Tickle my Toblerone

Ok, let’s be honest about this. When it comes to Easter, pretty much all most of us can think about is chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Egg-shaped, bunny shaped, wrapped in gold foil, or purple, filled with fondant or covered in a crunchy shell-coating.

It seems fitting that I do a chocolatey cake recipe for today’s blog post. Even if you’ve had so much of the stuff over the bank holiday weekend that you’re sick the sight of it, I think you’re going to want to add this little bundt to your repertoire of quick and easy cakes. Chocolate is my go-to flavour because it’s usually a hit with everyone. You’ll be able to whip up when you’re in the mood for something tasty.

This cake isn’t based on an egg-shaped chocolate – it features another funkily-shaped bar…Toblerone. This pyramid-shaped bar of pointy yumminess, a favourite of airport travellers everywhere, is flavoured with honey and nougat. I decided to take those flavours and turn them into a bundt: as usual I have used the basic bundt recipe from DollyBakes as my starting point and tweaked it into my own creation. If you haven’t checked our her site yet, please do so, as there isn’t anything about bundt cakes that woman doesn’t know!

Here’s the recipe for my Toblerone Bundt, with chocolate, honey and almond…

Ingredients for a 12-cup bundt

  • 225g butter or margarine
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 250ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 toblerone bar (I used a 200g bar)
  • flaked almonds (optional)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees
  • Prepare your bundt tin with cake release spray
  • Cream butter and sugar in the mixer (or by hand) until pale and fluffy
  • Slowly add the eggs one at a time and mix gently
  • Mix the flour, salt, bicarb, cocoa and ground almonds together in one bowl, and the yoghurt, honey and vanilla in another.
  • Gradually add the flour mix, alternated with the yoghurt mix, mixing very slowly
  • Fold in the flaked almonds if using
  • Add the batter to your prepared tin, reserving a small amount
  • poke triangles of toblerone into your cake batter, point side down, in a circle around the tin (see pic) then cover the top with the remaining batter
  • Put in the centre of your oven and bake for around an hour and 15 minutes (I always check mine at around 50 minutes and see how it’s getting on.
  • Leave in the tin to cool for at least 30 minutes, but you can allow to go cold before turning out.
  • Decorate however you like…I chose to drizzle it with melted chocolate and crumble some toblerone pieces on top.

A half-sized version of this went with me on the train to Newcastle for a team meeting, and was a hit with my colleagues, who were tasting my baking for the first time! Four of us demolished the whole thing over two days…quite impressive cake consumption.

Carrot cake. I’m back with a bundt…

Hello. Remember me? I’m the woman who occasionally blogs about cakes, rarely blogs about singing and is rather fond of gin. I’ve had a bit of a leave of absence for a few reasons, but kick-started by the theft of my MacBook. I lostimage my blogging mojo and to some extent, my baking mojo too. I’ve had a run of bad luck with cakes, bundts particularly, and so I just didn’t feel it was right to post about my disasters on the world wide web. Hey, I know it’s okay to have disasters, but I was just a bit glum about the quantity of them!

It’s been a cakey couple of weeks for me. The Clandestine Cake Club has launched its second recipe book, A Year of Cake. The Manchester groups held a joint book launch party at Waterstones on
Deansgate (featured in the Manchester Evening News) that was attended by our founder, Lynn Hill, who also created a lot of recipes for the book. We also had a party in Leeds (it’s the wrong side off the Pennines,
but it’s where she’s from so I forgive her. Also don’t tell anyone as it really ruins my Lancashire cred, but I really love Yorkshire!) for the book contributors and club organisers. For the event I baked one of Lynn’s recipes from the new book. An olive oil, rosemary and lime bundt. This one worked. It’s the first one that’s worked in about 3 months! So it gave me my bundt mojo back. Hurrah!

I had a cake to bake for work, for a team meeting. I always like to bake for an appreciative crowd and the lovely folk at my work do seem to enjoy it. One colleague put in a request for me to bake, and as it was her birthday at the weekend, I couldn’t really say no. She requested either a lemon drizzle or carrot cake. I decided carrot would be lovely and seasonal. There are literally millions of carrot cake recipes out there, each with their own tweaks and variations, so I decided to have a bit of a play with recipes and ingredients and this is what I came up with.

Sweet carrots, warm spices and a simple cream cheese icing, this bundt was made in a 6-cup tin. For you non-bundt strange folk, you should be able to make it in a springform cake tin – 8″ should do. Just adjust the cooking times so that a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Should take around an hour depending on your oven.

Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients

  • caster sugar – 100g
  • self raising flour – 200g
  • vegetable oil – 85ml
  • carrots (grated) – 75g
  • eggs – 2
  • yoghurt – 75ml (I used lemon flavour, full fat)
  • salt ¼ teaspoon
  • cinnamon – 1tsp
  • mixed spice – 1tsp
  • raisins – 50g
  • walnuts (chopped) – 50g
  • zest of one lemon
  • vanilla – 1tsp

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 75g full fat cream cheese (cold)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180/160 fan
  • Spray your chosen bundt tin with cake release spray
  • Combine the flour, spices, salt, lemon zest, carrots, raisins and half the walnuts in a bowl and give it a good stir so everything is mixed and coated.
  • Using a mixer or electric hand whisk, beat together the sugar and eggs until they’re full of air, light in colour and the consistency of thick, double cream. Should take about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil, followed by the yoghurt and vanilla.
  • Next, add the flour and carrots mixture, either on the slowest mixer speed or by hand. Don’t over-mix at this point. You just want everything to be lightly combined.
  • Pop it into your prepared tin and into the oven.
  • Bake for around 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Test it after 40 mins with a skewer. If it comes out clean, you’re done.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes or so, then turn out ont a rack and cool.
  • Make the cream cheese icing by mixing together the icing sugar and butter, then adding the chilled cream cheese and beating with an electric mixer for a few minutes until thick and pale and fluffy.
  • Slather on top of the cake (and the sides if you like) and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.

image image image image image

Ginger and Chocolate Bundt

Welcome to the first recipe of my 101 ways with fresh ginger series.

With piles and piles of ginger root burning a hole in my freezer, I wanted to create a tasty cake for the second Gin Club gathering, which I was hosting this weekend. Gin Club is nothing more than a few friends getting together to try a few different gins with a variety of mixers and garnishes…and a few snacks, but it’s really taken a hold on us and we love it!

Without wanting to get too experimental, I decided on a classic ginger and chocolate combination, and of course, a bundt. As there were only five of us, I kept it small using my 6-cup Anniversary tin from Nordic Ware. Feel free to adapt the amount of ginger to suit your tastes. I wanted it to taste gingery, but not overwhelmingly so.

If you don’t have a 6-cup, simply double the quantities for a full size bundt tin.

Ingredients

  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 115g margarine or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 125ml natural greek yoghurt
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled and grated. I used a thumb-sized piece

For the topping

  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • double cream
  • crystallised ginger to garnish

Method

  • Start by preheating the oven to 160 (fan) and preparing the tin. I use cake release spray to thoroughly coat the inside.
  • Cream the butter/marge with the dark brown sugar. It will get paler and fluffy in texture – should take a few minutes on high speed.
  • Next it’s egg time. Turn your mixer down to its slowest speed and them one at a time, until they’re mixed in but don’t mix too much at this stage. It might look a bit curdled, but fret ye not. It’ll come together.
  • Stop. Flour time. Mix it with the cocoa powder, bicarb and salt. Add some to the mixture, with half of the yoghurt. Mix slowly, add a bit more flour, the rest of the yoghurt, finishing with the flour. Don’t mix too much just yet.
  • Melt the chocolate using your preferred method – I do mine in a metal bowl, over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. It won’t take long and don’t over-heat it or it’ll go grainy. With the mixer on slow, pour in the chocolate. Give it a whiz for a few seconds so everything is mixed in.
    image
  • And now it’s the ginger. Mine was frozen, which I found made it so much easier to peel and grate. It breaks up the fibres of the ginger, meaning it gets evenly distributed in the cake. So that’s my little tip! Stir it through the batter with a spatula.
  • Pop it into the tin, and onto the middle shelf of the oven.
    image
  • Bake for around 50 minutes, check it with a skewer to see if it’s cooked. Probably give it another 10 minutes. That should be it done. You can still leave it in a little longer if you want a bit more a of a crunchy crust on the outside. Don’t worry about over-baking it – bundts are tough little cookies. Well, cakes, not cookies but you know what I mean. they’re pretty resilient!
  • Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, longer if you like. Then turn out onto a rack to cool.
  • Whilst the cake is cooling (and making the kitchen smell amazing) make the topping. Melt the other 50g dark chocolate in the bowl over the simmering water again. When it’s melted, take it off the heat and drizzle in the cream, stirring constantly. Keep going until it reaches the consistency you want for your topping. When the cake is cold, pour the topping over. I wanted it quite thick but runny enough to slide down the side of the cake. This also meant I could lick the remaining dribbles from the plate underneath!
  • Finally garnish with little pieces of crystallised ginger over the top.
image

