Chocolate and Hazelnut Speckled Egg Cake

Hazelnut cake, sandwiched together with chocolate and hazelnut spread, coated in white chocolate ganache.

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Easter has coincided with my boyfriends birthday this year, so I decided to make him an Easter themed birthday cake!

I had a browse around on Pinterest and I found these amazing tutorials for making a speckled egg cake, and I think they look fantastic so I decided to try and make one myself.

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My cake is hazelnut and chocolate flavour, so I have made a hazelnut cake, sandwiched together with chocolate hazelnut spread. I used a white chocolate ganache for the icing so that I would be able to colour it for the speckled egg effect.

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The speckled egg icing actually really easy and fun! You just ice as normal and then splatter the cake with a cocoa powder paint to give the speckly effect, the kitchen was a bit of a mess though!

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#112 this week, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine. Happy Friday and Happy Easter everyone!

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Variations: you could use any flavours you want in this cake!

Ingredients: Serves 12-14

The Cake:

  • 300g butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g chopped hazelnuts
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 150g chocolate hazelnut spread

The Icing:

  • 600g white chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • blue gel food colouring
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • chocolate eggs

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To Make:

Grease and line three 23cm cake tins, preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Fold in the eggs one at a time followed by the chopped hazelnuts and flour.

Spoon into the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the white chocolate ganache, melt together the chocolate and cream in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has fully melted, then stir in the food colouring until it reaches the desired shade of blue.

Cover with clingfilm so that the top of the ganache is toughing the film. Leave to cool to body temperature for a few hours.

whisk the ganache for a few minutes with a hand-held electric mixer until light and creamy. Cover with clingfilm again and leave to reach room temperature.

Place one of the sponges on an icing turntable. Pipe a ring of ganache around the edge of the sponge, then fill the middle with a few tbsp of chocolate hazelnut spread.  -repeat with the next two sponges.

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Cover the outside of the cake with a thick layer of ganache. then use a scraper to straighten out all the edges.

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Smooth out the ganache by warming up a metal spatula in hot water and then using this to smooth out and unwanted lumps and bumps.

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Once you are happy with the finish of your ganache you can move on to the speckle decoration!

Mix the cocoa powder with a few tbsp of water until it forms a loose pain like consistency.

Use a clean paintbrush and dip in in your chocolate paint. tap off the excess and then hold the paintbrush with one hand and tap with your fingers to make flecks of pain scatter off the brush – practice on some greaseproof paper before you get to work on the cake!

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Use the chocolate paint to decorate the top and sides of the cake until you are happy with the speckley effect.

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Finally decorate with some chocolate eggs and the cake is ready to serve!

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Salted Caramel and Chestnut Mini Loaves

Light and fluffy loaf cakes, made with nutty chestnuts, topped with a sticky salted caramel glaze.

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The recipe for these cakes came from a new cookbook I got for christmas called Honey & Co; Food from the Middle East. I saw this recipe in the desert section and decided that I just had to make it, as the combination of chestnuts and salted caramel sounded so delicious!

These cakes were as delicious as I expected. The flavours went together beautifully, and the texture of the cakes was beautifully light, so its easy to eat quite a few cakes in one go!

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The original recipe used a large cake tin, and poured the caramel sauce over each serving, but I wanted to try out another on of my christmas presents, which was a mini loaf tin. So you could definitely do this recipe as one large cake, and just increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes.

These cakes were really easy to make, so they would a a great desert to make for a dinner party!

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Variations: You could use a chocolate sauce instead of the salted caramel, which would probably be equally as delicious.

Ingredients: Makes 10 Mini Loaves

The Cakes:

  • 150g chestnut puree
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • caster sugar
  • ¬†ground almonds

 

The Salted Caramel

  • sugar
  • honey
  • double cream
  • generous pinch of sea salt

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To Make:

Grease and line your cake tin(s) and preheat the oven to 180C.

Whisk together the egg yolks, chestnut puree, and sugar in a small bowl.

In a separate, clean bowl, which up the egg whites until stiff peaks from.

Fold in the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites, one heaped tbsp  at a time until fully combined. Then fold in the ground almonds.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tins until 3/4 full and level off.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Meanwhile make the salted caramel sauce.

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Combine the sugar honey and water in a small pan and cook over a medium heat, until the mixture turns a deep golden brown colour, then pour in the double cream and add the sea salt. mix to combine and leave to cool before using.

Once the cakes are cooked turn onto a wire rack to cool and top with a few tbsp of the sated caramel sauce.

Sprinkle over some more sea salt and serve!

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Christmas Cake

Rich, dark, spiced cake, filled with a mixture of sweet dried fruits and chopped nuts.

