Chocolate cake with a side of soccer

Asmany of you may know…it’s time for World Cup Soccer. I am not a fan. I try andtry to get excited about it. It just doesn’t interest me. I completelyunderstand that I may be part of a minority on this one. I certainly am in thishousehold. Give me basketball or a good NFL game any day of the week. Soccerjust doesn’t keep me interested.  Maybeif I had played as a youngster, I’d enjoy it more now. I’m not sure. Still, I madean effort to watch a bit. And now…I’m blogging and making a list of recipes Iwould like to try next. Soccer 0, kitchen 1.

In thelast three days I’ve made a fruit loaf, two loaves of bread, and a chocolate cake.I typically avoid cakes. If it requires decoration, I steer clear. The repetitiveprecision of adding decorations to cakes or cupcakes is maddening. I’m quitesure that my counselor would point out these recipes are a perfect opportunityto work on my patience and tolerance. She might be right. Of course I wouldnever tell her that. 😉 I  think I just findbread more relaxing and therapeutic. The “tear eclairs” story makes me laughnow but they weren’t very funny at the time. However, new things should beattempted, tears or not, frustration or not. Something I need to apply to lifemore often. And not just in the kitchen.

Ilooked through my books and decided to try a chocolate fudge cake. I had theingredients, so no trip to store. I didn’t have the cake pans however. Mysister helped me out with that.  Ingredientsand pans sorted, off I went. All in all, not a bad first effort. The frostingwas delicious. The cakes dry. I needed to monitor the last few minutes in theoven.  They needed about 2 minuets less.My oven runs a bit hot. In the end it looked WAY better then it tasted. A tinysuccess.  I’ll take it.

Therest of the weekend is making a list of recipes I’m interested in trying andmaking a trip to the store. We were given a new book on homemade pasta recentlyso maybe it’s pasta time. Happy Baking!

MaryBerry’s Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

Bake at 180 C/350 F for 25-30 min

Ingredients

50g (2 oz) sifted cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
3 large eggs
50 ml (2 fl oz) milk
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
100 g (4 oz) softened butter
275 g (10 oz) caster sugar

For the icing & filling
3 tablespoons apricot jam
150 g (5 oz) plain chocolate
(39% cocoa solids)
150 ml (¼ pint) double cream

Directions

1. Pre-heatthe oven to 180°C/350 F. Grease two 20 cm (8 in) deep sandwich tins then linethe base of each tin with baking parchment.

2. Blendthe cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl then add the remaining cakeingredients and beat until the mixture has become a smooth, thick batter.Divide the cake mix equally between the prepared tins and level the surface.

3. Bakein the pre-heated oven for about 25–30 minutes or until well risen and the topsof the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool inthe tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finishcooling on a wire rack.

4. Tomake the icing, warm the apricot jam in a very small pan, then spread a littleover the base of one cake and the top of the other. Break the chocolate intopieces and gently heat with the cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan ofsimmering water for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate has melted,stirring occasionally.

5. Removethe bowl from the heat and stir the chocolate mixture to make sure it hascompletely melted. Leave to cool until it is on the point of setting thenspread on top of the apricot on both cakes. Sandwich the cakes together and usea small palette knife to smooth the icing on the top. Keep in a cool placeuntil ready to serve.