Dark chocolate and fresh ginger bundt

And how did it go down with the Gin Club girls? Really well! And I don’t think it was just the gin talking.
I was really pleased with the texture, the softness, the chocolatey goodness…and most of all the warm gingery flavour.

image

Satsuma and Pomegranate Bundt

Why is it so hard to think of something different? It’s nigh on impossible to be original when it comes to baking, I find. Almost everything I can think of has been done before. Other people have experimented and discovered flavours that work together, textures that are right for certain tins and bakes, what happens when you add a bit of this or swap a bit of that…and if something hasn’t been done before, it could well be for a good reason.

That’s what happened when I started researching this cake. After being given some bargain pomegranates (after my friend Emma had an incident in the Morrisons reduced veg section, not dissimilar to my ginger incident) I wanted to bake a cake that had pomegranate seeds in it. The thing is, there aren’t many cakes on the internet that have the seeds actually baked in the cake. They’re usually used as a garnish or made into a syrup and drizzled over the top.

I wanted little speckles of bright red in the cake itself. Little bursts of pomegranetty excitement. But, I did think that baking them could make the seeds disappear and just be small dots of disappoinment instead. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided that nothing was to be gained by being cautious and I was going to chuck them in anyway. I also wanted a citrus flavour with it…keeping it seasonal I decided to go with satsuma, for something a bit different to the usual orange.

satsuma2This recipe is for a 10-12 cup bundt tin. I used the NordicWare star tin, which is one of my favourites, but this should work well with most shapes except really intricate ones. For a 6-cup bundt tin simply halve the quantities!

Use the brightest, pinkest pomegranate you can find. They can be a bit of a bugger to get the seeds out and it can take ages. I don’t find the cheffy tip of bashing works, I just quarter it and gently peel off the thin, papery skins and pop seeds out. If you want to cheat and buy the pre-packed seeds because you can’t be bothered faffing with de-seeding your own, I won’t tell anyone.

Thanks as ever to Dollybakes for her basic bundt recipe, which can be found on her smashing blog. If you’re new to bundt baking, I strongly suggest you read her starter tips and get stuck in. Everyone I know who’s caught the bundt bug follows her recipes with success.

Ingredients

  • 225g butter or margarine (I used Stork)
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 350g plain flour
  • 250ml full fat greek yoghurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon satsuma juice
  • zest of 4 satsumas (use more or less depending on your preference, but I like strong flavours)
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds (about half a fruit)
    For the icing
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • Satsuma juice
  • Pomegranate seeds and satsuma zest (to decorate – optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 160°C(fan) (320°F) and prepare your chosen tin by greasing or using cake release spray.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s pale and fluffy. In a mixer, with a hand mixer, or with a spoon if you’re bonkers. This will take a good few minutes – if you’re not sure it’s ready, beat a bit longer.
  • Gradually add the eggs, whilst mixing slowly. SLOWLY. If the mixture is starting to curdle a bit, add a sprinkle of the flour.
  • Mix together the flour, bicarb and salt, and add half to the mixture. Keep it slow.
  • Mix together yoghurt, zest, satsuma juice and orange extract. Add this to the mixture. Keep mixing slowly.
  • Now add the rest of the flour. Sloooowly mix until it’s all incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure it’s all mixed in. You should now have an orangey, voluminous bowl of luscious cake mixture. Be patient, you can lick the bowl in a minute.
  • By hand, fold in the pomegranate seeds.

    Fold in the seeds gently.

    Fold in the seeds gently.

