If I haven't already said it, allow me to emphasise this point now - I am a
huge sweet-tooth. I would quite happily eat dessert for dinner, iced cupcakes for lunch and I would most certainly eat a macaron (who am I kidding, more like macarons) for breakfast. Before you start to worry about my health, let me assure you I am not a sugar 'junkie' and have a 'everything in moderation' approach to my diet (unless of course it's coffee).
I have been quite the baker this week and feel the need to show and tell you how to create some decadent sweet treats that should be enjoyed once in a while!
First let me tell you about something amazing I discovered a few months ago - Adriano Zumbo have a macaron mix (the salted caramel is divine), and it makes it super easy for anyone to make delicious macarons in the comfort of your own home! The instructions are very detailed and the pack comes with everything you need (apart from the baking tray, baking paper and oven of course!) to make these little wonders. Oh and if you head to your supermarket unaware of what to look for, this is what the box looks like:
But let me share with you a delicious chocolate cake recipe that I made for Ben's birthday last year, one warning though - it is very chocolate-y!
So here is what you'll need:
150g Butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (the Green & Black's brand is what I used)
2 cups plain flour (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar (make sure its packed in)
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
180g dark cooking chocolate (melted - I prefer the Nestle melts)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (note - not essence)
1 cup buttermilk (not full cream - you need the buttermilk!)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (150 if fan-forced). Line your trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Place the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and mix together, then set aside.
- Mix the butter until it is creamy (about 30 seconds), add the sugar in gradually and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition, then add in the yolks one at a time, again beating well after each addition.
- Mix in the melted chocolate (do this a little at a time with the mixer at a low speed to ensure you don't end up with half the mixture on the walls
like I did the first time I made this...)
- Add in the vanilla and beat well.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts alternating with buttermilk between each addition.
- Divide batter between prepared pans, tap the pan lightly to ensure the tops are smooth when going into the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of a cake comes out clean (depending on how thick you do the layers this can take up to 45 minutes)
- Once baked, leave the cakes to cool in the pans for about 20 minutes; then run a knife around the edge of each pan, and invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the ganache recipe - I highly recommend this one, once the ganache has been made (and the cake has cooled down naturally - do not put it in the fridge when it's warm), you can place it on how you wish, and if you want to thicken the ganache so you can pipe it, just add in some icing sugar.
Now for some of my other favourite sweet treats!
Now remember, everything in
m o d e r a t i o n !