Suzy’s Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

 

It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine (Dawn French)

A couple of weeks ago, a friend from work had her leaving do … (very sad face). But it gave me the opportunity to bake her a cake (hooray!) and celebrate along with her!
Although at first, I wasn’t sure what flavour to pick, I knew she liked chocolate orange which left only one choice in my mind. Triple layer chocolate orange cake.
Here is my recipe:

Suzy’s Chocolate Orange Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

350 gr. self-raising flour
325 gr. caster sugar
5-6 eggs, beaten
325 gr. butter
50 gr. dark chocolate
1 bag of mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces, melted
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 orange
Milk (may not be needed)

For the chocolate butter icing

225gr. butter
1tbsp. cocoa powder
50 grams dark chocolate, heated in a microwave at 20 second intervals until melted.
450gr. icing sugar

Decoration

1 bag of Mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces.

Extra decoration

I also made a small batch of vanilla butter icing for decoration. This will need an extra 75 gr. butter, softened, 175 gr icing sugar, 1 tsp. of vanilla sugar or extract and whisk all together. You may need some extra milk to loosen the mixture.

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 Gas 4
  2. For this cake you will need 3 x 20cm round cake tins.
  3. Grease and line each tin with baking paper. I grease my tins with butter (on the bottom and side of the tin) and only place baking paper in the bottom of the tin.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter  and sugar until light and fluffy. For large cakes like this, I use a hand mixer.
  5. Add around a third of the flour and egg and whisk until incorporated.
  6. Whisk in the rest of the eggs.
  7. Fold in the rest of the flour and cocoa powder.
  8. Zest the orange and add to the mixture.
  9. Place the Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the microwaveable bowl and microwave for 20 seconds at a time until just melted, stirring in-between each 20 seconds.
  10. Add the melted chocolate to the cake mixture and stir through until mixed thoroughly.
  11. You should have a dropping consistency at this point, but if you don’t, you can either squeeze in some of the orange or add some milk.
  12. Place a third of the mixture into one of the 20 cm round baking tins and repeat for the other two tins.
    I weigh the mixture into the tins in order to get a similar amount in each tin.
  13. Place the tins in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until you can stick a fork in it and it comes out clean.
  14. Once the cakes are out of the oven, leave to rest for at least 5 minutes. With a rubber spatula or something similar, go round the edges to loosen any cake that has stuck.
  15. Place the cakes onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  16. To make the chocolate butter icing, soften the butter with a knife or fork. Add the icing, cocoa and chocolate and stir/whisk until it has blended together to make a spreading consistency.
  17. If the mixture is too hard, I sometimes add milk to loosen slightly, but just be careful not to add too much.
  18. To build up the layers of the cake, take the first layer and spread the chocolate butter icing over the top and around the sides of the cake.
  19. Next add the next layer and repeat the process and do the same with the final layer.

Suzy says:

  • For the design, I created a web with the vanilla butter icing and placed some Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces on the top and around the side (but I would love to see any designs you come up with!)
  • I find smoothing icing around the side very difficult. I use a cake decorating turntable and a large palate knife to help with this.
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Hot Choc Buns

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, with one or two a penny hot cross buns (Poor Robin’s Amanack (1733) )

Hot Choc Buns

Hot Choc Buns

I always like to make an effort to bake something traditional and seasonal to mark special times of year and so last Easter, I  decided to try my hand at Hot Cross Buns. Only trouble is, my husband and I both can’t stand dried fruit, so as usual I opted for chocolate instead!

My first attempt was using a gluten-free recipe, which we both loved, but didn’t keep fresh for very long.  This year, I opted instead for the ‘gluten-full’ version as I was keen to try my skills at kneading dough. We loved this too!

Hot Choc Buns

(Serves 12)

Ingredients

625 grams strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp. fast action yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1tsp salt
50 grams of butter plus extra butter for greasing.
1 egg
275 ml milk
100 grams white chocolate
100 grams milk chocolate
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the topping

75 grams white chocolate
1 tbsp. golden syrup
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

