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Chocolate cake or chocolate cupcakes

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Delicious chocolate cake with light sponge and rich icing.

Chocolate and lemon-raspberry cupcakes

This mixture is really easy and will make either one divine chocolate cake or 24 iced cupcakes – fairy cake size. You don’t need any special equipment as you can easily mix it with a handheld whisk.

You can use an ordinary hand whisk; or an electric beater; or a food mixer.

The sponge is really light and almost has the texture of an Aero chocolate bar.

The icing is rich and easy to spread.

I came by this recipe, which is from the BBC, via Donal Skehan’s Good Mood Food facebook page

You will need either two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins; or two 12-hole fairy cake tins and 24 paper cases.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.


  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder – I use Green and Black’s organic
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (bread soda)
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar

    Squeezy golden syrup is easiest to use

  • 2 freerange eggs, beaten
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tbsp golden syrup (the squeezy stuff in plastic bottles is the easiest to use)

For the icing and filling

  • 75g very soft butter (preferably unsalted)
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tpsb milk.

Either grease and line your two sandwich tins or put paper cases in your fairy cake tins.

1 Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl

2 Squeeze in the golden syrup

3 Beat the eggs with a fork before adding

4 You can add the 150ml milk to measure jug and then add oil on top until it reaches 300ml

5 Cook until risen and firm to the touch


  1. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and bread soda into a the bowl of a food mixer or an ordinary bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk.
  4. Whisk briefly until mixture is combined. You can use a hand whisk; or if using a food mixer use the whisk attachment. You could also use a handheld beater – preferably using the whisk attachment. This only takes a few seconds.
  5. If you are making the fairy cakes it is worth puring the mixture into a jug and then distributing between the 24 fairy cakes. If you are making the large cake just pour the mixture between the two tins.
  6. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes; or the fairy cakes for 15-20 minutes – until risen and firm to the touch.
  7. Leave the cake to cool before turning out on to a cooling rack. Leave the fairy cakes in their cases and put on a cooling rack.

To make the icing

  1. If you have a food processor but the cocoa and icing sugar in it and turn it on for about 10 seconds – this will remove any lumps.
  2. If you are using a hand-held beater or whisk, sieve the cocoa and icing sugar into a bowl.
  3. Add the butter and either turn on the food processor for a few seconds; or beat them in with your beater.
  4. Add the milk to the icing and blend again so that the mixture is nice and light, soft and easy to spread.

Icing the cakes

  • If you have made the large cake, when it is completely cold sandwich the two halves together with the icing; and use the remainder to ice the top and the sides.
  • If you have made cupcakes just ice the top of each one using a small spatula or knife.

Written by SOKNH

March 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Lemon raspberry cupcakes

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Makes 12 cupcakes.

Lemon-raspberry and chocolate cupcakes

These little cupcakes are especially moist and lemony due to the lemon syrup added after they are baked.

You will need a 12 hole fairy cake or muffin tin lined with 12 fairy cake paper cases; a handheld electric beater, or a food mixer; or a food processor.

First make your lemon syrup (there will be some left over).

Ingredients lemon syrup

  • 500g sugar
  • 250mls water
  • Strained juice of one lemon

Method lemon syrup

  1. Put sugar and water over gentle heat.
  2. Stir till sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Stop stirring when it reaches boiling point.
  4. Remove any frothy stuff that forms on top.
  5. Boil rapidly for 3-4 minutes.
  6. When cool, add the strained juice of one lemon. Store in screw top jar in the fridge.

Ingredients lemon-raspberry cupcakes

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C, (350F), gas mark 4.
  • 125g (41/2 oz) butter at room temperature
  • 125g (41.2oz) caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of half a lemon. Either use a fine grater, or peel of the rind thinly and chop finely in a mini electric chopper.
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 12 large raspberries, fresh or frozen

Method, by hand

  1. Beat the butter until soft.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the lemon rind.
  4. Gradually add the beaten eggs.
  5. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in.

Method, using a food processor

  1. Mix the butter for about 10-15 seconds
  2. Add the sugar and mix again – for about 20 seconds
  3. Add the lemon rind and pulse for a couple of seconds
  4. Add the eggs and mix until well mixed in
  5. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse for as little as possile – just until it is mixed in.

Next stage for both methods

  1. Distribute the mixture evenly between 12 fairy cake paper cases.
  2. Press one large raspberry into the centre of each fairy cake.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes – depending on your oven. The cakes should be risen, golden colour and springy to the touch when cooked.
  4. Leave in the tin until you drizzle with lemon syrup.

Drizzle with lemon syrup

Be warned this is a bit messy!

  1. Pierce each cake about three times with a fork.
  2. Drizzle about a teaspoon or so of syrup over each cake.
  3. Remove from tin. You may find it useful to put each fairy cake inside another paper case so they are not sticky to handle.
  4. Leave until cool.

Written by SOKNH

March 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Chocolate mousse – easy and you can prepare it in advance

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Based on my trusty Constance Spry: for this chocolate mousse, you need flat-bottomed containers with straight sides.

This is the chocolate mousse I served at the first supper club last Saturday 13 February.

I like it because it is dead easy and doesn’t contain any gelatine, which I’m a bit squeamish about using.

From experience I find that it is best to use flat-bottomed ramekins or glasses like the ones pictured. If the base is curved sometimes it can lead to pooling of the liqueur or the egg white in the bottom of the mousse.

You need to use very fresh eggs that really need to be free range – they are only cooked by the heat of the melted chocolate. I have never had any problems after serving this, but pregnant women or anyone with a compromised immune system are advised to avoid mousses like this and mayonnaise.

The only other thing really is that you need to make sure you beat the egg white until it is really stiff, but don’t overbeat it so that it collapses. I find a handheld electric beater is better for egg whites than something like a Kenwood chef (which I use for other things). This is because it seems easier to get more air in when you can wave the beaters around a bit.

I use a large, light stainless steel bowl to beat the egg whites in. Keep an eye on the egg white as it stiffens and after a minute or two, take the beaters out and if the mixture stays firm and in position when you tilt the bowl almost completely over, then it is probably done. If there is any liquid at all left in the bottom of the bowl, the egg whites are not beaten enough.

I have experimented with different chocolate and find that Bournville works best. Very high cocoa content chocolate will not work for this recipe because you do not add any extra sugar to this mousse. So you need to use chocolate that has a decent amount of sugar already in it.
For the alcohol you can use whiskey, brandy or black rum – I like whiskey best but I use whatever is on hand.

Ingredients (to fill 10 small glasses – it is very rich)

  • 285g, 10oz dark chocolate like Bournville
  • ¼ pint, 120ml water
  • 30g, 1oz butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of whiskey, black rum or brandy

How I do it

  1. Break the chocolate up into squares and put it in a medium sized saucepan with the water. Melt over a very low eat, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool for about three minutes. Or if you’re impatient, have some cold water in the sink and sit the saucepan in that for a minute, stirring a couple of times.
  3. Use a small whisk to beat in the butter.
  4. Add the alcohol.
  5. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time making sure they are very well mixed in.
  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff as described above.
  7. Stir the egg whites briskly into the chocolate. You can be quite vigourous about this even though you have gone to the trouble of beating them up so nicely.
  8. Divide the mixture between your 10 ramekins or glasses and chill in the fridge overnight.

Serve with whipped cream (some people prefer them plain).
Toasted, flaked almonds sprinkled over the top are very nice too.

Chocolate mousse - add cream if you dare

Written by SOKNH

February 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm