Blueberry Nutella Cake
This is me giving in to the inevitable. I have had A LOT of requests for my blueberry nutella cake recipe. I did write a note on my facebook page, but since I tend to keep facebook for my “real-world” friends (except for a few extra-special exceptions 😉 ) it’s not really in the public domain over there…
So here it is.
It’s a basic sponge recipe – what my gran would call an 8, 8, 8 and 4:
1 tsp baking powder
Which you beat together either one stage (all together) if you have a processor, or: cream butter and sugar, add eggs and flour and beat until smooth. Then add:
1 tablespoon of blueberry conserve
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder blended with enough milk to make a paste (usually a couple of tablespoons)
And mix thoroughly. This creates a dense, moist cake.
You’ll want two standard cake tins. Draw around the base of the tins onto greaseproof paper. The circles need to be just smaller than the tins – about half an inch smaller all the way around. Use kitchen towel to grease the tins with butter, place the cut-out circles in each tin, then grease over them too. Split your mixture between the two tins – pour into the centre then use the back of your spoon or your spatula to ease the mixture to the edges.
Bake for about 25 minutes in pre-heated oven, 180 C (160 C if fan-assisted)
It might take shorter or longer, check after 20 mins by sliding a knife into the centre, if the knife comes out clean, it’s ready; if it comes out with mixture attached, it isn’t!
Once cool, spread one half of the cake with blueberry conserve, the other with nutella and sandwich together. Sift icing sugar over the top…
Nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes
As requested, the recipe for my nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.
Begin with a chocolate cupcake recipe:
Beat 4oz butter with 4oz caster sugar until fluffy. Mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with milk to form a paste and beat into the butter and sugar mix. Beat in 2 eggs and 4oz self raising flour and 1 tsp baking powder. Place a couple of teaspoons of the mixture each into cupcake cases (makes approx 12, I used re-usable silicone cases, currently available in Asda at £2.50 for 12) and cook for 20-25 mins on 160 C (or until a knife comes out clean).
Allow to cool on a wire rack, then use a teaspoon to carve a teaspoon-sized “hat” out of each cake. Fill the hole with about 1 tsp nutella (uses about half a medium jar) then replace the hat on each.
Coming Soon: for the frosting….
Salmon, feta and spinach pie
(N.B. This pie evolved from the BBC’s crispy Greek-style pie recipe that I made for a picnic last year at Warwick Castle. That was made with feta, spinach and a jar of roasted sunblush tomatoes (chopped), which makes a great veggie alternative.)
You’ll need to pre-cook your salmon fillets for this – I used 1.5 salmon fillets, baked wrapped in greaseproof paper with a little seasoning and a squeeze of lemon for about 20 mins at 180 C. Let cool completely, then flake. Place in a mixing bowl.
Place the contents of 1 bag spinach leaves in a large pan with 2 tbsp water and wilt over a medium heat. Strain thoroughly, then squeeze out any excess water with your hands (and admire the lovely rich green colour that comes out of it!) before chopping roughly. Add this to the bowl with the salmon.
Lightly beat two eggs and add to the salmon and spinach mixture. Crumble in 1 packet of feta cheese, season well and mix thoroughly with a fork.
I cheat on this pie and use 1 pack of ready roll pastry. You can use this to create the traditional pie shape, but I like the criss-crossed abstract, so cut the pre-rolled rectangle in half, then into two triangles, which I lay in an ovenproof casserole dish lined with well-greased greaseproof paper, using any remnants of beaten egg to stick any joins. The triangles of pastry should meet in the centre of the casserole dish, fully cover the sides and leave an overhang at the top – it’s a bit of a trial and error process! Once you’re sure that the pastry meets around the sides, spoon your filling into the middle. Then fold the points in to the centre, using the egg remnants to seal where necessary and coat the top if sufficient (if not use a little olive oil).
Bake the pie at 180 C for 30-45 minutes (depending on your oven!) until golden brown.
The Infamous Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
These are always so popular and always come out delicious. The latest batch didn’t actually cook through in the middle, but I can reassure you that undercooked brownie mixture smooshed into vanilla ice-cream (or creme fraiche to cut through the richness) is out of this world!
Melt 300-400g chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly. (I use 200g dark and 100g milk chocolate, but it doesn’t matter).
Blend 250g caster sugar with 200g butter. Add 3 medium eggs and 110g flour (for wheat-free brownies substitute plain flour with Doves white flour – rice and potato mix – rice or spelt flour) and beat. Stir in the chocolate.
Smooth half the mixture into a greased, lined baking tin then scatter raspberries over the top. You can also add some choc chunks (or buttons) if you want an extra chocolatey hit. Cover with the remaining mixture.
Bake at 180 degrees for 45mins or until done – which tends to be when the knife comes out a little sticky but not sloppy! They do firm up a bit as they cool.
Devour with a passion. This part won’t take long, trust me!