Sunday, 17 October 2010

Some cakes I made

Yesterday I got a bit cake-happy and went bake crazy. First up I made a batch of 'Rocky Road' (as Starbucks would call it) most commonly known as 'refrigerator slices' or something similar. Then I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting and a mini Oreo stuck on top. YUM!

Here are the recipes I used, they are complete no-brainers and both pinched from a recipe book I got from a charity shop called ''Easy Cooking - Chocolate'' which I got from a charity shop for £3.50 (published by Star Fire if you want to look it up) entirely on CHOCOLATE! Each recipe only takes about 20 minutes to knock up.



Fruit & Nut Refrigerator Fingers

Ingredients
Makes 12 (Apparently. Or in my case, fewer larger slices!)

14 Pink & White Marshmallows (Or couple of handfuls of mini ones like I used!)
75g / 3oz Luxury Dried Mixed Fruit
25g / 1oz Candied Orange Peel,chopped. (I didn't even bother using this)
75g / 3oz Glacé Cherries, quartered.
75g / 3oz Walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp Brandy (Sadly, I had none)
175g / 6oz Digestive Biscuits, crushed (into small chunks - not complete dust!)
225g / 8oz Plain Dark Chocolate
125g / 4oz Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Icing sugar for dusting, optional.

First of all, lightly oil and line a baking tin. I used a large round cake tin. Using scissor, snip up your large marshmallows into chunks, or if like me you have mini ones - just chuck a couple of handfuls of them into a bowl. Add the mixed fruit, orange peel, cherries and walnuts. (To be honest, I think you could easily omit or add anything you like to this kind of recipe so play around with it). Sprinkle with the brandy and stir it all up. Add your crushed biscuits (you want these to be in small chunks, not complete dusty crumbs) and stir again so it's all mixed up well.

Next up, break your chocolate into cubes and put in a heat proof bowl along with chunks of the butter. Set it over a saucepan of near boiling water and stir until it has melted. If like me and you can't be bothered or don't have a heat proof bowl - chuck it in a tupperware bowl and put in in the microwave BUT stir every 10 seconds or so as you don't want your chocolate to burn and bubble!

Once the chocolate and butter has melted, pour it over your dry mixture and stir it all up so it is all covered in the chocolate. Pour into your prepared tin and pat down well. 

Chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes, then cut it into slices using a sharp knife and if you want to. Leave for a further hour until set properly. Turn out of the tin and dust lightly with icing sugar (I accidentally went a bit OTT with the icing sugar and my other half asked if Howard Marks had had a cocaine accident, har har...*sigh*)



Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (and Oreos!)

Ingredients
Makes 12

175g / 6oz Self-raising Flour
25g / 1oz Cocoa Powder
175g / 6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar
75g / 3oz Butter, melted.
2 x Medium Eggs, lightly beaten.
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Frosting

300g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
150g Icing Sugar
125ml Whipping or Double Cream
Mini Oreos

Preheat the oven to 180'C / 350'F / Gas Mark 4.

Line a 12 hole muffin or deep bun tin tray with paper cases.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, then add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla essence. Beat together with a wooden spoon until well blended. Put the mixture into your cake cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check that the cakes are done by inserting a skewer or a clean knife into the centre of one of the cakes - if it comes out clean they are ready!

Leave to cool thoroughly before adding your frosting.

To make the frosting, I pinched a recipe from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake (another cake you MUST try) For some reason I'm having problems accessing her website at the moment but if you can go on it, then you must take a look.

Put the cream cheese into a bowl and whip with a spoon until smooth. Dust over the icing sugar and mix again, then do the same with the cream. When your cakes are cool dollop the frosting on top and add an oreo cookie to each and prepare to scoff!




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