Posts Tagged ‘easter’

Unlike the dried fruit Simnel Cake which seems to make an appearance at Easter-time, this rich,  decadent, chocolate cake ticks all my Easter boxes!  IMG_1360

If you gave up chocolate for lent, I know you’re probably clawing at the wrapper on your Easter Egg in the hope that you can scrape a finger of chocolate scent to keep you going for the next few hours.  Alternatively if you want to celebrate your sacrifice with a bite of chocolate decadence I dare you to keep yourself busy over the next hour making this ridiculously easy chocolate cake that is as rich as it is dark and light as it is sinfully delicious.

IMG_1358

Easter Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

225g Plain Flour

350g Caster Sugar

85g Cocoa Powder

1&1/2 tspn Baking Powder

1&1/2 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda

2 Large Eggs

250ml Milk

125ml Vegetable Oil

2 tspn Vanilla Extract/Paste

250ml Boiling Water

For the Chocolate Ganache:

200g good quality plain chocolate

200ml double cream

chocolate shavings

1 bag of chocolate mini-eggs

Method:

1st: Preheat the oven to 180¬ļC. Grease and line two sandwich tins.

2nd:
¬†For the cake ‚Äď prepare all the liquid ingredients, except the boiling water, in a measuring jug and mix.

3rd: Prepare all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl ‚Äď sieve the cocoa as otherwise it will be lumpy.

4th: Mix the ingredients together and use the boiling water to slacken the mixture.  Mix until smooth and well combined.

5th: Divide the mixture between the 2 sandwich tins and bake for 25-35mins or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6th: Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.

7th:¬†Prepare the chocolate ganache by heating double cream in a saucepan and adding small pieces of the chocolate. ¬†Turn off the heat and allow the residual heat in the pan to melt the chocolate. ¬†Stir until smooth and glossy ‚Äď set aside to use later.

8th: To assemble the cake, release the cakes from their tins and place one of the sponge cakes onto a serving plate.  Spread some of the chocolate icing over this.  Then carefully top with the other cake.

9th: Carefully create a dip in the centre of the top of the cake.  Pour the ganache over and cover all over smoothing round the sides with a palette knife.  Note: if the cake or ganache are still slightly warm it will not adhere to the side of the cake.  Optional extra is adding chocolate shavings over to create a bird’s nest before placing the mini eggs in the centre.

IMG_1358

 

Happy Easter everyone!

Gastrorob.

IMG_1360

Easter Chocolate Cake

If you gave up chocolate for lent, I know you’re probably clawing at the wrapper on your Easter Egg in the hope that you can scrape a finger of chocolate scent to keep you going for the next few hours. ¬†Alternatively if you want to celebrate your sacrifice with a bite of chocolate decadence I dare you to keep yourself busy over the next hour making this ridiculously easy chocolate cake that is as rich as it is dark and light as it is sinfully delicious.

Easter Chocolate CakeIMG_1357

Ingredients:
For the cake:
225g Plain Flour
350g Caster Sugar
85g Cocoa Powder
1&1/2 tspn Baking Powder
1&1/2 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Large Eggs
250ml Milk
125ml Vegetable Oil
2 tspn Vanilla Extract/Paste
250ml Boiling Water

For the Chocolate Ganache:
200g good quality plain chocolate
200ml double cream
chocolate shavings
1 bag of chocolate mini-eggs

