Tag Archives: Chocolate Recipes

Campfire Brownies

The colder and darker it gets, the more I hanker for a mug of something hot and a slice of something sticky, and these campfire brownies are just the ticket.  Dark, sticky and just sweet enough, these guys will beat smores hands down.  I baked these on Bonfire Night instead of my usual Bonfire Night Cupcakes, and they went down rather too well.  They’re not great for the waistline but the dog walking will make up for that (we hope!).

There seem to be recipes for brownies everywhere these days, in all shapes, colours and varieties, some an improvement, some, well, not so much, but trust me when I say that these really are quite delightful (if I do say so myself).  I haven’t called them smores brownies because a) Starbucks has done that b) we don’t live in America and c) they don’t have a solid cracker base, but the toasted marshmallow on top gives just enough of that campfire vibe.

Campfire Brownies

Campfire Brownies

Ingredients

  • 175g salted butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 75g plain flour
  • 7 chocolate digestives
  • mini or regular marshmallows, enough to cover the surface area of the tin

Instructions

  1. Place a medium pyrex bowl over a small saucepan (get the two sized so the bowl will balance inside the rim of the saucepan, so it can be suspended over water) and add some boiling eater to the base of the saucepan (not so full that it touches the bottom of the bowl but no so empty that it could boil dry). Weigh the butter and chocolate into the bowl and set over the simmering water, which should be set over a low to medium heat on the hob. Stir gently until both have melted and combined, then carefully remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. While that's cooling, line and grease a 9 inch square loose bottomed cake pan and break up 8 chocolate digestives into small uneven pieces (but not crumbs!). They're going to be mixed into the brownie mixture to add another texture so think of them like large chocolate chips or nuts.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until fluffy.
  4. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, fold it into the eggs and sugar.
  5. Add the cocoa powder and mix this in well, followed by the flour. Once the flour is in, mix until just combined, then mix in the broken digestives. Don't over mix!
  6. Scoop into the tin then top with as many mini or full size marshmallows as you fancy, pressing them down slightly into the chocolate mixture to make sure they'll combine.
  7. Pop the tray into the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until there's no wobble when you shake the pan a little.
  8. Allow to cool then remove the while lot from the pan as a slab, either by loosening the loose bottom or just by lifting out the greaseproof paper. Cut into squares and enjoy with a mug of tea and coffee!
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Why don’t you check out some more of our tasty bakes like these Honey and Lemon Madeleines or these Chewy Oat and Sultana Cookies?

Child-Friendly Chocolate Cake

We’ve given you a chocolate cake recipe before – a very dark, decadent adult chocolate cake – so here’s an old favourite I made for 9 year old twins’ birthday party. It’s still as moist as that deeply chocolatey cake, but it has less of a chocolatey hit and a much lighter icing, more suitable for kiddies’ palates. It can be eaten bare, as below, or iced with a slightly fudgier icing, but I dressed mine up in fondant to be a Minions birthday cake as requested. 

 child-friendly chocolate cake
You will need:

For the sponge: 

125g butter a room temperature 

225g dark brown sugar (I used muscovado)

2 eggs 

142ml sour cream

175g plain flour 

5ml baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

50g cocoa powder 

For the chocolate buttercream:

100g butter

200g icing sugar 

50g Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tbsp sour cream

Optional chocolate fudge icing: 

200g Bourneville or supermarket brand chocolate (low in cocoa solids – or use 100g milk chocolate and 100g decent dark chocolate)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

142 ml double cream

You’ll also need two regular sandwich tins, lined and greased. If you don’t know how to do that, we’ve prepared a handy guide for you! Preheat the oven to 160c fan or 170c non-fan.

how to bake a cake 
  1. Weigh out the butter, then whisk it up with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. cake recipes using muscovado sugar 
 2. Add the dark brown sugar and whisk up again until even lighter and fluffier. chocolate cake recipes 
  Or as light and fluffy as something this fudgey will get….how to bake a birthday cake 
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking in one at a time.cake baking tips 
  4. Whisk for a good few minutes until the mixture is really light and airy. cake recipes using sour cream 
  5. Add the sour cream and whisk in.recipes using cocoa powder 
  6. Measure out the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.how to bake a cake using cocoa powder 
  7. Fold gently into the wet ingredients until just combined so you keep as much air and lightness in as you can manage – don’t panic about how sense the batter is – that’s what will make it moist and fudgey.how to bake a chocolate cake 
 8. Divide equally between the cake pans and bake in the centre of the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until just springey get when touched and starting to come away from the sides of the tins. Leave for 10 minutes or so to cool a little before turning out (the sponges will shrink a little and be easier to turn out) then remove the greaseproof paper to help the cooling along. easy chocolate cake recipe 
 Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the butter icing together and whisk up until light and fluffy. If you give it a cursory mix first, it will help to stop the icing sugar pillowing up and covering your kitchen. 

  
Spread evenly over the lower sponge and put the other sponge on top. 

