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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Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding

Slices of hot cross bun, cooked in a sweet cinnamon custard, studded with chunks of dark chocolate.

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I had a few leftover hot cross buns from last weekend, and I just couldn’t let them go to waste, so I decided to make them into a bread and butter pudding!

This was a great thing to do with the stale hot cross buns, because just a little bit of effort turned some inedibly stale buns into a delicious custardy pudding. So if you end up with any leftover, I recommend this recipe rather than just chucking them in the bin. It would even make a good Easter Sunday dessert!

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Variations: You could use extra sultanas, rather than the chocolate chunks, or mix in some cooked fruit like apple.

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 3 Stale Hot Cross Buns
  • 125g Butter
  • 300ml Whole Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon.
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Plain Chocolate

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a deep rectangular baking dish.

Slice the hot cross buns into thin pieces and lay then into the baking dish vertically, and then put chunks of dark chocolate in between the slices.

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Melt the butter in a small pan, and then mix with the milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla essence and sugar.

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Pour the custard mixture over the hot cross bun and chocolate, and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then spoon  out 4 generous portions , serve on its own, or with a big scoop of ice cream.

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Chocolate & Marshmallow, Easter Egg Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes, filled with a sweet marshmallow ‘egg’, topped with fondant icing and easter egg decorations.

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Yesterday was the easter cake and coffee morning at work, so I wanted to bake something extra-specially eastery to bring along. I just couldn’t decide what to make, until I had some inspiration when really hungry before lunch! I was thinking about how cool it could be to try and make a cupcake with an egg centre, a bit like a creme egg.

I’ve used a marshmallow icing on cupcakes before, and thought it would taste great and give the consistency I needed for the egg filling to look right, so that is what I have used here.

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I decided I wanted to decorate the cakes to look like old fashioned decorated eggs, so I’ve used a fondant icing base, and decorated it with the typical stripes and spots you see on decorated eggs.

The coffee morning was really fun and there were some amazing cakes. Here is a picture of my friend’s white chocolate and coconut cakes with chick decorations, made with mini eggs and yellow fondant icing, how cute! And really simple to do!

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My cakes went down very well, I got lots of compliments on them, and everyone was really excited when they bit into them and revealed the egg centre.

So if you want to impress your friends and family with some Easter treats, then this is the recipe for you!

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Ingredients: Makes 20 Cupcakes

The Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 150g Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 50ml Milk

The Marshmallow Filling:

  • 150g Granulated Sugar
  • 40ml Water
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1tsp Orange Food Colouring

The Decoration:

  • 300g White Fondant Icing
  • Writing Icing, in a few different colours

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To Make:

The Cupcakes:

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

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – this should take about 5 minutes, then fold in the eggs one at a time, with the cocoa powder. Once combined, fold in the flour and milk, until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked though. Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Marshmallow Filling:

Combine the sugar and water in a pan and cook over a medium heat until the temperature reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer (or until it has been bubbling for about 5 minutes).

While the sugar syrup is cooking, whisk together the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then continue to whisk, as you pour in the hot sugar syrup.

Continue whisking for a further few minutes, until the mixture in smooth and glossy.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a separate bowl and stir though the food colouring, until it is an egg yolk orange colour.

Assembling:

Cut a 3cm wide hole into the top of each cupcake.

Spoon 1tsp of white marshmallow into the hole, then use a spoon to create a hollow in the middle of the white marshallow, and add 1/2 a tsp of the orange marshmallow.

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Roll out the fondant icing to about 1cm thickness. Cut out 20 disks of about the same size as the tops of the cupcakes (I used the plastic container for the cupcake cases as a guide!).

Spread a tin layer of white marshmallow over the top of each cupcake, and then stick on the fondant icing disk, pressing it down at the edges, to completely cover the cake.

Use the writing icing to create easter egg patterns on the top of each cupcake – I’ve mainly used zig-zag lines and dots.

Serve!

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Hot Cross Buns

Soft, sweet bread rolls, flavoured with cinnamon and orange zest, studded with raisins, dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks, finished with an orange jam glaze.

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Its nearly Easter! I can’t believe how quickly the year is going, but here we are, the hot cross buns and easter eggs are appearing in the shops, only 2 weeks left! So this weekend I decided to make some hot cross buns at home to get me in the easter mood.  I have never attempted these before so I mainly followed Paul Hollywoods recipe, but I have made a few small changes!

I found this dough very very wet and I was really struggling to knead it, so I did add about 50g of extra flour, which meant it was still quite a wet dough, but much easier to knead! It doesn’t seem to have affected the result either as the buns are still really soft and fluffy.

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I also changed the fruits that went in the dough as I just didn’t have the things required by the recipe, and  I didn’t want to have to go to the shops again. So I have substituted the apple for dried cranberries and white chocolate which I had in the cupboard.

I was amazed at how much better these home made buns taste than the ones in the shops, so I would say the extra effort of making them yourself is well worth it!

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Variations: You can use whatever dried fruit, nuts or chocolate you want in the rolls, some fresh blueberries might also be nice!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Buns

The Buns:

  • 300ml full-fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • 550g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 10g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g sultanas and dried cranberry mixture
  • 100g finely chopped white chocolate
  • 1tsp cinnamon

 The Cross

    • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

5tbsp water

The Glaze

  • 3 tbsp orange jam
  • 1 tbsp honey

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To Make:

The Buns:

Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.

Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl,  make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the dried fruit, chocolate  and cinnamon, and knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size

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Divide the dough into 10 even pieces weighing about 100g each. fold each piece into a tight ball and arrange the on a greased baking tray a few cm apart, set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

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Preheat the oven to 180°C.

The Cross:

Mix the flour with the water, 1tbsp at a time, until it forms a hick white paste. Transfer to a piping bad with a small circular nozzle and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.

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Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

The Glaze:

Gently heat the apricot jam and honey until melted, then brush over the warm buns.

Serve warm with a generous smothering of butter.

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