Sausage rolls and scotch eggs

Sausage rolls and scotch eggs

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Triple Chocolate Gingerbread

We are well into December and it's full on Christmas adverts, panic present buying general bank account assault. It's been pretty cold now too and when the less pleasant weather hits, I turn my attention to comforting winter foods. The foods I tend to crave are rich casseroles, roast dinners and Christmas related puddings. The thing with this gingerbread is, even people that don't like gingerbread like this, even my kids! I love Christmas spices, add in some chocolate and put it in a cake and I am one very happy lady.

This is a lovely dark cake but if you're worried, just use light brown sugar or use less treacle and more golden syrup.

275g plain flour
250ml milk
200g treacle
200g golden syrup
175g butter
175g chocolate chips 
125g dark brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Chocolate Icing
250g Icing Sugar
60 ml water
1 tbsp cocoa powder
15g butter

You'll need to put the oven on 170 degrees and I used a roasting tin, greased and floured or lined

1) Melt the treacle, syrup, butter and sugar in a pan, over a low heat and leave to cool slightly

2) Sieve the flour and cocoa into a bowl and add the spices

3) Put the bicarbonate of soda in a cup and add 2 tbsp water. Add to the treacle mixture and whisk to combine

4) Pour the treacle mixture into the flour mixture and whisk well until there are no lumps

5) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle over the chocolate chips. I like to do this to stop all the chips sinking. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes

6) Leave the cake to cool in the tin as it's very soft. I put mine in the fridge because I was too impatient

7) For the frosting, melt the butter and add the water. Sieve over the icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix well (I didn't mix it enough so there's a few lumps)

8) Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and see how long you can go without having some!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Sticky Toffee Pecan Cake and Easy Pecan Praline and Maple Syrup Ice Cream

Folllowing on from the slightly nutty theme of late, pecan, cakey, creamy,  mapley syrupy heaven. That's all you need to know, it's delicious.
 Although I have always promised to share my failures as well as my successes and I outdid myself on this occasion. Not only did I slightly burn the cake round the outside thanks to my extremely temperamental over, (I know, a bad workmen blames his tools) but I then knocked it off the cooker and onto the floor. Shh though, nobody knows!

  • 250g pecans halves
  • 140g stoned dates
  • 200g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (1 if you don't like it too strong)
  • eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • maple syrup
  • Ice Cream
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • Praline
  • 100g pecans lightly toasted
  • 50g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • You'll need the over on 180 desgrees and a 23cm round tin, buttered, lined if you like (I just dust it with flour because I hate the faff of cutting out greaseproof paper)
  • 1) Soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes
  • 2) Put the butter, sugar and spice into a processor and mix until creamy
  • 3) Drain the dates and add them in with the eggs, 100g of the pecans and whizz until smooth
  • 4) Tip into a bowl and fold in the flour
  • 5) Sprinkle a 150g of pecans over the top of the cake and pop in the oven for 40 minutes
  • 6) When the cake it done, pour over a few tablespoons of maple syrup and leave to cool in the tin

  • For the ice cream and praline
  • 7) Put the pecans, salt if using and sugar in a pan over a low heat and stir gently until the sugar turns amber and the nuts are coated. Tip onto a plate to cool. When cool, place in a sandwich bag or tea towel and break up with a rolling pin or heavy pan
  • 8) Lightly whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the condensed milk, vanilla and praline and place in the freezer for 3 hours
  • 9) Take out the ice cream and give it a gentle mix before swirling in the maple syrup and returning to the freezer for another 4 hours

  • Best served when the cake is warm!