A Bake in the Life: Salted Caramel Chocolate Marble Cake

Last week one of my oldest friends celebrated her birthday, and naturally I wanted to make her a special, overindulgent mouthwatering birthday cake! A while back I took her a few of my Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies and she really enjoyed them, so I decided to base this cake on their salted caramel chocolate flavour but as a traditional sandwich cake. This recipe is based on one I came across a looong time ago inside a packet of Stork butter, printed on the foil, that I have been saving for the right occasion. So what better than a best friend’s birthday 🙂

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Marble Cake

You will need:

For the cake

6 oz/175g Butter

6 oz/175g Caster Sugar

6 oz/175g Self Raising Flour

3 Eggs

1 Tsp Baking Powder

2 oz/55g Plain Chocolate

2 oz/55g White Chocolate

For the salted caramel icing

9 oz/250g Light Brown Sugar

5 fl oz/150ml Double Cream

4½ oz/140g Butter

½ Tsp Salt

Sprinkle of Chocolate Chips

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5/190ºC/373ºF then grease and line two 8″ (20cm) cake tins with grease proof/baking paper.
  • Beat together butter, caster, self raising flour, eggs and baking powder until smooth.

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  • Melt the chocolates separately, either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or carefully in the microwave (Be careful not to let the chocolate burn!)
  • Split the mixture into two bowls, then add melted plain chocolate to one and melted white chocolate to the other.
  • Alternative spoonfuls of both mixtures into the prepared cake tins, gently swirling a skewer through the mixture.

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  • Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the icing combine light brown sugar, double cream and salt in a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan.

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  • Heat until the sugar dissolves, then bubble for 3-4 minutes not stirring.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then beat in the butter then chill in the fridge until firm.
  • Sandwich together the two cakes with the half of the salted caramel icing, then cover the top of the cake with the rest of the icing.
  • Sprinkle over a handful of chocolate chips to decorate.
  • You are all done 🙂

What a decadent treat of a cake!! By far my favourite part of this recipe is the salted caramel icing, which is fast becoming one of my favourite combinations. Once you cut into the cake the beautiful swirls of white and plain chocolate become visible which adds an interesting twist on a traditional chocolate cake. I decided to make two cakes and sandwich them together with the salted caramel icing, however you could bake one large cake and cut it in half or keep it whole and just top which the icing.

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This recipe would also work well for cupcakes, swirling the white and plain chocolate in mini individual cakes, topped with the salted caramel icing and a handful of chocolate chips. You could of course top this cake with something more extravagant than chocolate chips, like homemade chocolate truffles or a combination of white, dark and plain chips for a twist of colour 🙂 The final cake definitely met with approval and I would recommend making it for your next special occasion!

A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake Muffins

Cake tends not to last very long in my house, so I am always looking out for quick and delicious recipes that are easy to eat or pack for lunches at work. This basic chocolate muffin recipe is one of my favourites and muffins are the perfect portable cake! The addition of bicarbonate of soda gives them a light texture, and the simple recipe means you can adapt the muffins according to your own tastes 🙂 I chose to combine the original chocolate muffin with a cream cheese marbled filing along with white chocolate chips to create these Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake Muffins.

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Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake Muffins

You will need:

9 oz/255g Self Raising Flour

½ Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

½ Tsp Salt

5 oz/ 150g Caster Sugar

3 Tbsps Cocoa Powder

1 Egg

8 fl oz/ 240ml Milk

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

3 fl oz/ 90ml Vegetable Oil

3 oz/85g White Chocolate Chips

4 oz/110g Cream Cheese

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5/190ºC/375ºF and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Begin by combining cream cheese and 3 tbsps of caster sugar together in a bowl, set aside.

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  • In a large bowl sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and cocoa powder, add the chocolate chips.

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  • Beat together the egg, milk, vegetable and vanilla in a measuring jug.
  • Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.

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  • Fill up each muffin case about half full with batter, drop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese/caster sugar filling on top and then finish with the remaining chocolate batter.

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  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and the tops spring back to the touch.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • You are all done! 🙂August 2014 056

I’m really pleased with how these muffins turned out! The light chocolate is complemented well with the soft cream cheese and sweet white chocolate. When you break open the muffin, the beautiful marbled layers become visible as do the chocolate chips. While the bicarbonate keeps the muffins light and airy, the cream cheese ensures they stay moist and moreish. If you like you could top them with a matching cream cheese frosting, however this could be a little messy so you could always just use a light dusting of icing sugar 🙂

A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Double Orange Cake

Whenever I am browsing through cookery books I always seem to end up choosing a recipe that feeds my love for the taste of citrus! This cake caught my eye as I was looking through a Mary Berry recipe book while back home for a week in Oxfordshire. There is nothing quite like a traditional sponge cake, but I do like to try and liven it up a bit with a fresh taste that stops it from becoming too heavy and sickly. Originally this recipe was a one layer sponge with a simple orange juice icing sugar topping, however I decided to split the batter into two tins to make a double layered cake and top it with a cream cheese frosting instead 🙂

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Double Orange Cake

You will need:

For a double layered cake

6 oz/175g Butter

6 oz/175g Caster Sugar

6 oz/175g Self Raising Flour

3 Eggs

1½ tsp Baking Powder

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

Cream cheese icing

10½ oz/ 300g Icing Sugar

2oz/ 50g Butter

4½oz/ 125g Cream Cheese

Grated zest of 1 orange

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Let’s get started!

