Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Jean Paul Gaultier Chocolate Cake

I assume everyone watched last week’s chocolate cake spectacular episode of The Great British Bake Off- now I could lie and say that this was inspired by it, but it just wasn’t. How good was bread week though on that note? Everyone in my family’s already a bit bread batty. I am definitely making English muffins soon.

I made this cake for my friend’s birthday because she loves chocolate, but also because I wanted to make her a cake that felt a bit ‘classy’. Hence the inspiration and ganache. Basically I wanted the cake to look like a bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier perfume. It sort of just looks like a cake with boobs on but oh well.


6 ½ oz butter
11oz caster sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ oz cocoa
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup water
2 apples, peeled and chopped
10oz self-raising flour

Ganache and decoration
180g Bourneville chocolate
180ml double cream
4tbsp cherry jam
Chocolate Betty Crocker Icing
Edible silver spray and balls

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C and prepare a traybake tin with parchment. This cake recipe works best in a food processor because it helps to finely chop the apples. If you don’t have one just do it by hand and make sure to cut the apples as small as you can.

Combine all of the cake ingredients, mixing until smooth.

Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minute to 1 hour or until cooked all the way through. Cool on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled draw a rough shape of what you want onto a piece of baking parchment, then cut around it, saving the offcuts.

Crumble the offcuts up into a bowl and then mix with some of the chocolate Betty Crocker to form a cake-pop-esque texture.

Divide this into two and roll into equal balls to form the cake’s boobs.

Pop a bit of icing where you want to stick them to help adhere, then gently press the boobs down onto the main cake.

Next heat the jam up in the microwave until it’s melted, and then gently brush evenly all over the cake. This gives the ganache a surface to stick to.

To make the ganache put the cream and chocolate into a bowl over a pan of hot (not simmering) water and stir occasionally until it’s smooth and glossy. Leave the ganache for a few minutes to cool and thicken very slightly.

Pour it all over the cake, making sure to reach all the nooks and crannies of the cake. Leave this to set for a little while.

To decorate it I used a doily and the Dr Oetker silver spray to create a pattern that sort of (sort of) looks like a dress. Then I added edible silver balls just to add a little something something.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Hairy Biker's Chewy Cranberry and Apricot Bites

I need to start off firstly with doing a little jig of joy for the new series of The Great British Bake Off! It’s already so ridiculous and I love it. I have never seen so many people injure themselves in the name of cake. It’s already very obvious that the standard has really stepped up- every single one of them are clearly very talented bakers. Now it’s a tad too early to call a winner/favourite but DID YOU SEE THE SQUIRREL CAKE??! Anyone that can bake a Jam sandwich cake and a squirrel cake all in one episode is just brilliant in my mind. So even if you don’t win Frances, you’ve made a fan out of me.

Now I have to apologise that my first blog post to coincide with GBBO is such a boring, healthy thing, but the diet Nazism has returned to my household with gusto. My mum actually got through to around the last 250 people for this series of the Bake Off, but we’re all really glad that she didn’t actually go any further because we would all undoubtedly be clinically obese by now. Anyway don’t worry I will bake some genuine tasty things with actual fat in soon, but let me keep the hungry dieters happy too…

This recipe is from the first Hairy Dieter’s Book. We’ve just bought the new one recently and I’ve already eyed up a few good recipes from there so stay tuned. This recipe requires unsweetened puffed rice cereal but I must have checked every single packet of cereal in Morrisons and I couldn’t find a single one that didn’t have added sugar- so if you’re really bothered about it then a trip to Holland and Barrett might be in order.

25g flaked almonds
40g no-soak dried apricots
40g dried cranberries
40g sultanas
75g unsweetened puffed rice cereal
40g desiccated coconut
150ml maple syrup
400ml cloudy apple juice
125g porridge oats

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C and line a 20 x 30cm traybake tin with baking parchment.

Scatter the almonds onto a baking tray and stick them in the oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Add the rice cereal, coconut, sultanas and cranberries to a large mixing bowl. Chop the apricots into smaller chunks and tip them in along with the toasted almonds.

Heat the apple juice and maple syrup in a large saucepan over a gentle heat.

Add the oats and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring all the time.

Cook for around 4 minutes, stirring until the mixture thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat then tip in all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin using a spatula to even it out and flatten it down. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top.

When you take it out of the oven press down all over with the spatula once again, and then leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before transferring to a wire rack.

Cut into 24 squares which come out at about 82 calories each. Or if you’re like me and can’t cut equal size pieces just eat a random one and assume it’s around 100 calories.

These are a good afternoon pick-me-up when you need something sweet with your cup of tea without feeling too guilty.