Hazelnut Mocha Cake

2014-02-17 16.41.33I love a good hazelnut mocha – chocolate, coffee and nuts = perfection. So why not make it into a cake? This is a lovely dense chocolate cake with smooth coffee butter icing and a nutty flavour running through the sponge – very luxurious! I haven’t used too much cocoa as it could have overwhelmed the coffee, and with these quantities the flavours are lovely and balanced.

You will need: 200g margarine, 200g caster sugar, 175g self raising flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 75g chopped mixed nuts, 30g cocoa (make sure it’s good quality – I used Starbucks hot chocolate powder), 2 eggs, 150g icing sugar, 75g margarine, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon strong coffee granules, hazelnuts for decoration.

Line two round cake tins with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Blend together the sugar and margarine in a mixer, when smooth add an egg at a time until the mixture is combined. Then add your cocoa powder and mix thoroughly, add the chopped nuts to the mixture making sure they are spread evenly throughout the cake.2014-02-17 16.47.08 Now sift in the flour and add a tablespoon of baking powder. When everything has mixed together divide the cake mixture between the tins and pop in the oven for 25 minutes. 2014-02-17 16.45.57When your cakes have baked, turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. 2014-02-17 16.43.35While the cakes are cooling whisk the icing sugar slowly into 75g margarine. Put a tablespoon of milk and a tablespoon of coffee into a mug and microwave it for twenty seconds. Add the coffee mix to the icing sugar and whisk everything together until it is a nice smooth consistency.2014-02-17 16.45.05Turn out one cake onto a plate and use half the coffee icing to cover the top if it evenly. Put the other cake on top and ice this, I used a knife to get a nice swirly finish. Then simply decorate the top with hazelnuts. 2014-02-17 16.37.33This cake really is gorgeous – perfect for a special occasion, or just a special treat for yourself!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Christmas Chocolate Cake

20131223_191611Christmas isn’t christmas without cake, but I would much rather have chocolate instead of fruit cake. So here is my recipe for an awesome chocolatey cake, perfect for when family pops in unexpectedly and you’ve run out of mince pies! It’s a basic chocolate sponge with a chocolate ganache covering and it is marvellous! I used milk chocolate as the hubby hates dark chocolate, but if you would rather have a richer cake use dark chocolate.

20131223_174415You will need 6oz butter/margarine, 6oz sugar, 3 eggs, 5oz flour, 2oz cocoa/hot chocolate, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 100g chocolate, 100ml double cream, a big cake tin.

First of all preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease your cake tin with some margarine or a sheet of greaseproof paper. I usually use a big cake tin, mine is 24 cm as I would rather have a larger flatter cake that can feed more! Now mix the butter and sugar together in your mixer or by hand. Add the eggs one at a time and then sieve in your flour, baking powder and cocoa slowly while still mixing.

20131223_175949Mix all this until you have a nice smooth cake mixture. Pour your cake mixture into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes. To check whether the cake is cooked poke a knife into your cake and if it comes out without any mixture on it it’s done. Leave your cake to cool down.

20131223_185323So now for your ganache, break up your chocolate into pieces in a bowl. Heat and whisk the cream in a pan on a low heat but don’t let it boil. Once the cream is hot ( mine took 4 minutes) pour over the chocolate in the bowl and whisk until it is all mixed together.20131223_183822

Let your ganache cool and turn out your chocolate cake onto a plate (or a fancy cake stand if you’re showing off). Once the ganache is cool, start spreading it over your cake, making sure it is covered evenly. For a nice finishing touch, grate some of your leftover chocolate with a cheese grater and sprinkle over your masterpiece.20131223_191406

And that’s it. This is a lovely indulgent cake, perfect with a big cup of tea on a chilly winters day.

Have a wonderful christmas! Love, Mrs Gardom