Friday, 14 May 2010

Something for the Weekend...

Hello Cake Lovers,
I hope you're all coping with the on-going battle between summer and winter? It looks like there's about to be a storm here so instead of going swimming, I decided to make a deliciously decadent dark chocolate marble cake. It's a cake that reminds me of birthday parties when I was little and has the most intense chocolate icing; a perfect remedy for post-election blues. (Or rather a momentary remedy - as much as I like to think baking could make political waves I'm not sure it can.)
Making this cake really couldn't be easier - make a Victoria Sponge, split the mixture into two bowls and add a tablespoon of coacoa powder mixed up with warm milk to one half of the mixture to make the chocolate sponge. Dot alternate tablespoons of the two mixtures in a circular cake tin and then swirl in a figure of eight with a skewer to make it marble!

I have to confess that this time for some weird reason I got it into my head that my brand new palette knife (major excitement in the Silver Whimsy kitchen at the purchase of said knife) would work just as well as a skewer. This is not a good idea! Do use a skewer to make your swirls. I kind of realised as soon as I used the knife that it wasn't a good idea but I carried on regardless because I'm having one of those days - I dropped a bag of sugar, spilt a whole cup of tea on both my feet and the sofa and put a white sheet in with an extremely dark wash. Domestic Goddess I am not. Mais je digress... I find you have to bake this cake for about 45-50 mins because you'd normally split a Vicky Sponge so it only takes 25 mins, but do check after 30 mins because it would be awful if it burnt!

Anyway, once your cake has cooled melt 100g of 70% coacoa solids dark chocolate with about 25g unsalted butter and two tablespoons of water in a bowl over a pan of gently bubbling water. It's best just to leave the chocolate mixture to do it's own thing and then stir it to combine and thicken once it's all melted because this helps to avoid the chocolate from splitting.

Then, using a spatula, ice your cake! Yay! That's the fun bit.

Then eat it with a cup of good and strong Yorkshire Tea and find temporary chocolate oblivion. One of the bst things about this cake is that it keeps really well for a few days so if you make it on a Friday you can still have cake joy on a Monday!

Until next time, happy weekend,
Love Silver Whimsy x

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Heart Shaped Pancakes

May the Fourth be with you, Dear Readers!
In celebration of this glorious day, here's a quick and easy guide to making delicious heart-shaped American pancakes! This is the recipe I use:
225 g Plain Flour
2 Free Range Eggs
300 ml Organic milk
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Sugar
A pinch of Salt
30 g Melted Butter
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the melted butter, milk and beaten eggs and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until you have a lump free batter. (Alternatively put it all in a blender and blitz!) Leave the mixture in the fridge for twenty minutes before use!

The trick to making brilliantly fluffy, mouth wateringly moreish pancakes is only ever frying in butter and making sure the pan is really good and hot before you add the batter. My SIBF swears by this!
This is a photograph of a hot pan. I went on a wonderful cookery course recently and the funniest thing about it was that whenever you took a pan off the stove you had to shout 'HOT PAN!' This caused me much hilarity. Anyway, to make the pancakes heart shaped, simply place a heart shaped cookie cutter in the pan. (This one was a Valentine's Day Present from my SIBF.) Then pour the batter into the mould.
In no more than a minute you will have perfect looking heart-shaped pancakes. Cover them with maple syrup and enjoy your super-special breakfast treat. Hooray! I have to admit at this point that my SIBF makes far better pancakes than I do. We sort of have an un-written rule whereby I will make the batter and he will do all the frying. His pancakes are completely perfect.
Until next time,
Silver Whimsy x