   
Now you have options! You can either cover the cake with the chocolate fudgey icing by warming the cream, melting the chocolate into it and adding the cocoa powder) and it’s good to go (it can be decorated with maltesers, chocolate buttons or whatever you fancy. Or you can leave it un-iced if it’s just for general eating rather than a celebration. 

  
I iced it instead with orangey buttercream and fondant to make it into a minions birthday cake.   

 

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Call me crazy, but I occasionally get an unarguable hankering to bake. Often it’s a need to bake generally, sometimes it’s a particular type of baking I’m craving, such as bread or biscuits, and sometimes, more rarely, I wake up in the morning thinking “I want to make a chocolate bundt cake today” so that’s just what I did!

I reckon if you’re going to go for a chocolate cake, it has to be the most chocolatey creation you can imagine, so this one is triple chocolate with a real chocolate sponge filled with chocolate chips, topped with rich chocolate ganache and garnished with grated chocolate (so technically, it’s quadruple chocolate!). You can of course leave the grated chocolate off, or replace with sprinkles or chocolate curls if you would prefer.

To make this just as chocolatey and bundty as I did, you will need:

110g good quality dark chocolate, I use the £1 bars from Tesco usually, which have 70% cocoa solids. 

175g salted butter, at room temperature

60g soft light brown sugar 

110g caster sugar

4 large eggs

30g cocoa powder

pinch salt 

200g self-raising flour 

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp milk

3 handfuls chocolate chips (I used half a packet of Tesco White chocolate chips and some chopped dark chocolate)

For the topping:

100ml double cream

50g dark chocolate 

And you’ll need one of these – a bundt tin:

 how to bake with a bundt tinA bundt tin is essentially a ring-shaped tin with patterned sides to give you a beautiful all in one cake, which looks quite the picture on your kitchen or dining room table. You can make all sorts of plain, iced or glazed bundts, and they’re perfect for when you want to make something pretty without going to the effort of sandwiching sponges together. If you don’t have a bundt tin, the sponge will work well divided by two and sandwiched with extra ganache or buttercream, or you could bake it in a loaf tin instead.  how to line a bundt tin
 1. Preheat the oven to 170c fan, making sure the shelf is nice and low to give you space to settle the deep tin in the middle of the oven. Prepare the bundt tin by buttering liberally (to get into all the flutes you might be better using a pastry brush or paper towel to do this) and coating the buyer with cocoa powder to give your tin some extra non-stick credentials.

  
2. If you don’t have a microwave, set a glass bowl over a little boiling water in a saucepan, set to a simmer and break the chocolate into the bowl. Let it do its own thing until starting to melt, then stir, leave and stir again until all melted then set aside. Don’t let the bowl touch the water and don’t let any water in the bowl.

If using a microwave, put the chocolate into a microwave-friendly bowl and heat for 10 or 20 seconds at a time, remove, stir and repeat until melted. Too hot or too long and it will burn and be unusable.

  triple chocolate cake recipe 

3. Whisk up the soft butter with an electric whisk until light, then weigh in the two sugars, before whisking again for a good few minutes until combined and creamy. I find it helpful to have a silicone spatula to hand to keep pushing the ingredients down the sides into the belly of the bowl. 

incorporating 4 eggs into a cake batter

4. Next, the eggs. The more air we can get into the cake at this stage, the less likely it is that the cake will go wrong or come out tough. So, with that in mind, slowly combine the eggs by cracking them in one at a time, then whisking them in to the creamed butter and sugar. The first egg will loosen the mixture considerably, and by the time all of the eggs are in, the mixture will be quite runny. 

 tips for a light sponge 

5. Give the batter another long whisk until it’s really light and airy, then fold in the cocoa powder and then the melted chocolate.

combining the chocolate into the cake batter 

6. Add the salt, flour, baking powder and milk and gently fold until just combined, being careful not to knock the air out of it. Fold in the chocolate chips.

 how to make a chocolate cake
7. Don’t freak out when you see the thickness of the batter, just spoon it evenly into the tin. Don’t worry about spreading it out; the oven will do that for you. 
 chocolate bundt cake recipe 

8. Put in the oven and have a peek after about 25 minutes. It will spread, rise, crack then bake fully. Once it’s starting to look like this, give it a gentle press. If it’s springy it’s done, but if it’s soft leave it in. Mine took about 35 minutes but it will depend on your oven. If you’re nervous you can check if it’s done by inserting a skewer through it gently. If it’s clean when removed, it’s ready, if there are gooey traces put it back in for 5 or 10 minutes.

 bundt cake recipe 

 9. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes or so until it’s starting to shrink and cool then gently loosen the edges (in and out) with a knife. Put a large plate, cake board or cake stand over the top, flip and carefully set down. The tin should lift off relatively easily. If not, flip, ease with the knife again and flip back to try again. If you’re still struggling, leave it to cool for a little while before trying again.

what should i bake today

10. Time to make the ganache! This is so much easier than the professionals make it sound! Pour the cream into a small saucepan and set on a low to medium hob. Let the cream warm up but don’t let it boil. Break the chocolate up and put it straight into the cream, stir until melted, mixed glossy and beautiful. 