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I LOVE fruit cake – especially Christmas cake, but unfortunately I am in the minority in my family, so I’ve never really been able to justify making one. However this year I have decided that I will make one, even if I end up eating the whole thing to myself!

I’ve followed Delia’s recipe for a Classic Christmas Cake, but I have changed the fruit combination a little bit, and I have used Grand Marnier and Cointreau¬†rather than brandy.

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I was a bit worried when I made this,¬†that my cake tin wasn’t tall enough, but the lining of foil-backed greaseproof paper did a wonderful job!

I would recommend starting this in the morning as it takes quite a while to cook! I started at 8PM (stupidly) so I was up past midnight making this cake! Dedication!

I’m enjoying ‘feeding’ my cake every so often¬†and I can’t wait to eat it! I will put up an updated post it is¬†all iced and finished ūüėÄ

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#97 this week hosted by Angie. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: Change the combination of fruits to suit your taste!

Ingredients:

The Pre-soaking:

  • 450g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel)
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 175g glace stem ginger
  • 175g chopped glace cherries
  • 200ml Grand Marnier

The Cake:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 225g butter
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • Cointreau for feeding

To Make 

Grease and side-line a 20cm cake tin with foil-backed greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl and submerge with the Grand Marnier. Cover and leave to soak for at least 12-16 hours.

Combine all the other cake ingredients (except the almonds) in a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy.

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Slowly add in the fruit and almonds, 1tbsp at a time until fully combined.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 4 hours. Remove from the oven once a skewer sunk into he middle of the cake comes out clean.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the top if the cake using a skewer and pour over a few tbsp of Cointreau.

Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding win Cointreau a few times a week until you are ready to ice the cake.

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Toffee Apple Cupcakes

Apple cupcakes topped with a caramel buttercream and a slice of toffee apple.

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Toffee apples are on of my favourite autumn-time treats, I love the mixture of sweet toffee and tart apple. So as its the right time of year, I wanted to try and get their flavour into a cupcake.

I have used the recipe for caramel icing from the primrose bakery cook book, as I have used it before in banoffee cupcakes, so I knew it would give the right flavour.

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To make these look a little ore special I have made some toffee apple slices to top them with, which give you a lovely crunchy surprise.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday#94 this week hosted by Angie! . Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: You could use a different fruit such as pear. You could also use banana in the cupcakes for a banoffee flavour.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Large Cupcakes

The Cakes:

  • 2 brambly apples
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour

The Icing:

  • 45g butter
  • 60ml semi skimmed milk
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 200g icing sugar

The Toffee Apple Slices:

  • 12 slices of cooking apple
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1tbsp water

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To Make:

The Cakes:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a cupcake tray with muffin cases.

Peel, core and finely chop the apples, place in a large pan with a nob of butter and 50g of soft brown sugar. Cook over a medium heat for around 15 minutes, until the apples begin to break down and form a compote. turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cooled compote and self raising flour. Stir until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The Toffee Apple Slices:

Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a medium heat, until the sugar melts and turns a dark golden brown colour, this should take around 5 minutes.

One the sugar has a caramelised remove from the heat, and dip each apple slice into the caramel, making sure it is completely coated. Leave to set on a tray lined with grease proof paper.

The Toffee Icing:

Combine the milk, brown sugar and butter in a small pan, cook over a medium heat, until the mixture melts together and begins to bubble.

Boil the mixture for two minutes, then remove from the heat. pour into a large bowl along with the icing sugar, and beat to a smooth consistency. Leave to cool and firm up before using.

Assembling:

Cover the top of each cupcake with a smooth layer of the toffee icing, Then top with a toffee apple slice.

Serve and enjoy!

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The Ultimate Triple Chocolate Cake

Rich, moist chocolate cake, sandwiched together with sweet, white chocolate ganache, and coated in a creamy layer of dark chocolate. 

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I decided that I want to try and improve my cake decorating skills, so a few weeks ago I invested in some new equipment for baking, including an icing turntable and scraper. I have been really keen to try them out!

I was originally trying to make a chocolate ombre cake, but it didn’t really work out, probably because it was a bit ambitious for a first attempt! Instead I turned it into something simpler with white chocolate covering the top, a mixture of milk and dark chocolate round the sides, and dark chocolate decorations.

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I am really pleased with how the cake turned out, it looks fantastic, and it tasted delicious! As you can see from the pictures though, I was too scared to transfer the cake from the turntable to a cake stand!

I brought this into work and everyone was really impressed, I can’t wait to make another cake creation!

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I will be bringing this cake along to Fiesta Friday#85, hosed by Angie and co-hosted by, Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Jenny @ Dragonfly Home Recipes. Aso very pleased to see that My Chai Spiced Creme Brulee post was appreciated last week ūüėĬ†Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: You could use a raspberry cream to sandwich the sponges together instead, or you could use all dark chocolate for a richer finish.