Method

  1. Add the flour, salt, cocoa and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter to the flour mixture.
  3. Make a well and add in the honey, sugar and yeast.
  4. Beat the egg and add into the mixture.
  5. Heat the milk in a microwave for about a minute (until it is slightly warmer than room temperature) Add the milk into the mixture and mix together to form a dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and flatten as much as you can.
  7. Add half the white chocolate and milk chocolate and work into the dough.
  8. Flatten the dough out again and work the rest of the chocolate into the dough.
  9. Knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  10. Shape the dough into a ball shape.
  11. Grease the large bowl with butter and add the dough into the ball.
  12. Cover with a clean tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place for an hour to prove.
  13. After an hour, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knock back ((??)) the dough.
  14. Shape it into a ball and place back into the bowl, cover with the tea towel and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
  15. After 30 minutes, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide the mixture in two, roll out each of the two parts and divide each part into 6 equal pieces.
  16. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten slightly to make a bun shape.
  17. Cover the 12 buns and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  18. Grease a baking tray with butter (I greased two smaller baking trays as my oven isn’t that big) and add the buns to the tray(s).
  19. Completely cover the buns with cling film and leave to rise for 40 minutes Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8. (I put my oven on about 15 minutes before I put the buns in the oven.)
  20. Place the buns in the oven for 10 minutes.
  21. While the buns are baking, place the golden syrup into a bowl and stir.
  22. Heat the golden syrup up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  23. As soon as the buns are ready, brush the golden syrup over the buns, then place them on a wire rack to cool.
  24. After they have cooled, melt the white chocolate. To melt, I chop up the chocolate, place it into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds at a time until just melted. In between each 20 second interval, I stir the chocolate making sure the mixture does not get too hot.
  25. Once melted, add to a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
  26. Leave the chocolate to set  and serve!

Suzy says:

  • The buns taste good straight from the oven. But please remember to cool slightly before eating- ‘hot’ should not be taken too literally!
  • If you do not like cinnamon then feel free to leave this out.
  • Use dark chocolate, if you prefer it to milk. The chocolatier the better!
  • The buns taste good with butter spread over them.
  • The only difficult part to this recipe is the kneading of the dough as it is quite stiff.

………….No jokes please about buns in the oven!!

Bon appetit!

Simply Suzy’s Cookies

Sometimes me think, ‘What is friend.’ And then me say, ‘friend is someone to share last cookie with’  (Cookie Monster)

Simply Suzy's Cookies

Simply Suzy’s Cookies

As you might have guessed, I am the office baker (or depending on the day, the feeder or enabler!) and I bring in goodies almost every week for my colleagues. But every now and again, someone else turns up with a recipe of their own which is so delicious, I just have to try it out myself! This is a great example.

A friend of mine brought some cookies to work that she had baked – they were the best I have ever tasted and I had to ask her for the recipe. She originally used Smarties in the recipe but she also tried it with Minstrels (one of my favourite sweets), which worked brilliantly so this is what I have used in the recipe below.  You can of course experiment with other sweets and chocolates of your choice; personally, I think chocolate always works best!

{This recipe also acts as the base to my delicious chocolate orange brownie and white chocolate cookie cake}

Simply Suzy’s Cookies

(Makes 12 -14)

Ingredients

114 grams butter
114 grams of sugar (I use a mix of caster sugar and soft brown sugar)
1 tbsp. golden syrup
170 grams self raising flour
85 grams Minstrels

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4
  2. Line two baking trays with grease proof paper.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, then stir in the golden syrup.
  4. Mix in half the flour.
  5. Add the rest of the flour and the Minstrels, mix and then knead together.
  6. Divide the mixture into apricot sized balls and place them on the baking tray, ensuring you space them apart. You should fit about 6 balls onto one baking tray.
  7. Place in the oven for 12 minutes until they turn golden around the edges.
  8. Leave to cool and transfer onto a cooling rack.

Suzy says

  • Try adding chopped up white chocolate to the recipe instead of minstrels – delicious!
  • Great with a tea or coffee, of course!
  • And if you have the ingredients in your cupboard, the cookies can be done in the time it takes to drive to the supermarket and back!

Bon Appetit!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate! (Terry Moore)

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

My husband has suffered from ME for nearly seven years now. Back in 2010, my parents suggested that he should pilot a gluten free diet for a while to see if it would make any difference to his levels of fatigue. We have found this lessens his symptoms to a certain extent and so now we try to avoid gluten whenever possible. I am not saying this will help all people who have ME but it is something that has worked for us.

One of my first attempts to cut out the gluten was a flourless chocolate cake. The recipe I first saw used a lot of icing sugar- too much for my liking, so I experimented with the measurements and added different ingredients like ground almonds and crushed gluten-free cornflakes instead. They all worked! I am determined to carry on experimenting so watch this space…..

