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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Chocolate Cake

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

I have tried so many chocolate cake
recipes over the years.
All have been eaten and thoroughly enjoyed
but I never felt as if anyone of them
quite 'hit the spot'.

I think I may have finally
happened across the best one yet,
but I don't honestly think my quest for the
ultimate chocolate cake will ever stop.

It's too much fun tasting the results.

This recipe is pretty much perfect
but do give it a go and tell me what you  think.

I discovered it in a Mary Berry recipe book.
I found it very simple to make and the
kids enjoyed cleaning the
bowl and spoon afterwards.
Win-win I guess.

You will need :

for the cake -
125g butter
200g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2tbsp water
3 eggs separated
126g caster sugar
90g self raising flour
60g ground almonds

for the fudge icing -

60g butter
30g cocoa powder
3tbsp milk
250g icing sugar, sifted

1. Lightly butter and line 2 x 20cm
sandwich cake tins with baking parchment.

Pre heat the oven to 180c
160c fan
Gas mark 4

2. Put the broken pieces of chocolate
( minus the piece you have to
taste test of course )
into a heatproof bowl
along with the butter and water.
Put the bowl over a pan of water
and heat gently until the contents of the
bowl have melted.
Stir to mix well and set aside to cool.

3.  Combine the egg yolks with the sugar
into a mixer and blend until fluffy and pale.
You can use  an electric whisk for this

4. Stir in the now cooled chocolate mixture
and then gently fold in the flour
and ground almonds
until all combined thoroughly.

5. In a separate bowl,
whisk the egg whites until they
are firm but not very stiff.
They will feel firm enough to hold the
bowl above your head,
if you are brave enough to try it.

Fold the whisked whites into the
cake mixture until fully combined.

6. Pour the mixture into the lined
cake tins and bake in the oven
for 25 minutes,
or until a skewer comes out clean
from the cake.

7. Leave on a cooling rack for about
10 minutes to cool in the tin.
Then turn the cakes out onto the rack and
leave to cool completely.

8. Whilst the cakes are cooling you can
crack on with the fudge icing.

Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
Stir in the cocoa powder and stir for
approximately 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and slowly
add the milk until combined.
The mixture will thicken with the milk
so be careful it does not become too thick.
If this should happen add a little more
milk until you have a thick cream consistency.

9. Now gradually add the sifted icing sugar
to the ganache mixture.
There is a chance that the mix becomes
a big lump of dry ingredients here.

Should the worst happen don't panic.
Just put everything into your mixer
and starting on a slow speed
allow the mixer to blend
 it all together for you.

I added a wee bit more milk here until
it resembled a smooth whipped cream

Set aside to cool and firm up
or you could leave it in the fridge
for a short time which speeds up the

As you've probably guessed,
I had this experience myself when I first
made this recipe.

10. Once firm enough,
assemble the cake by putting a
dollop of fudge icing onto the
cake plate to hold the bottom sponge
in place.

I used two generous table spoons
of the fudge icing into sandwich
the cakes together but you could
more or less.
Just remember the more filling you
put in the middle could mean
you don't have sufficient to cover the cake.

Cover the cake with the remaining
fudge icing and decorate.

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe.
It will definitely be a firm favourite in
the Busy Bee house
from now on.

On a slightly different note,


I am a very happy
Busy Bee.

The anticipation of getting to see
all the new contestants
this year and watch
their journey through the baking
challenges from Mary and Paul
is such a rush.
We are all such huge fans here
at home.

I hope you all enjoy the series too.

Until next time,

enjoy your day.


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Summertime Shawl

Summertime Shawl

We finally finished our garden renovations
earlier in the Summer and have
managed to enjoy
a few pleasant evenings
sitting in the warmth
of the evening sunshine.

Watching the flowers and plants start to settle
into their new home,
and the bees and butterflies
popping in for a visit has been
quite heart warming.

The children have loved having a new
space to play in as well.

The garden has become quite
a sanctuary for us all
over the Summer holidays.

We bought a garden table and chairs
and it has been so nice to sit out there
with a cuppa
and enjoy being out in the fresh air.

There have been one or two nights
where I wasn't cold
but felt as though I wanted
something over my shoulders,
and so I thought it was the perfect
opportunity to try out 
the shawl pattern I recently spotted
over on

It's a lovely pattern and very clearly written.
Sandra has included some
helpful links on the pattern for any
unusual stitches and You Tube
is always an excellent point of reference

I did worry that I was being a little
over ambitious
with my choice of pattern,
as I still consider myself a beginner
with my crochet.

I have to say it was not too tricky at all
and I was quite chuffed with the finished result.

I used a slightly different yarn to the one
suggested in the pattern.

I chose Heritage Silk by Cascade Yarns.
It's a 4 ply yarn, 85% Merino and 15% silk blend
which gave a lovely weight to the finished piece
and the stitches have a clear definition.

I love the colour too.
It's Storm Blue shade 5675.

As you can see,
I have had a certain little chap help model
it for me.

He likes to wrap up in it too.

Until next time,
enjoy your day.