  • Now dollop the mixture into your prepared tin. Make sure you’ve got it into all the crooks and nannies…give a little wiggle if necessary. Fill the tin about 3/4 full, not all the way to the top.
  • Pop into the oven (middle shelf) and bake for around an hour and 15 minutes, might be a bit less or a bit longer depending on your oven. Check after an hour, but don’t open the door before then .
  • Now you may lick the bowl. And the beaters/spoons.
  • When done (no mix on a skewer, and the cake should be coming away from the sides of the tin), take out the cake and leave it in the tin to cool for as long as your patience will let you – at least 20 minutes though. If you turn it out too soon you’ll risk a tin-sticking incident.
  • Once the cake is cold you can decorate it as you choose. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar for the most simple effect. I chose to make a satsuma icing, by mixing juice into the icing sugar until it’s thick and drizzling over the top. Garnish with seeds and zest.

satsuma3How was it? Well, my pomegranate wasn’t as pink as I’d have liked, but there were definitely little jewels of colour in the cake, which was what I was after. Did it taste very pomegranattey? No. Satsumay? Yes! Yummy? Definitely. Would I bake it again? Oooh yes. And I’ve come to realise that it’s ok not to be totally original. It isn’t the be all and end all. But just because something hasn’t been done by lots of people, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, and giving things a whirl can pay off. Be brave…with cake anyway.

This cake was created for the Manchester North Clandestine Cake Club event – Telly Addicts. You can read all about our event on the Clandestine Cake Club website. I organise the Manchester North group and if you’d like to find out more and join us, please get in touch. It’s a fabulous way to share cake, meet people and experiment with your baking. And it’s free!

Christmas in November – Amaretto and Dark Chocolate Bundt

Christmas festivities should not start until December. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I have always disliked how it seems to be creeping earlier and earlier into the year, especially in the shops. The pressure to buy and consume is huge, even more so now with the sudden UK explosion of Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving in the USA. Retailers offer discounts on loads of items, causing mass hysteria, riots and even injuries. It’s mental! Whilst I’m all for a decent discount I hate the mob mentality Black Friday fosters and I disagree with it wholeheartedly. But I digress. Back to Christmas!

I have actually been feeling festive a little sooner this year. Maybe it’s because of having two children who are now old enough to understand it, even if they don’t grasp the more subtle messages of Christmas! I can’t really throw myself into it until the eldest’s birthday has been done, which it has now, so I officially give myself permission to start Christmas this weekend. I’ve bought a festive jumper, done some Christmas shopping and I’ve even started listening to the Michael Bublé christmas album (much to Mr H’s disgust). There may also be some wine-mulling going on this weekend. Oh yes!

Adding to the Christmas spirit was last night’s Clandestine Cake Club gathering. A joint event between all three Manchester clubs, we met at the lovely Proper Tea, near the Cathedral. I will add a link to the official write up of the event when it’s been done, but for now I’d like to share with you the cake I made for it. The theme was European Cakes – a nod to the Great British Bake Off European week, which we’d particularly enjoyed, a chance to challenge ourselves with something a bit different, and because the Manchester European Christmas markets are in full swing. I’d set my heart on baking something Italian, possibly even Sicilian, but Sicilian ‘cake’ recipes aren’t that abundant on t’interweb. What did take my fancy was something called Buccellato. It’s a ring-shaped pastry affair, stuffed with figs and other dried fruits, almonds, citrus and nuts, and oodles of festive spices. Brilliant. It also is pastry, which is something I still need to conquer, so it was going to be a good challenge. Having bought all the ingredients, I looked at the recipe in more detail…which is what I should have done beforehand, because the thing requires several stages of chilling: you need to chill the pastry, the filling, the assembled thing before cooking…given that I was starting this at 8pm on the night before cake club, I got a serious case of can’tbearseditis. So I quickly rustled up a Plan B. And not too shabby a plan B! I love Amaretto, and I love dark chocolate, and the two go together so well. So, a bundt it was!

