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…

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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: Gingerbread Traybake

This gingerbread traybake is definitely a childhood favourite of mine! My mum would bake it a lot especially around autumn and winter time, so the smell of it baking always reminds me of Christmas. Another one of my favourite gingerbread recipes is for Gingerbread Muffins, however the consistency of the batter is much thinner resulting in a lighter more syrupy muffin. In comparison, this recipe is more of a traditional gingerbread, dark brown, treacly and spotted with pieces of crystallised ginger which works well with sweet icing drizzled on top – delicious and very moreish! 🙂

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Gingerbread Traybake

You will need:

For the cake

10 oz/275g Golden Syrup

10 oz/275g Black Treacle

8 oz/225g Light Brown Sugar

8 oz/225g Butter/Margarine

1 lb/450g Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Mixed Spice

2 tsp Ground Ginger

2 oz/50g Crystallised Ginger Pieces

4 Eggs

1 tbsps Milk

For the icing

8 oz/225g Icing Sugar

2 tbsps Water

2 oz/50g Crystallised Ginger Pieces to decorate

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to 160ºC/Gas Mark 3/325ºF. Grease and line a 12 x 9 in (30 x 23 cm) roasting tin with grease proof/ baking paper (This recipe does make quite a large traybake, so if you want to make a smaller cake I would half the recipe to start with and see how much batter it takes to fill your desired tin).
  • Measure the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter/margarine into a large saucepan and heat gently until melted together (Be sure to heat the ingredients slowly, or allow to cool once melted to prevent a lumpy batter).

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  • Sift together the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl, pour the cooled wet mixture into the bowl and add the crystallised ginger pieces.

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  • Beat together the eggs and milk in a mixing jug before combining with the batter and beating until smooth and lump free (I decided to use an electric hand mixer to ensure a very smooth batter).
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in your pre heated oven for 45-50 minutes until well risen and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the traybake.

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  • Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out and continuing to cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the icing by shifting the icing sugar into a bowl and adding water a tbsp at a time until smooth but not so runny that it just runs off the edge of the cake.

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  • Once the traybake is cool spoon the icing over the top, sprinkle with crystallised ginger pieces to decorate and leave to set.
  • You are all done 🙂

I love this gingerbread so much I could eat the whole traybake! The combination of treacle, mixed spice and ground ginger baking in the oven always smells amazing. The final gingerbread is dark brown in colour, sticky on top and has a delicious spiced flavour that tastes good with vanilla ice cream 🙂 You can of course leave it plain, but I decided to top the traybake with plain icing sprinkled with crystallised ginger pieces which I think looks great and gives an extra sweet ginger flavour. Try not to be too put off by the rather excessive amounts of golden syrup and treacle in this recipe, it really is worth it for the amazing taste of this gingerbread – definitely try it out!

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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: Coffee and Walnut Cake

When I first knew I would be going to university I remember reading countless articles designed to prepare very excited and slightly terrified new undergraduates for one of the biggest experiences of their lives. One thing that they all had in common was a section of tips offered by current and graduated university students. One tip that has always stuck with me was the following:

‘The best way to make new friends is with food!’

I took this advice to heart and I moved into my first student flat with a large pile of carefully decorated cupcakes which I offered out to my new flatmates – much to their appreciation!

A few years down the line…

Nowadays I’m fairly well known for the abundance of baked goods that will be forced upon you when you visit my house. I know not everyone is Mary Berry when it comes to baking but even this recipe is so simple anyone can make one, and I promise your new and old friends will be forever thankful! One of my most tried and tested cake recipes that everyone seems to love is a traditional coffee and walnut cake. This recipe comes from my mum and is one of my favourites 🙂

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Coffee & Walnut Cake

You will need:

For 1 two layered sandwich cake:

8oz/225g Butter (and a bit extra to grease your cake tins)

8oz/225g Self Raising Flour

8oz/225g Caster Sugar

4 Beaten Eggs

2oz/55g Chopped/Broken Walnuts

5 tbsps Cooled Coffee (Made from 1tsp coffee and boiling water)

For butter cream icing to fill and top the cake:

7oz/200g Icing Sugar

2 tbsps Cooled Coffee (Made as before!)

4½ oz/125g Butter

Walnuts to decorate the top of your cake

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and line cake tins with grease proof/baking paper – so after all this hard work you can get your cakes out in one piece!

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  • Make up coffee and allow to cool. It is important to ensure the coffee is completely cold or else when added to the mixture it may cause it to curdle (however, if this does happen don’t worry too much as it should be okay after you add some flour!).

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  • Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy.

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  • Beat 4 eggs (I usually just use a mug/measuring jug).

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  • Add to the butter and sugar mixture slowly to prevent curdling.
  • Add cooled coffee mixture, flour and walnuts and mix thoroughly (any curdling should be sorted by now!).

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  • Pour half of the cake mixture into each sandwich tin.

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  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown (If in doubt push a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and if wet continue to cook until it comes out clean).
  • Leave cakes to cool in tins for 30 minutes then remove and cool on wire rack.
  • Prepare butter cream icing by beating together butter and icing sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add a tbsp at a time of cooled coffee until icing is a thick but easily spreadable texture (If possible allow the icing to cool and thicken up in the fridge for 30 minutes).
  • Once cooled place the first cake onto a plate and smooth over half of the icing.
  • Place second cake on top and smooth over the rest of the icing.
  • Decorate with walnuts however you like! Whole, crumbled or maybe if you are feeling fancy with chocolate covered coffee beans!

This is probably my favourite cake to bake and eat, as not only is it delicious but makes me think of home 🙂 Beating together the sugar, butter and eggs first ensures a very airy sponge and gives that beautiful light texture. I like to add broken walnuts to the cake mixture to add some crunch throughout the cake, as well as decoration, but you can leave this out if you want. My mum also sprinkles broken walnuts on top of the filling before adding the second cake on top which I really enjoy.

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You can of course just make a single cake by halving all ingredient amounts and only applying butter cream icing to the top of the cake, or scrap the icing all together and simply sieve over some icing sugar. Whatever you decide to do just make sure to enjoy a piece yourself before you give it all away! 🙂

A Bake in the Life…