Friday, 11 October 2013

Afternoon Tea Treats for our Buddies - Spiced Chocolate Cake

One of the best things about the holidays is catching up with all the buddies we don't get the time to see during the school term. The other good thing is having enough time to bake a lovely afternoon tea for our visitors. Little Miss 4 just loves entertaining her buddies. They are all so grown up now; its doesn't seem that long ago that we all turned up to the Belfast Plunket room lugging our babies in their capsules.
This is one of the baked treats we made for them:

Spiced Chocolate Cake with Lemon Butter cream and Strawberries

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup caster sugar (this is the first measure of sugar)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil - grape seed or canola
2 egg yolks

2 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar (second measure of sugar)

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C and line  and grease either a 25cm ring tin or a circular tin.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Make the meringue by beating the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the second measure of caster sugar until a soft meringue is formed.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Using a whisk, gently and gradually combine into a smooth batter.

Using a spatula, fold half the meringue mixture into the cake batter. Once combined fold in the second half of the meringue, taking care not to deflate the mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin. My ring tin is quite small so I had enough cake batter to make four little heart cakes as well.

Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Once baked leave in the tin for 15 to 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Lemon Butter cream

180g butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the juice and rind of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons boiling water

Beat all the ingredients except the boiling water until pale and fluffy. All the boiling water and beat again. The water makes it a lighter frosting.

Slice the cake in half and spread with butter cream. Put the top on and frost again. Garnish with strawberries and it's ready to go!
Two of our lovely little buddies waiting for their cake! This recipe makes a lovely light and moist cake that everyone will enjoy.

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