It’ll be no surprise to you that I based it on the Build-a-Bundt formula from Bolton CCC’s Dollybakes, which is my most trusted bundt recipe. And I just made my own tweaks for the flavours. Here goes…

Ingredients

For the cake

  • Butter or marge – 225g
  • Caster sugar – 375g
  • Light soft brown sugar – 75g
  • 4 free range eggs
  • Plain flour – 350g (plus a bit extra)
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – ½ teaspoon
  • Greek yoghurt – 250ml
  • Almond essence – 1 teaspoon
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • Amaretto Disaronno – I used 100mls

For the topping

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 100mls double cream
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto disaronno
  • Amaretti biscuits (hard) or flaked almonds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160 oC
  • Start by creaming together the butter and sugars, either in a mixer (hello trusty Kitchen Aid) or with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy. This should take a few minutes at high speed.
  • Turn your mixer down low. Beat the eggs together in a bowl and add very gradually, making sure each addition is fully mixed in before adding more. Go steady here.
  • Next, add the flour, bicarb and salt together, alternating with some of the yoghurt and almond essence. Do this gradually. Some people prefer to do it by hand but I find the mixer on slowest speed is fine…just make sure you don’t over-mix it. Be stingy with the mixing!
  • Finally bung in the amaretto and give it a quick whizz. At this stage, because you’re adding more liquid than usual, you might need to add a little bit more flour (hence the extra in the ingredients). If you feel the batter is looking a bit too slack, add a table spoon of flour and fold it in by hand. Sorry for being vague here but it all depends on a few factors…the consistency of the yoghurt being a big one, which is why I prefer Greek style for this recipe as it’s thicker. Basically just use your eye and experience and judge when you think it’s right!
  • Split the batter by popping half of it into another bowl.
  • Melt the dark chocolate by heating it slowly in a bowl, sitting over a pan of simmering water. This shouldn’t take long. Fold the chocolate into into one of the bowls of batter.
  • Prepare you tin of choice (I used my trusty star shaped Bundt but this should work with most shapes). Cake release spray and a coating of flour.
  • IMG_7036You can now marble the batters together however you choose. I did one layer of plain, one of chocolate, then another plain, chocolate and finished with more plain, then swirled them slightly using a skewer…but the choice is yours! You could do zebra layers, which looks ace, dollops around the tin…lots of options. Don’t fill more than ¾ full.
  • Pop in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for an hour and 15 minutes thereabouts – I checked mine after an hour, turned it and gave it a bit longer…an hour and 20 in total.
  • Let it cool in the tin for 15 mins then turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.

IMG_7038

  • When the cake’s cold, make the chocolate ganache. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water.
  • Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring constantly. Then add the amaretto and keep stirring. You can add more cream and amaretto if you like, but not too much. I was sort of guessing at this bit!
  • Drizzle this over the top of your cake in a stylish manner!
  • Scatter the top with crushed amaretti biscuits or toasted almond flakes…or both if you like.

Amaretto and dark chocolate bundt

And there it is! Amaretto and Dark Chocolate bundt. We had a fantastic cake club christmas do, with some brilliant bakes. If you fancy coming along, we’d love to see you. Follow @MancNorthCCC on Twitter and join us on the Clandestine Cake Club website.

Dorset Apple Bundt Cake

There’s a nip in the air, even on these late September sunny days. I don’t mourn the end of summer, I love autumn and the glut of fabulous baking ingredients it yields, especially apples. There’s something warm, comforting and totally delicious about the combination of apples and cinnamon that when I was given some Bramley apples, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them – Dorset apple cake.

Dorset Apple Cake (in Dorset!)

Dorset Apple Cake (in Dorset!)

I’d had a slice of this gorgeous creation, served warm with a dollop of clotted cream, when on holiday in Swanage this summer. We’d spent a lovely day getting the steam train to Corfe Castle and playing in the model village. When tea and cake time rolled round, there was a huge amount of choice, but it was the apple cake that caught my eye. It wasn’t exactly seasonal but I didn’t care a dot! It was scrumptious. I knew right then that come autumn, I wanted to recreate it, but bundtified, of course!

There are lots of variations of this traditional recipe. Some use sliced apples on top, some have chunks in the cake itself. Some use lemon, some cinnamon, often there’s nuts too. I decided to keep it simple and classic with chunks of apple running through the cake and, being a bundt, it would have the lovely sugar crust crunch.

As I often do, I based my recipe on that of Queen Bundt Blogger Dollybakes, whose ‘Build a Bundt‘ page has pretty much everything you need to know about creating your own bundt recipes. Please do visit her blog for oodles of info and recipes!

