Saturday, 28 July 2012

Chocolate Stout Bundt cake for a real stout lovers birthday

Ok, so what kind of cake do you make for your total stout loving husband? A Guinness chocolate bundt cake, of course! And what is it about Guinness that when you add it to chocolate it just makes the chocolate taste 100 times richer and more delicious? I don't know, but it really does. This is a fabulously rich and moist cake. The chocolate flavour is divine. I got the recipe from Nigella Lawson's website and it was a great decision to use this recipe. I topped it with the cream cheese icing. Normally for bundt cakes I would use a more drizzly icing but in this case I wanted the cake to actually look like a pint of Guinness with the frothy head on top. So, I went with the cream cheese icing. It looked great contrasted against the dark chocolate. This cake was devoured by all and went down easily. It wasn't as heavy as some chocolate cakes can be. The flavour was fantastic.
This was especially appreciated by my husband who is such a Guinness fan but yet finds it amazing that it can be put in recipes and used to make wonderful creations. It was also a welcome to Ireland treat for him as he arrived from Indonesia today and what better way to greet someone arriving in Ireland than with our greatest export.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Zebra cake - get stripey!

Easy peasy! The final effect though is stunning. Just make up any regular sponge cake batter you have. Separate the batter equally into two bowls. Mix some cocoa into one half. Then the fun starts...using a large spoon alternate your vanilla and chocolate batters until the batter is finished. This is the time consuming part. Once you've finished though it looks pretty impressive in the cake tin. Pop in the oven and bake. Once it's out and if you're lucky to live in a household where you actually can let it cool, let it cool. Cut into it and be amazed by the gorgeus zebra stripes. This is definitely a cake to make to impress friends. I used a sponge recipe that used oil instead of butter. The cake was lovely and moist and absolutely delicious.

Zebra stripe cake

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Dutch-processed Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tbsp

Canola/Vegetable oil - 1 cup
Large eggs - 3
Sugar - 1 cup (Sugar is considered a wet ingredient, don't ask me why)
Skim Milk - 1 cup
Pure vanilla essence - 1 tbsp

Sift the all purpose flour and baking powder together and set aside. This is to aerate the flour.
In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer combine oil, eggs, sugar, milk for about two minutes till creamy. Add flour mix.
Divide the mixture into two equal halves and to one half mix the cocoa powder and vanilla essence and mix using a hand mixer. Do not add vanilla essence to the white half of the mixture.
Grease a 8" round cake pan with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
Use separate equal size ladles for each half of the batter. Ladle the white batter first, then immediately add the brown batter as shown in the picture. It should automatically spread out in the pan, there is no need to wait or tilt pan.
Keep alternating batter until you have exhausted both batters.
Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 45 min or till a toothpick when inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let it rest for about 15 min in the pan.
Invert and cool on a wire rack.