Method:
1st: Preheat the oven to 180¬įC. ¬†Grease and line two sandwich tins with parchment paper.
2nd: For the cake – prepare all the liquid ingredients, except the boiling water, in a measuring jug and mix.
3rd: Prepare all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl – sieve the cocoa as otherwise it will be lumpy.
4th: Mix the ingredients together and use the boiling water to slacken the mixture.  Mix until smooth and well combined.
5th: Divide the mixture between the 2 sandwich tins and bake for 25-35mins or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6th: Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
7th: Prepare the chocolate ganache by heating double cream in a saucepan and adding small pieces of the chocolate.  Turn off the heat and allow the residual heat in the pan to melt the chocolate.  Stir until smooth and glossy Рset aside to use later.
8th: To assemble the cake, release the cakes from their tins and place one of the sponge cakes onto a serving plate.  Spread some of the chocolate icing over this.  Then carefully top with the other cake.
9th: Carefully create¬†a dip in the centre of the top of the cake. ¬†Pour the ganache over and cover all over smoothing round the sides with a palette knife. ¬†Note: if the cake or ganache are still slightly warm it will not adhere to the side of the cake. ¬†Optional extra is adding chocolate shavings over to create a bird’s nest before placing the mini eggs in the centre.

IMG_1358.JPG

Happy Easter everyone!
Gastrorob.

Easter-bannerHaving just come out of the Easter Long-Weekend, what everyone is in agreement with is, that no matter what,

Easter is all about CHOCOLATE!

Even more so than Christmas, in particular, the now traditional chocolate eggs.  But where did this tradition come from?

There are two ideas here that intertwine to the point where we gift eachother chocolate eggs.¬† The first is the idea that eggs are seen as a sign of fertility and new life ‚Äď hence why a lot of Easter dishes are enriched with egg: hot cross buns, bollo hornazo, torta de acelgas, etc.¬† Christians refer to this period as Easter, however, various pagans previously prayed to their respective Goddess of Sex and Fertility: Eostre (Anglo-Saxon), Ishtar (Babylonian), Ashtaroth (Ancient Hebrew), Astarte (Ancient Greek) before the rise of Christianity.

Hence, the egg became a symbol of new birth.

Secondly, the 40 days of Lent were originally fasting days where you were not allowed to eat dairy products.¬† Lent was meant to be an austere time.¬† On Shrove Tuesday, you had gorged on pancakes full of egg, milk and sugar, confessed your sins and cleaned out your larder ‚Äď you were now officially shriven.¬† But chickens carried on laying eggs through lent!¬† So how could these¬†be saved?¬† These eggs were boiled, thus prolonging their shelf-life and eaten at the end of Lent.¬† Eventually the tradition of giving eggs as gifts arose: starting with these boiled eggs which evolved into decorated boiled eggs, to jewel encrusted Imperial Faberg√© eggs made especially for Tsar Alexander III to give to his wife! ¬†In due course, chocolatiers made chocolate versions of these Faberg√© eggs with sweet treats hidden inside which the masses could afford. ¬†Where does the Easter Bunny fit in?!?

But whether you fasted for 40 days, or were praying to your Goddess of Fertility, Easter Sunday was and is all about chocolate!  And even though cracking open those chocolate eggs lined above your cupboard was a great breakfast and you are probably still recovering from that chocolate hangover, here is a chocolate recipe to indulge in at anytime!

taken from http://www.taste.com.au

Toblerone Cheesecake
Ingredients
125g double chocolate digestive biscuits

80g melted butter

30g ground almonds

500g cream cheese

100g caster sugar

120ml double cream

400g toblerone chocolate

Method
1st:
Melt the butter and allow to cool.  In a food processor blitz the biscuits and add the ground almonds.  Pour over the cooled butter, mix well and line the bottom of a spring form baking tin with this mixture.  Press this down with a glass jar / tumbler to reach the edges.  Chill in the fridge for 30mins.

2nd: Melt 200g of toblerone chocolate and allow to cool slightly.

3rd: In the food processor blend the cream cheese, caster sugar and double cream.  Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate and blend until everything is incorporated thoroughly.  Pour over the biscuit base and chill overnight or for 4 hours.

4th: (optional extra) crush 100g of toblerone chocolate and mix this into the cheesecake mixture.

 

5th: Crush the remaining toblerone and pour over the top of the cheesecake before serving.

 Go on, indulge me.

photo taken from http://www.taste.com.au