Cakes & Bakes

Rachel Taylor

Hello 2016!

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If your short on time but want a home-made party cake then this is the chocolate treat for you.

I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas. I know I am not the only one who will feel as though their stomach is stretched beyond repair, but there’s no point in trying to shrink it until we are well into the New Year…all the big meals still to come today and over  weekend and then there’s the leftovers and chocolates and biscuits and so on. Help!

But sure that’s all part of it, sharing the celebrations with family and friends and eating far too much yummy food. We will all be looking forward to getting back to the routine of school and work and normal mealtimes again.

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It has been a really lovely family Christmas, extra special as it was our first as Mr and Mrs. It was really exciting receiving all our cards addressed to us both and having a couple of days off, just us, in our wee home.

Christmas Day was good fun, we went to my mummy and daddy’s for dinner and T’s mummy and daddy’s for tea.

It was great being able to spend time with both families.

Then on Boxing Day we decided to have both sets over to ours, with an extra couple of auntie and uncle sets so it was all go that day, but it was fab and we had lots of help so everything went smoothly thankfully.

But that’s it for another year, it’s as far away as ever it was – I’ll have to put all thoughts of Christmas out of my mind now until at least October!

So today’s recipe. It is for a really quick chocolate celebration cake. If you are short on time but want a home-made party cake for someone then this is the one for you. And if you have made your sponge already then all the better. But the decoration of this cake only takes about 15 minutes so it’s definitely one to try if you are in a hurry, but still want to make an impression. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016 everyone! Enjoy…happy baking!

Ingredients
180g caster sugar
180g margarine
140g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
3 eggs
Half a teaspoon baking powder
Chocolate buttercream (see tip)
Two and a half packets of chocolate finger biscuits
Large bag of maltesers

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Method
• Preheat oven to 170C fan. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
• Use the all in one method to mix the sugar, margarine, flour, cocoa powder, eggs and baking powder to a smooth batter. An electric hand mixer will do this in no time!
• Split into the two tins, flatten with a spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. (The sponge can be made a day or two in advance and kept in an airtight container, the two layers separated with a piece of greaseproof paper)
• Make the buttercream – see tip above.
• Spread one half of the cakes with buttercream and place the other on top.  Generously spread the remaining buttercream around the sides of the cake and on the top. Use a spatula to get an even finish.
• Place the cake on your serving plate. Attach the chocolate finger biscuits vertically to the cake the whole way around, only using a little pressure to stick them.
Then fill the centre with the maltesers.
• Make sure to tie a ribbon around the cake in case any biscuits want to make a break for it!

• TIP OF THE WEEK

To make a very basic chocolate butter cream, soften 250g unsalted butter. Add 450g icing sugar, 50g cocoa powder and a splash of milk. Start mixing slowly, a little at a time until you have a smooth and light mixture. If you need any other tips, drop me a wee email to rachel.crumbs@gmail.comweb