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour
  • 225g unsalted butter or marge
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 75g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 250ml plain yoghurt (full fat)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 500g Bramley apples, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs (beaten)

Method

  • Start by preheating the oven to 170 (or 160 fan) and preparing your chosen bundt tin. I used the star, which is one of my favourites. Because this mix has chunks of fruit in it, I didn’t choose a tin with an intricate design. I spray my tins with cake release spray and sprinkle with a light dusting of flour.
  • Using a mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure you get it all.
  • Add the egg a bit at a time, with the mixer on slow. Make sure you mix it well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour, bicarb, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add some of the flour mix to the butter and sugar, and half the yoghurt. Mix. Then add more flour, the rest of the yoghurt, and finally the rest of the flour. Beat all this together with the mixer on a low speed. Some people prefer to do this stage by hand. Make sure it’s all well mixed but be careful not to over-mix it.
  • Now fold in the chunks of apple. These can be whatever size you choose but do bear in mind that the bigger they are the more likely they are to sink, even if you coat them in flour!
  • Once mixed, spoon your batter into the prepared tin, taking care to make sure it’s getting right into the shape of the bundt. Fill ⅔ full and smooth the top, giving it a little wiggle to make sure it’s settled in.
  • Pop in the oven for an hour, then check it and turn if necessary and give it another 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. You can leave it in slightly longer if you wish. This is a pretty moist bake, so don’t worry about it drying out. The apple will help keep the cake moist and the longer it’s in the oven the more crunchy your crust will be.
  • Remove from the oven and leave on a cooling rack in the tin for at least half an hour, longer if you can.
  • Turn out from the tin (and cross your fingers that it comes out!) and allow to cool fully before decorating as you choose. I like to simply dust with icing sugar (just like Norman from Great British Bake Off!! That’s about my level of cake decorating!)

And there you go…a Dorset Apple Cake in bundt form. I took my cake to a jazz band rehearsal and it seemed to go down well. There wasn’t much left! And it’s also pretty appropriate for my Jewish friends – Rosh Hashanah starts this week and one of the traditional foods is apple and honey, symbolising the new year hoping the new year will be sweeter.

As always, I love hearing from you about my recipes so please get in touch if you bake this little gem and let me know how you get on!

Isn’t wine brilliant?!

Well, yes. Of course it is. Unless you’re tee-total, in which case, this might not be your…erm…cup of tea.

It’s a wine cake. I love wine. I love cake. Why not combine the two! This is a red wine chocolate cake recipe that will give you a rich, but surprisingly fluffy cake with a deep red/brown colour. It tastes decadent and is definitely for grown ups!

This cake was created for the Clandestine Cake Club Manchester City Centre gathering on 18th September, but this was a tester cake that I took into work. They don’t mind being guinea pigs! I used a 6-cup Bundt for this trial cake, but have given you the recipe and method for a full size bundt (12 cup).

The 12 cup, Jubilee bundt for Manchester Central Cake Club

The 12 cup, Jubilee bundt for Manchester Central Cake Club

Ingredients
– 225g plain flour
– 230g butter or margarine
– 2 large eggs
– 250g caster sugar
– 100g dark brown sugar
– 75g cocoa powder
– 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
– ½ teaspoon cinnamon
– 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 300ml red wine – I used a Negromaro currently available in Aldi, but anything dry and fruity should work.

Method
Grease and flour your chosen tin. Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan).

Pop the butter and sugars into a bowl or mixer and beat on a high speed for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Even though you’re using dark sugar you should still notice the mix going much paler.

Turn the speed down to low. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.

Sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, bicarb). Add in a third of the flour, then half the wine. Mix well on a low speed, then add another third of flour and the rest of the wine and mix again. Finish with the last of the flour. Be careful not to over-mix – I find it easier to do this stage by hand.

Now spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and give it a bit of a wiggle to make sure there aren’t any air pockets. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, after which time you can test it with a skewer or other such implement. It may need a little longer depending on your oven. This is a moist cake, so don’t worry if it takes 60+ mins. It should be coming away from the sides slightly.

Leave in the tin on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and allow to cool completely.

To serve, dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar, or drizzle with a yummy chocolate sauce!