Ingredients: Serves 18-20

The Sponge:

  • 400g butter
  • 400g sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 100ml double cream

The Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 200g double cream

The White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 600g white chocolate
  • 200g double cream

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, and grease and line three 20cm cake tins.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa powder. Fold in the flour and then add the milk.

Spoon into the prepared cake tins and smooth out. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes untill springy and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The Ganache:

Heat the cream and chocolate together in the microwave until completely melted.

Cover with clingfilm – so that the surface of the ganache is touching the film – and leave to cool to body temperature, this should take about 2 hours.

Use an electric whisk to whip up the ganache until it pales in colour and thickens. Cover with clingfilm and leave to firm up for another few hours.

Assembling:

Sandwich the three cake layers together with white chocolate ganache.

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Use the white chocolate ganache to give the cake a crumb coat.

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Then add more white chocolate to the top of the cake, making sure the top is completed covered in a smooth layer of white chocolate.

Cover the sides of the cake in a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache.

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Smooth out by holding the scraper flat at a 90 degree andgle to the turntable and slowly spinning the cake round. The top layer of the gamache should get scraped off to reveal a smooth straight layer.

Smooth out the ganache on the top and sides of the cake, trying to keep the endges smooth and sharp.

Heat a metal spatula in some boiling water, then use to smooth out any imperfections in the ganche.

Spoon the remaining dark chocolate ganache into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and pipe a ring of dots around the top of the cake.

Trnasfer to a cake stand (if you dare!) And slice into 18-20 generous servings!

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Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

Coconut and lime sponge, drenched in a sweet, tangy lime syrup. 

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Who doesn’t love a classic lemon drizzle cake? It’s one of my favourites because I love the way the tangy syrup gets the sponge so moist and sticky.

I had a bit of a craving for one at the weekend, but I wanted to see if I could mix it up a bit, so I made a lime and coconut version.

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I brought this cake into work and everyone agreed that lime and coconut is easily as good as, if not better than lemon drizzle!

This was a really quick and easy cake to make, so I definitely recommend it for an afternoon treat ūüôā

Variations: You could change this into a classic lemon drizzle cake or you could avg some pineapple to the sponge for a pins colada drizzle cake!

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Ingredients: Makes 12-15 Squares

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g coconut cream
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour

The Syrup:

  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 4-5 limes
  • 150g icing sugar

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a rectangular baking tray with grease-proof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – this should take around 5 minutes. Then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the coconut cream, zest and finally fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and even out. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool slightly in the tin before pouring over the syrup.

The Syrup:

Combine the lime juice, zest and icing sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Taste at this point to check that the syrup is sweet/sour enough for you.

Poke holes along the top of the sponge with a skewer, and then pour the syrup all over the sponge, making sure you reach all the edges and corners.

Leave to cool for around 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Slice into 12-15 squares and serve!

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Orange & Passion Fruit Madeira Cake

Rich madeira sponge flavoured with orange and topped with a sweet passion fruit glaze.

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This my first Bake-Off inspired post from the new series! In the first episode the signature bake was a madeira cake, and all the cakes they made looked delicious, so I thought I’d give it a try myself!

I had never actually tried a madeira cake before, but I love citrusy flavours – ¬†I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make one before! I got my recipe from my Delia Smith Cake cookbook.

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The recipe is for a classic madeira cake, but I have used orange rather than lemon, and I’ve added a passionfruit glaze to make it a bit more special.

I am delighted with how this cake has turned out, I even managed to get a big crack of the surface, which is supposed to be the sign of a good madeira cake!

Now that I have made a madeira cake, I realise how versatile this cake is, and I will definitely be trying some different flavour combinations, especially some of the amazing ones I saw on bake-off!

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Variations: You could use lemon or lime instead of the orange and passionfruit.

Ingredients: Serves 6-8

The Madeira Sponge:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 175g spreadable butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 oranges

The Passion Fruit Glaze:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 passion fruits

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a circular cake tin with grease-proof paper.

Combine the flour, butter, eggs, sugar and grated zest in a large bowl. Using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1 minute until you have a smooth consistency.

Then squeeze in the juice of 1¬†orange ¬†‚Äď you need enough to make a creamy consistency that drops off a spoon easily when tapped on the side of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much juice –¬†it needs to be a little stiffer than a sponge cake mix.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level out. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked though – hopefully a big crack will appear on the top!

Transfer to a wore rack and leave to cool before icing.

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The Icing:

In a small bowl combine the inside of one passion fruit and the strained juice of the other. Then stir in the icing sugar, to from a smooth paste.

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Pour over the top of the cooled madeira cake and leave to set.

Cut into 6-8 generous slices and serve! This would be delicious with a dollop of mascarpone or creme fraiche.

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