  
11. Set it aside and allow it to cool down a bit, stirring every now and then to check the texture. When it’s a bit firmer to the point where it will drop rather than run off the spoon, it’s ready to spread on your cake. If it’s still running off the spoon, it will run straight off the cake.

how to make ganache  

 12. Spread the ganache evenly over the highest point of the cake ring, allowing it to drop down the sides as naturally as you are able – as you can see, it needs to have a little bit of setness about it to give you that irresistible effect – overflowing but going no further. 
 how to ice a bundt cake 

13. Grate more chocolate over the top or decorate however you wish. Serve immediately or allow to set fully, and be sure to lick the spoon once you’re finished! how to decorate a bundt cake 

This will keep nicely for a few days in an airtight container. If you have any left once it’s starting to go stale, slice and warm it in the microwave – the ganache will melt, the sponge will soften – and serve as a pudding with cream or ice cream. 

The Chocolatiest Chocolate Cake

It’s my Mum’s birthday today and it’s become a bit of a tradition that I make everyone a cake for their birthday. Usually, I plump for the traditional birthday cake with a lemony sponge and a jam and buttercream filling. However, being in the midst of exam fever, I didn’t really have 2 evenings to dedicate to crafting sugar decorations, so I figured she’d be happy with a chocolate cake. It’s not very birthday cakeish, but I think they all forgot to care about that when they tasted it. It is certainly not for the faint hearted. Imagine a brownie, layered on top of another brownie and covered with ganache. And you’re just about there.

  
You will need:

For the cake:

200g dark chocolate, 60%+ cocoa solids

200g salted butter

125ml brewed coffee

3 eggs

75ml buttermilk

200g light muscovado sugar 

200g golden caster sugar

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

25g cocoa powder 

85g plain flour

85g self-raising flour

For the filling:

25g soft butter

50g icing sugar

75ml double cream

75g white chocolate

1 orange (zest of whole orange and juice of 1/4)

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 

6 tbsp jam, I used cherry

For the ganache:

200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

300ml double cream

2 tbsp golden syrup 

Pinch salt   

1. Preheat the oven to 140C fan and prepare 2 sandwich tins by buttering then and lining with circles of grease proof paper. Work out which of your glass bowls fits best with which of your saucepans so that it can be suspended over a small amount of water in the saucepan to create a bain marie. Boil a little water and pour it into the saucepan on a hob which is set to a low heat. You want the water to summer but you don’t want it to bubble to the point that it touches the bottom of the bowl, as that would burn the chocolate. Break the chocolate up and add it to the bowl, then add the weighed butter. Leave it on the heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to melt. 

  
2. Brew up some coffee. I measured out 125ml of freshly brewed espresso but you could mix 1tbsp of instant coffee granules with 125ml cold water. Add this carefully, little by little, to the melting mixture. If you add it too quickly it could cause the chocolate to seize. Once everything has melted and been mixed well, remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

  
  
3. In a separate bowl, whisk up the eggs. Add the buttermilk and whisk again, then add the two sugars, mixing well, incorporating as much air as you can. 

 
4. Add in the cooling chocolate and combine well. 

  
5. Add the bicarb, cocoa powder and 2 types of flour and fold together until just combined. Divide between the sandwich tins and put in the middle of the oven. 

  
This cake takes much longer to bake than your average cake. It’s a lower, longer bake, but,unlike a brownie, you want it to be evenly cooked all the way through. I tend to bake by eye so I didn’t time this, but keep having a look at the sponges through the oven door. I think this took about 40 mins – the edges will rise and set, while the middle remains droopy but bubbly, eventually, the middle will start to rise, cracking as it does so, but it will still need set all the way through. Once it looks like it had fully risen and possibly set you can tentatively open the oven door and give it a gentle prod or test with a skewer. When the skewer is clean it can come out. 

  
As the cake cools, the middle will sink back again. It’s nothing to worry about as long as it sinks to flat, and doesn’t collapse!

  
6. Make the white chocolate ganache filling by combining the softened butter and icing sugar. Warm the cream in a saucepan on the hob, but don’t let it boil. Break the white chocolate into the cream (off the heat) and grate in the orange zest. Stru until it had melted together and allow to cool to room temperature. 

  
7. Once cook enough, add the white chokers mixture to the butter and sugar and combine well. 

8. Remove the cakes from their tins and allow to cool.

  
 9. Make the chocolate ganache by heating up the cream, as before, and breaking the dark chocolate into it. Add a pinch of salt and stir together until melted. Set aside to cool, stirring every now and then, until you have a glossy, smooth paste. 

19. Sandwich together the soknges, spreading the bottom layer with jam then adding the white chocolate filling. 

  
20. Spread the ganache all over the cake, starting from the top and working down. If everything’s cool enough it shouldn’t spill over the board…in theory! Decorate however you like, with chocolate shavings or curls. I tempered done white chocolate to make some squiggly designs to add to the top abs sides, then added some copper honeycomb sprinkles around the circumference. 

  
This guy will keep for at least a week, if kept in an airtight container.