Bit of a short recipe today, but these are amazing and totally deserve their own post! I have a small huge love for foods that have a salty sweet combination, with salted caramel being a favourite. Add nuts (I’m a massive fan of praline) and I’m there before you can say “grub’s up.”
I first came across these lovely things when I made a rather special cake (don’t worry, the recipe will be up in the next few days – but as these can be made ahead I thought I’d post separately) and have made them a couple of times since just to eat on their own. The perfect combination of sweet and salt, crunchy without breaking your teeth, and great for a snack. Or on cake. Or as a topping to porridge (made with banana and peanut butter, obviously!). I can’t explain how good these are, you’ll just have to try them!
Throw some salted peanuts (a good half bag) into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Mix well to combine.
Add in a tablespoon of water, mix well then spread out on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Cook at 180C for around 10-15 minutes, but stir every 2 minutes. Don’t let them get too dark (they will taste bitter) and don’t take your eyes off them for one second as they burn quickly!
These keep for around 3 days in an airtight container – use to top cakes, or as a slightly naughty but very yummy snack. Remember to keep an eye out for a caramelised peanut related cake!
Let me know if you make these – I highly recommend them!
A bit of a romantic themed bake for you today. If you remember last weekend I posted about making Cake Pops, and promised you my favourite chocolate cake recipe? Well here it is! I originally found it here, but have altered it ever so slightly to be more to my taste. Really all I have done is increased the cocoa:flour ratio and decreased the sugar slightly. The cake is rich and moist, but to make it even more of a treat (looking at the weather forecast, I’m getting more and more worried that I’ll be spending V-day crying into a plate of cake…so if the weather/train gods are reading this, I’d like the lines to be clear from Northampton to Canterbury please!) I added a very rich frosting. I haven’t eaten it yet, but I have a feeling it will be chocolatey heaven!
If you aren’t in the romantic mood, this cake fits perfectly into two 20-inch sandwich tins. To be honest I reckon heart-shape tins bake unevenly, so I’d recommend you use a normal tin really!
So to the really easy recipe!
Grab three eggs, and weigh them in their shells. Weigh out the same amount of butter, and make sure it is really, really soft. Weigh out the same amount of sugar, then put around 25g back. Weight out the same amount (again!) of flour, but 70g of it back and replace with 70g of cocoa powder. That’s your weighing done!
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy…this is a great way to burn the calories in the cake before you’ve eaten them! I always find beating the butter before adding the sugar helps this step a little.
Now beat in the eggs one by one. If you add them all at once (like I did in this recipe) it will go wrong and curdle. Curdled mixture is fine in the long run, but it doesn’t look pretty, and often the cake is a little greasier than it should be!
Gradually sift in the cocoa and flour mixture, incorporating the mixture fully. It should be thick and fudgy looking (a little like brownie mixture!) but if it looks too thick add a splash of milk.
Spoon into a tin (which you have greased well, obviously…don’t be silly like me and forget!) and bake for 20-25 minutes at 170C, until firm to the touch, but with a slight give. Let it cool completely before removing from the tin.
Now to make the frosting! I used this recipe, but found it to produce ridiculously thick icing which I had to thin with a lot of water. It wasn’t exactly ideal, but it sure tastes good! I’d like to try this frosting again but on a slightly plainer cake.
You want to melt 100g of chocolate, beat into 100g of soft butter, and then beat in 400g of icing sugar and 50g of cocoa powder before thinning down with two tablespoons of strong coffee. I used 300g of icing sugar and it was still very thick!
I sandwiched the two cakes together with some of the icing, then attempted to smooth (not so neatly!) the rest over the top and sides. I was slightly constricted with the size of my tin (I AM buying a domed cake stand with my leftover Amazon vouchers!) so it wasn’t the neatest work I’ve ever done. To try and disguise the damage I added a final flourish of grated white chocolate (grated a piece of my nail off in the process…) which I think works well!
So that’s my little Valentine’s themed post – together with my favourite and easiest chocolate cake recipe. Its the type of sponge that’s easily adapted to anything – I’m thinking of introducing orange and/or chilli to a version soon!
Are you baking for your loved one this Valentine?