  • Pre heat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4, and grease/line two 6in/15cm cake tins.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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  • Sift in the self raising flour and baking powder, stir to combine fully.
  • Beat together the eggs, then add the orange rind and juice.

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  • Add to the dry ingredients and beat well until completely blended.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, spread flat and bake in the pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  • Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
  • In a separate bowl beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.

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  • Sift in the icing sugar and beat together for around 5 minutes until the icing becomes thick and fluffy.
  • Once the cakes are cool, fill and top with the cream cheese icing then decorate with grated orange zest or a slice of orange.
  • You are all done!

I really like that the orange zest gives this sponge cake tons of citrus flavour, while the juice keeps the cake moist. You could of course substitute the orange for another citrus fruit, but I love the colour orange zest/juice gives to this cake and the icing. The cream cheese icing complimented the cake well, and I would definitely recommend trying it out! Although I decided to make a double layered sponge cake I think this recipe would work well as cupcakes, topped with cream cheese icing and one of my favourite jelly oranges/lemons 🙂

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A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Chocolate Chip Muffins

I make a lot of muffins, some of which require special ingredients that you don’t always have in your cupboard or that you don’t usually pick up during a weekly shop. However, sometimes I just want a quick, tasty and simple muffin recipe that I can make straight away without having to plan in advance or run out to my local shop. These chocolate chip muffins are perfect for such an occasion, as all the ingredients are required for basic baking and the chocolate, well… I always seem to have some in my house 🙂   

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

You will need:

10oz/280g Plain Flour

1 tbsp Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

4oz/115g Caster Sugar

6oz/175g Chocolate Chips/Chunks

2 Eggs

9 fl oz/250ml Milk

3oz/85g Butter, Melted and Cooled

1 tsp Vanilla Flavouring/Extract

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray or line with paper cases (As I am using my silicone muffin trays I just lightly greased each cup).
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

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  • Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks and sugar.

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  • Beat together the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract (I usually just do this in a measuring jug).

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  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently until just combined.

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  • Pour the mixture into the muffin trays (I usually pour the mixture back into the measuring jug to allow easy distribution between muffin cups).

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  • Bake for around 20 minutes until well risen, firm to the touch and light brown.

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  • Leave the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire rack and cooling further.
  • You are all done! 🙂

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Chocolate chip muffins are always popular! This recipe is really quick and simple, only taking around 30-40 minutes from start to finish – which makes them perfect for new bakers as well as those in a rush. The muffins have a subtle vanilla flavour, with plenty of gooey chocolate chips throughout (If you eat them warm – which I definitely recommend!). The recipe is pretty much as basic a muffin recipe as you can get, so it is easily personalised to your tastes, or what you have in your cupboard. For example, you can substitute the chocolate chips for glace cherries, walnuts, pecans or even some crystallised ginger. You can of course change the vanilla flavouring/extract as well if you want, or leave it out all together. It’s up to you 🙂

A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Mandarin Cheesecake

We celebrated New Year at ours this year and as friends came over we decided to make a big shared dinner and dessert. My mum usually makes a delicious White Chocolate, Rum and Lime cheesecake, however we decided to mix it up a bit and make my favourite cheesecake – Mandarin! This recipe is a combination of my mum’s original White Chocolate, Rum and Lime cheesecake and GoodFood Gordon Ramsay’s Mandarin Cheesecake.

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Mandarin Cheesecake

8oz/225g Digestive Biscuits

4oz/110g Butter

14oz/400g Mascapone

1 Vanilla Pod (Split open with a knife and scrapped for seeds)

3½oz/100g Icing Sugar

Zest of 1 Orange

10fl oz/300ml Double Cream

Tin of Mandarin Segments

Let’s get started!

  • Lightly grease and line a 20cm/8″ spring form cake tin.
  • Drain the mandarin segments, placing them onto a piece of grease proof/kitchen paper to dry.

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  • To make the cheesecake base, weigh out digestive biscuits into a sandwich bag and using a rolling pin crush into fine crumbs.

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  • Melt butter in a saucepan and then add in crushed biscuits, stirring until combined.

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  • Transfer the mixture into your cake tin, using a spoon to spread out and press down until compact.

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  • Chill in the fridge until ready to top.
  • Beat together mascapone, before adding in the vanilla seeds and combining.

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  • Sift in the icing sugar and add the orange zest.

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  • In another bowl whisk double cream until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Fold the double cream into the mascapone mixture gently.

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  • Spread over the biscuit base and level out before chilling in the fridge to allow the mixture to firm up.

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  • When ready to serve, carefully top with mandarin segments.
  • You are all done! 🙂

I really enjoyed making this cheesecake 🙂 The recipe requires no baking, just melting the butter and chilling in the fridge – which makes it quick and simple to make. The orange zest and mandarins can easily be replaced with another fruit: Blackcurrant, lemon or cherry would definitely be interesting to try. The mascapone and double cream give a beautiful light texture, while the biscuit adds a great crunch with a lovely orange flavour throughout. I particularly like the mandarin segments on the top, which could be combined with a sugar syrup to give a glossy covering over the fruit. I would definitely recommend giving this recipe a try, whether that is for a party or just all for yourself!

A Bake in the Life…