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: Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll

After watching the first episode in the new series of the Great British Bake Off, I was inspired to make my own version of a Swiss Roll! I decided to use a basic chocolate swiss roll recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book and adapt it with the addition of orange. Using 4 eggs gives the chocolate sponge a really light texture, and the filling can be changed depending on your favourite flavours or on what ever you have in the cupboard. I decided on using orange extract for a good flavour, mandarin oranges for sweetness and candied peel for decoration 🙂

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Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll

You will need:

4 Eggs

4 oz/100g Caster Sugar

2½ oz/65g Self Raising Flour

1½ oz/40g Cocoa Powder

2 Tbsp Orange Marmalade

10 fl oz/300ml Double Cream

1 Tsp Orange Extract

1 Tin Mandarin Orange

A few pieces of candied orange peel and icing sugar to decorate

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 7/220ºC/425ºF, grease and line a 13 x 9 in (33 x 23 cm) swiss roll tin with grease proof/baking paper.
  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and frothy.

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  • Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture and carefully fold until fully combined.

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  • Turn the mixture out into the prepared tin, ensuring it’s level before baking for about 10 minutes until the sponge springs back when touched.

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  • While the cake is cooking, place a piece of non-stick baking paper a little bigger than the size of the tin on the work surface and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Turn the cake onto the sugared paper and peel the paper off the bottom of the cake.
  • Roll the cake firmly from one end, with the paper inside and leave to cool.

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  • While the cake is cooling, warm the marmalade gently to make it easier to spread, drain the mandarins and pat dry on kitchen paper.
  • Whip the double cream until light and fluffy, then add the orange extract.

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  • Carefully unroll the cooled cake, remove the paper and spread with the warmed marmalade and whipped cream.

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  • Lay the mandarins over the whipped cream, then gently re roll in the paper and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.

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  • When ready to serve remove from the paper, sieve over some icing sugar and top with a few pieces of candied orange peel.
  • You are all done 🙂

I really like how the slightly bitter flavour of the cocoa powder and marmalade is well balanced with the sweet orange cream and juicy mandarins. I decided to top the finished swiss roll with a dusting of icing sugar and thin pieces of candied orange peel. It is easy to change this recipe to suit your own tastes, whether that’s a vanilla sponge instead of chocolate, raspberries instead of mandarins or jam over marmalade!

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Rolling the swiss roll is definitely the most difficult part, as if you let the sponge cool too much before rolling it into shape it may not hold it’s roll or it may crack. Roll slowly, while the sponge is still warm and with the grease proof paper underneath to ensure a good shape, and make sure the roll is fully cooled before adding the filling. I also found that chilling the swiss roll after filling it helps it to hold it’s shape! If you do have problems just sieve over some icing sugar to hide the cracks or cover with some buttercream icing – nobody will mind as long as it tastes delicious (Unless it’s Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood of course!) 🙂

A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Malteser Bars

If you are a regular reader of my blog you may have been able to tell that I love to bake! However, when I’m super busy (Which seems like always at the moment!) I have to switch to less time consuming recipes which still mean that I can make delicious things without spending hours in the kitchen. One of my favourite, quick and hard to resist sweets to make when I am short on time is chocolate fridge cake/tiffin bars. I have wanted to try out this adaptation on traditional tiffin for ages, so with very little time and hungry friends to please I finally got round to making them 🙂

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Malteser Bars

You will need:

3½ oz/100g Butter

3½ oz/100g Golden Syrup

5 oz/150g Milk Chocolate

8 oz/225g Digestive Biscuits

6 oz/175g Maltesers (Chocolate Malted Balls)

10 oz/300g White Chocolate

Grating of Milk Chocolate

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Let’s get started!

  • Begin by greasing and lining a 19x29cm/7½x10½in tin, before setting aside.
  • In a large saucepan combine the butter, golden syrup and milk chocolate, placing over a low heat.
  • Stirring continuously, melt until smooth and glossy then remove from the heat.

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  • In a plastic food bag bash the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs.
  • In another bag smash the maltesers 3/4 times until a few are broken and some remain whole.

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  • Stir the biscuit crumbs and maltesers into the melted butter, golden syrup and milk chocolate until combined.
  • Spread evenly in your prepared tin and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Melt the white chocolate carefully in the microwave, or in a bowl over gently simmering water – ensuring that the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Pour over the chocolate biscuit base and then sprinkle over the grated milk chocolate (If you like you can take a fork and swirl the two together to create a marbled effect).
  • Allow to chill in the fridge until set.

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  • You are all done! 🙂

The combination of crunchy and slightly chewy maltesers with the white chocolate in these bars is delicious 🙂 I love how simple this recipe is and, seeing as they take no time at all, how amazing the final malteser bars look! The crushed digestive biscuits soak up the chocolate and form a base, so when you cut it into bars you reveal the maltesers hiding inside.

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It only takes a few minutes to melt together chocolate, butter and syrup before adding in the dry ingredients and then it’s into the fridge to chill. Once you have the basic recipe down for fridge cake/tiffin bars they are really easy to adapt to your personal tastes or to what ever you have in the cupboard! I have made traditional Chocolate Tiffin before, as well Fifteens – both of which I would definitely recommend trying out.

A Bake in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Sweet Marie Bars

I love learning about new recipes, especially when they come from discussion with friends about their favourite things to make and bake. This recipe comes from a friend of mine who has taught me quite a few of her favourite recipes. Originally from Canada, these sweet almost caramel peanut butter puffed rice bars are topped with chocolate are a well loved classic tray bake. Now, as you may have noticed I am a bit of a fan of salty peanuts and sweet chocolate so I couldn’t wait to get making these sweet marie bars!

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Sweet Marie Bars

You will need:

6 oz/170g Golden Syrup

2 oz/ 55g Rice Crispies

4 oz/ 115g Light Brown Sugar

2 tbsps Butter

4 oz/115g Smooth Peanut Butter (plus 2 oz/ 55g extra for the topping)

3½ oz/100g Milk/Dark Chocolate

Handful of chopped peanuts

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Let’s get started!

  • Grease a 2cm deep rectangular/square baking tin with butter/margarine.
  • In a large saucepan combine golden syrup, light brown sugar, butter and peanut butter, heating gently until melted and smooth.

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  • Remove from the heat and add the rice crispies, stirring carefully to combine without crushing too much.
  • Press into the prepared baking tin until flat and compact.

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  • Melt the milk chocolate carefully in the microwave, or in a bowl over gently simmering water – ensuring that the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Stir in the extra peanut butter then pour and spread over the puffed rice base.

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  • Sprinkle the top with the chopped peanuts and allow to cool until set (I decided to wrap the tin in cling film and chill overnight in the fridge).
  • You are all done!

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These bars were really easy to make and require no baking, only melting the ingredients on the hob or in the microwave. I decided to sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top of the chocolate, however you could always just leave it plain. The mixture of brown sugar and golden syrup give the puffed rice base a delicious sticky caramel taste which is particularly nice with the crunch of peanuts. I am very thankful to my friend Sophia for teaching me this recipe and I would definitely recommend giving it a go 🙂

A Bake in the Life…