Sunday 20 March 2016

Chocolate Easter Cake

Can you believe it's a week till Easter? I know it's early this year but it still seems to have come out of nowhere. I have great plans for Easter baking but I'm not sure if I'll get round to all of it! Thankfully I have an Easter themed cake to share with you today and will definitely be baking a few more in the next week! This cake is a chocaholic's dream and is sure to impress both adults and children. It has a light chocolate sponge sandwiched with chocolate buttercream, surrounded by Kit Kats and is topped with mini eggs and a chocolate bunny and a chocolate duck made from Belgian chocolate. I bought the chocolate figures from my recent trip to Belgium and they taste as good as they look. For my cakes next week I'm going to use Lindt chocolate bunnies, Cabdury milk bunny and a Cadbury Chick. 

I'm sending this to several blog challenges this month.

AlphaBakes hosted by myself and Caroline from Caroline Makes. The letter this month is C for Chocolate. 

We Should Cocoa guest hosted by Linzi from Lancashire Food on behalf of Choclette from Tin and Thyme. The theme this month is eggs. There's real eggs in the cake and chocolate mini eggs in the decoration! 

Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. As mentioned there are real eggs in the cake and lots of mini eggs on top! 

Tea Time Treats hosted by Janie from The Hedgecombers and Karen from Lavender and Lovage. The theme this month is Easter.

#FoodYearLinkUp hosted by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen. This cake is definitely for Easter!

  Chocolate cakes, chocolate frosting, Kit Kats, mini eggs and chocolate figures 

 Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cake 

 Add another layer of cake on top and cover the cake - top and sides with frosting. Don't worry if it look messy as it will all be covered in chocolate candy. 

 I love these Chocolate figures I bought from Belgium - so cute! 

 Add Kit Kat Bars around the edge to form a fence. Place the chocolate figures in the centre then scatter mini eggs on top making sure to cover all the gaps and finish with a ribbon round the cake! 


For the cake
220g plain flour
300g caster sugar
85g cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
1 cup/250mls milk
1/2 cup/ 125mls vegetable oil 
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water, slightly cooled 

For the icing
150g butter
160g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
115g dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons double cream (optional)

For the decorations
Approximately 38 Kit Kat fingers
250g mini eggs
Chocolate figures

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. 
  • Mix all thedry ingeredients for the cake in an electric mixer. 
  • Add in the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • Beat well then add in the boiled water. The batter will be very liquid - don't worry!
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake tins and bake in the pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. 
  • Add the cocoa powder and mix well.
  • Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
  • Finally add in the cream if using. 
  • To decorate the cake, place a small dab of frosting in the centre of a cake board.
  • Place one cake bottom side up on the cake board.
  • Spread a generous layer of frosting and even the top with a palette knife.
  • Place the second cake on top and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
  • Don't worry if its a little messy and you get cake crumbs in the frosting.
  • Use the Kit Kats to create a fence around the cake as shown. 
  • Place the chocolate figures in the centre or wherever your choose and press down gently.
  • Scatter the mini eggs on top, pressing lightly to secure them to the cake. 
  • Finish the look by tying a large ribbon around the cake. 

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Ham and Cheese Pizza Pinweels

It's British Pie Week this week 7- 13 March and I've teamed up with Jus Rol Pastry who are the founders of British Pie Week to create a simple recipe. The inspiration for this idea came from wanting to use up some Serrano ham as we got a whole leg of Serrano Ham for Christmas and only unwrapped it late in January. There's a lot of ham to use up so I've been creating different recipes incorporating Serrano ham. We were invited to a get together at our neighbours and wanted to bring party food to the table. These pizza pinwheels are perfect as they are quick and easy to make and tastes delicious! All you need is a sheet of Jus Rol puff pastry, tomato puree, dried herbs, slices of ham and grated cheese. You can make this vegetarian by omitting the ham and adding in slices of courgette or have it with cheese, tomato and herbs. 

 spread tomato puree on top of the puff pastry 

 add a sprinkling of dried herbs if using 

 add a generous amount of grated cheese, followed by slices of ham. Roll into a sausage and slice with a sharp knife

 Brush with eggwash before baking 

Ham and Cheese Pizza Pinwheels

1 box Jus Rol Puff pastry
1 tube tomato puree
150g grated cheese
dried herbs (optional)
Ham slices - enough to cover the pastry
1 egg for egg wash

  • Preheat the oven to 200C. 
  • Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a non stick surface.
  • Spread a generous layer of tomato puree and smooth with a palette knife. 
  • Add a sprinkling of dried herbs if using.
  • Add the grated cheese then the ham slices, covering the whole pastry sheet. 
  • Starting from the shorter end of the pastry, roll into a sausage. 
  • Cut into slices and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water. 
  • Brush the pastry with the eggwash.
  • Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes but watch closely after 18 minutes or so to make sure it's not burnt. 
  • Serve warm or cold.

Disclaimer : I was sent vouchers from Jus Rol to buy the pastry. I provided all the other ingredients. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday 1 March 2016

AlphaBakes March 2016

Welcome to March AlphaBakes. It's officially the start of spring and Easter is in March this year so lots to look forward to. If you haven't already seen the Yummy "Y" Roundup on Caroline's blog then do head on over and check it out. For this month the random letter generator has been kind to us and we have a really easy letter which will fit in nicely for Easter as the letter is ...

As Easter is at the end of March and you may well want to enter your chocolatey Easter creations, we are extending the deadline for March until 30th March 2016. The roundup will be posted a few days later and Caroline will start the next challenge on 1st April 2016.  Entry is via the linky tool below and if for some reason it's not working then please email by 30th March 2016.

Quick reminder of the rules....

1. Post your RECIPE on your blog and link it to The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes, stating the relevant month's host. If you do not have a blog, email us a picture and a brief description of your entry which we will include in the round-up at the end of the month.

2. You can use your own RECIPE or someone else's RECIPE. The recipe can be sweet, savoury or a mixture! Anything goes as long as the random letter is predominantly featured in the recipe as one of the main ingredients or flavours or in the name of the bake itself (i .e . not as a garnish , or using 'flour' for the letter F!) You can also republish old posts/RECIPES but you must include the information for this challenge as stated in these rules.

3. Add the logo to your post and add 'alphabakes' as a label to your post.

4. Entry is via the linky tool below. Alternatively, you can email your entries to by midnight (GMT) 30th March 2016. Please include:
  • Your name (that you want included in the round up or we will use the name of your blog) 
  • Your blog post URL 
  • RECIPE title 
  • Photo of RECIPE (to be included in the round up) 

5. You can submit as many entries as you like.

6. You do not have to participate every month to join in.

7. You may submit your entry to other challenges as long as it complies with their rules.

8. If you use twitter, please use the tag #alphabakes and mention @bakingaddict and @Caroline_Makes. We will retweet all those that we see.

9. Have fun! :)