Thursday, 30 August 2012

Chocolate Cake

Time to have your cake and eat it.  

Its snack time in our household and I have three hungry mouths so this week I have decided to bake a cake.   This is just a very quick easy sponge with a bit of decoration that goes down as if I had paid a fortune for it.


175g  butter
175g  caster sugar
175g  self raising flour
3 large eggs
2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used drinking chocolate because I had run out)
blackcurrant jam
chocolate spread (I use a cheap supermarket brand - Beware some have NUTS in)
chocolate buttons
sprinkling of icing sugar

I am not professionally trained and I know I will upset some bakers but this is my method of making the sponge.

Put the block of butter in the bowl and put in microwave for 20 seconds, check then add another 20 seconds.  This will be mostly melted with a few very soft bits left.

Add the sugar and whisk till smooth

Add all the flour and cocoa powder and fold in with a spoon then add the three eggs and whisk thoroughly checking that all the ingredients are well and truely mixed in.

I always put a touch of butter in my cake tins and heat them then spread around the tin so that nowhere is not greased.

Add the cakes to the tins and put in the oven, medium heat (190 C  / 375 F / Gas 5)  for about 20 - 25 minutes

Once cooked with still a little sponginess in the top turn upside down and leave, with the tin on, to cool.

When cooled take the bottom layer and spread thinly with chocolate spread.  Then on the top layer spread the base liberally with the blackcurrant jam before turning to sit on the chocolate covered layer.

Using the chocolate spread cover the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate with chocolate buttons (big ones look good if you can get them)   and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Serve to the waiting throng and don't expect to have very much left.  

Enjoy, tell me how you like to decorate your cakes.    I have to make cakes with a chocolate flavour if I want to stay popular but what flavour do you choose?


Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Dawn Chorus

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Turkey Pasta

We had just got back from holiday and desperate for a cupboard meal rather than do a big shop while still unloading the car and between copious piles of washing,  I raided the freezer and cupboards.  Yet again threw it all together and it was so welcoming at the end of a long day of travelling.  It took minutes to actually cook once defrosted but a great idea if you plan it before you go away.


Turkey steak - diced   (I used a combination of turkey and chicken from the freezer)
Onion - chopped finely
Condensed soup (I had chicken but mushroom would be fine)
Large splash of milk

Fry the onions for a few minutes to make them soft then add the meat.

Fry this off till browned on all sides.

Stir in the soup and add milk to rinse the tin.

Bring to the boil for a few minutes then turn down and allow to simmer.  If it begins to look dry or sticky add a little more milk.

I put the pasta water on at the same time and then added the pasta as I turned the meal down.

Just before the pasta is ready,  drain and finish off in the milky sauce.

Serve with bright coloured vegetables such as brocolli, carrots, peas.     We had frozen peas from the freezer.   This will probably work well for most meats if you adapt the soup.    If you use beef or lamb you may need a vegetable soup or a jar which would need a red wine rinse rather than milk.

Enjoy and let me know if you have any quick cupboard style meals that can be rustled up.


Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Dawn Chorus