Chocolate Mud Cake (07 / 50)

This is a really easy recipe for a deliciously dense chocolate mud cake. I paired the cake with a dark chocolate ganache, but I didn’t make enough ganache and so I only had enough for the filling. It was pretty nice at room temperature, but phenomenal warmed up in the microwave for 20 seconds with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Mud Cake

Serves 12
Preparation time –  20 minutes
Cooking time – about 100 minutes, depending on your oven
Recipe – http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/chocolate-mud-cake-L1217.html

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1⁄3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 3⁄4 cup plain flour
  • 3⁄4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1⁄4 cup cocoa
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

In a large saucepan, add the first 5 ingredients. Melt together over a low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter and chocolate are melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Sift plain flour, self raising flour and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.

Add the cooled liquid and beat gently.

Add the eggs and mix gently.

Pour mixture into a greased cake tin and bake at 150°C for 1 3⁄4 hours. Check your oven after an hour as baking time may vary (my oven only needed 90 minutes)

Chocolate Mud Cake

Chocolate Mud Cake

Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (1 / 50)

I made a few new year’s resolutions this year. The first was to take more photographs, so I’m attempting a 365 Day Project, which lives on Flickr because quite frankly a picture is supposed to say a thousand words, and I don’t want to write 365 blog posts.

The second resolution was to be more pro-active about cleaning and keeping our house tidy, something which I have always been pretty slack about. If you see me cleaning, it either means I needed to get to the sink and couldn’t, or we have people coming over. So this year will be the year to change that, hopefully.

The third resolution was to cook 50 new recipes this year and write blog posts about them, complete with photograph (which also will help to improve my photography you see). This is the first of those 50 recipes – Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. Yum!

One of my favourite things about summer is definitely the fruit. Mangoes, cherries, lychees, grapes, and melons… in summer I could just live on fruit alone! I’ve just come back from three weeks overseas, and since getting back I have been to the store almost daily to buy more cherries. So it makes sense that my first recipe features this amazing and delicious fruit.

Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Serves 12 (depending on how large you like your cheesecake slices)
Preparation time –  15 minutes
Cooking time – 50 minutes
Adapted from – http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21373/double+choc+cherry+cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 250g packet Arnott’s Choc Ripple biscuits, halved
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g dark chocolate, melted, cooled
  • 350g fresh cherries, pitted and halved (or 415g canned, drained)

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) round springform pan. Process biscuits until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add butter. Process until just combined. Press mixture over base and side of prepared pan. Refrigerate while making filling.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition, until combined. Gradually beat in chocolate until combined. Fold in half the cherries. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place pan on a baking tray. Put the baking tray and pan into the oven, and carefully fill the baking tray with hot water. The water bath will prevent the cheesecake from cracking.

Bake for 50 minutes or until just set. Cool in oven with door slightly ajar. Cover. Refrigerate until chilled. Top with remaining cherries and serve.

Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

RSPCA Cupcake Day Trial Run

This year, on Monday 15th August, I’ll be bringing a ton of cupcakes to work to sell for gold coin donations to the RSPCA. Last year I brought in a fair few cupcakes and raised about $100, and this year I’m hoping to top that. So it’s time to think about what I want to make and how I want them to look… because I want them to be fabulous! The only drag is that even if they look fabulous, people will still want to get away with just giving me $1 for one, and I’ll shoot them a dirty look and think that they’re cheap… but anyway. It’s for a good cause : )

I had a fair bit of white chocolate clay leftover from the Harry Potter cake I made the other week, so I decided to have a go at making some animal figurines to use for RSPCA Cupcake Day. I experimented with a few different poses for dogs and cats, added some ducks, a mouse and a rabbit.

Animal cupcakes

Animal cupcakes

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Harry Potter Quidditch cake

The final Harry Potter film comes out this week, and so my friends and I decided to have a Harry Potter marathon on Saturday. For the marathon I wanted to make a Harry Potter themed cake, and came up with a few different ideas – the castle, a magical creature, etc. I decided to go with a Quidditch pitch, because I was still really keen to try out the grass piping tip (Wilton #233).

Harry Potter Quidditch cake

Harry Potter Quidditch cake

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Winter Wonderland cake

This week had me back in the kitchen again, even though I’m starting to feel like I need a little break from cake. I volunteered to bring a cake in for our team’s end of financial year morning tea today, and after my last few cakes, it had to be something cool! I do a few different after-work activities throughout the week so I needed an idea that wouldn’t take too long to put together. After deciding that I wanted to present my icing al naturale after my last two green and blue cakes, I had to think about something that would look good on a white background. So… penguins!

Penguins

Penguins

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