Source for this image here.
Today has been a slow, peaceful day. I have been doing some decluttering recently (I love decluttering) and our wee home feels extra-specially orderly and calm just now. I do like to get it nicely organised before the beginning of Christmas, as that time of year always seems to get a bit out of hand, if I don't keep on top of all the housework and have everything really tidy. I also like to make space in the cupboards, for when all our lovely yummy Christmas supplies arrive! Each year we save stamps that we buy at our supermarket and around the middle of November, we use the stamps to purchase all the Christmas treats and goodies that we will enjoy over the festive season. It's such a good feeling to know that our stamps will cover the cost of everything. This year we don't need quite as much as in some past years, as we are having a fairly quiet Christmas this time. Mind though in our family Christmas is never very peaceful!
Having tidied out the cupboards I decided to make use of some of the staple ingredients that I have stored away, to make a delicious chocolate cake. I think my family's favourite sort of cake, is chocolate! (Actually Papa Bear also loves apple caramel cakes but we save them for special occasions). Who would know that those dull little beans, pictured above, could be transformed into one of the tastiest desserts you can make for your family? Everyone loves chocolate cake! Today I chose to make a simple cake with a rich, yummy fudge frosting. Here is the recipe ...
For The Cake ...
8 oz caster sugar (I use golden)
8 oz butter or margarine
7 oz self-rising flour
1 oz cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1. Prepare 2 7 inch round baking pans and line with greaseproof paper. Set your oven to 180 degrees/gas 5.
2. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter or margarine together until light and fluffy.
3. Break the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined. Add to the sugar and butter mixture little by little, mixing well between each addition.
4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture, then add the baking powder and vanilla essence. Gently fold in until all is combined. If the mixture is a little dry, add some milk to loosen. If it is too wet, add a tiny bit more flour.
5. Divide the mixture between the 2 pans and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
6. When done, remove the cakes immediately from the pans, and set on wire racks to cool.
For The Frosting ...
5 oz butter or margarine
5 oz icing (powdered) sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
1. In a small pan, melt the butter or margarine gently. Don't allow to sizzle.
2. Add the cocoa powder, then turn up the heat a little, and stir for about a minute.
3. Now add the icing (powdered) sugar, and mix in well. The mixture will be stiff and thick.
4. Add the milk gradually, stirring well between each addition, and keep stirring until the mixture is very smooth and glossy (it really varies how long this takes - depending on the temperature in your kitchen. The warmer it is, the longer it seems to thicken).
5. When it is thick enough (I like it to be about the thickness of soft cheese) remove from the heat and allow to cool a little (don't cool it completely, or it will set in the pan - it still needs to be spreadable).
6. Use to sandwich and cover your cake, then decorate as you like! At this time of year, I like to use some seasonal sprinkles - yellow and black jimmies, or wee autumn leaves are fun. Little Bear loves Smarties or Magic Stars on top of chocolate cake - so ours has a combination!