or both)

Method

For the base

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water (bowl should not touch the water)

Stir until melted and combined.

Crush biscuits into fine crumbs  and add to the chocolate mixture.

Butter a 23cm loose bottom tin.

Put the base mixture in the tin, press it down and let it chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

For the Filling

Melt the butter and the chocolatethe same as above.

Put the eggs, sugar and cream in a blender and mix together.

Allow the chocolate mixture to cool (otherwise you risk the cream curdling) then add to the mixture in the blender and mix again until smooth and combined.

Remove base from fridge, pour the filling over the top of the base.

Put in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes until firm. (it may look cracked but this is OK)

Allow to cool ad sieve the icing sugar on top.

Decorate with any fruit you like such as strawberries etc if you wish.

Serving Suggestion

Serve with Ice cream or double cream…

 

Posted in Cakes, Welsh Cuisine

Welsh cakes

Ingredients

500g self raising flour
185g margarine
185g castor sugar
90g currants
2 eggs
Milk
Half tsp cinnamon
Medium cutter

Preparation Method

Put flour, castor sugar, cinnamon and margarine in a large bowl and rub in,
then add currants and eggs and mix with a fork until it goes into a mix you can roll into a ball (add a little milk if mix is a little dry).

Roll out (approx 5mm inch depth) and use cutter.

If you don’t have a proper bakestone plate use a big frying pan.  Warm pan on a medium heat, place in pan and cook until golden brown, if they cook too quickly turn them down.

Sprinkle with castor sugar to serve (normal sugar will do too).