Flourless Chocolate Cake (serves 8+)

Ingredients

For the cake mixture

4 large eggs separated
125 grams icing sugar
50 grams ground almonds or an extra 50 grams icing sugar.
100 grams of butter
200 grams of dark chocolate

Decoration

200 grams milk chocolate
200 grams of white chocolate
8 tbsp. double cream plus a bit extra (around 250ml in total)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/350F
  2. Take a 20 cm diameter non-stick baking tin and put a circle of baking paper in the bottom.
  3. In a microwaveable bowl, add the 200 grams of chocolate and the butter and heat until melted. Leave to cool. I Microwave the chocolate 15 seconds at a time and stir at each interval, ensuring the mixture does not burn.
  4. In one bowl, whisk the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ground almonds and icing sugar until incorporated.
  6. Once mixed, fold the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Gradually fold in the egg whites with a metal spoon until there are no white bits. Take it slow and keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  8. Pour into the baking tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. It is ready when you stick a knife in the cake and it comes out clean.
  9. Take the cake out of the oven and leave to rest before turning it out onto a cooling rack.
  10. To make the ganache icing, melt the white chocolate in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of double cream. Once it has completely melted, pour into a bowl and leave to cool.
  11. Do the same with the white chocolate.
  12. Once cooled, mix some more cream into the mixture until it is loose enough to pipe onto the cake. Design your cake in anyway you like, slice and serve.

Suzy says:

  • The first time I made this cake, I tried whisking the egg whites without an electric whisk. Let’s just say that to form the stiff peaks took some time! So it can be done, but it isn’t advisable.
  • As you maybe can tell, I am no expert with piping but the more I try it, the better I get. One day, I would like to take some courses to perfect my technique but for the time being, I will keep on practising!

Bon Appetit!

 

Baileys Truffles

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. (Julia Child)

This has been such an exciting week!  I have joined twitter (@SuzyJMills), signed into Pinterest and am now writing my first blog post, it’s daunting….but I hope you will enjoy.

meMy name is Suzy, welcome to my food blog!!!!

I draw inspiration for my recipes from everyday life, reading magazines, recipe books and online journals, adding in my own tweaks to suit my culinary palate.

In a way I can relate to the above quote. I didn’t start getting serious about cooking until I was 29. Even then, my inspiration originated from simple beginnings – I can recall the first time I realised I wanted to learn more, prompted by the chocolate moulds and recipe book my husband got for his birthday. I love chocolate and I love Baileys and when I looked through the recipe book and I saw a recipe for truffles that used exactly these ingredients, I just had to make them. This made me very happy. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple, far more straightforward than other truffle recipes I have seen since. This is why I have called my blog Simply Suzy. I love making simple and tasty treats and I want to share these recipes with you.

I have to say, after 5 years, Baileys truffles are still my favourite thing to make and I could probably make them in my sleep! I have played around with the recipe and used dark, milk and white chocolate, either grated or melted over the mix. I have experimented with different brands of chocolate. I tried Cadburys and Galaxy, but finally ended up using chocolate from Aldi. You can use whichever chocolate you like of course. I found that using cheaper supermarket brand chocolates means you normally need less cream in the recipe, but they can still be used.

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Truffle mix (makes 20-30 truffles)

200 grams of milk, white or dark chocolate
4 tbsp. double cream or 6 tbsp. if not using liqueur.
2 tbsp. Baileys (or any other liqueur you wish to use)

Decoration

200 grams dark, milk or white chocolate to cover truffles

Method

1. Chop up 200 grams of chocolate and place it in a non-stick pan.
2. Add 4 tbsp. cream to the pan and heat the mixture on the lowest setting.
3. Keep stirring the chocolate until just melted, making sure the pan does not get too hot. Take off the heat.
4. Add the liqueur or extra 2 tbsp. of cream and stir until incorporated.
5. Pour into a clean bowl and leave until cooled.
6. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight.
7. The mixture should be quite hard at this point. Roll a teaspoonful of mixture into a ball and place into another bowl. (I use food gloves for this as it can get quite messy)
8. Repeat this process until the mixture has gone.
9. Stick in to the fridge again to harden. At least 2 hours.

Here is where you can be creative.

10. Grate the chocolate leftover for decoration into a bowl. (This can be a different chocolate to the truffle mixture.)
11. Take the mixture out of the fridge and re-roll to melt slightly and drop it into the grated chocolate. Roll around until the truffle is fully covered and leave on baking paper.

Instead of using grated chocolate, you can melt chocolate over the truffles as well. Again after rolling the truffle in the melted chocolate, place them on to baking paper to set. To melt, I chop up the chocolate and place it into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds at a time until just melted. In between each 20 second interval, I stir the chocolate making sure the mixture does not get too hot. There will be more on tempering chocolate in a later blog. Watch this space!

12. After the chocolate has set, you can put in to a presentation bag to give to someone as a present or leave out on the table for people to scoff during a party

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

For me, food is a way of life. I love spending time in the kitchen and creating recipes I can call my own. I enjoy making the naughty and the nice, especially cakes and ice-cream, but I have also created healthy recipes that are equally delicious and will be sharing these with you too.

Thank you for reading my first blog. I hope you like this recipe. I would love to hear from you so please let me know how you get on.