Hazelnut-Chocolate Marble Cake

Another loaf cake recipe is here!

While I actually wanted to make bread for the first time, flour and yeast in supermarkets are non-existent these days. So, a loaf cake recipe it is! I’ve found that if I don’t want to spend too much time making buttercream, decorating and cleaning so many utensils, I’ll just make a loaf cake of some sort.

This time, I’ve baked a vanilla and hazelnut-chocolate marble loaf cake. Find the recipe below.

Note: Below’s recipe is for a 3lb tin, but just do some quick maths to adjust the measurements for a smaller or larger tin.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 400g plain flour, sieved
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g unsalted butter, at room temperature, soft
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • 200ml soured cream
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 40g cocoa powder, sieved
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Grease a 3lb (28 x 13 cm) loaf tin with butter and lightly coat with flour.
  2. In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar with an electric whisk until well combined, fluffy and paler in colour.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and soured cream until well combined.
  4. Split the cake batter in half so you have two bowls of cake batter.
  5. In one bowl, add in the vanilla extract and beat in. In the other bowl, add in the cocoa powder and ground hazelnuts and beat until combined.
  6. Spoon each batter into the loaf tin alternately, then use small knife or spatula to roughly swirl each batter into each other.
  7. Place into the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 mins, or until the cake springs back when tapped gently.
  8. Leave to cool, then enjoy with a cup of tea!


Red Velvet Cake

I remember first trying the red velvet cake from Costco, maybe seven or eight years ago. I was in food heaven.

These days, however, the sweetness is a little too much. The solution? Make my own! On this occasion, it was my brother’s birthday, so I decided to make this cake for him. He’s a big fan of red velvet too.

The cake recipe in this post was inspired by The Hummingbird Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes. The recipe below uses two 15 cm round cake tins to make it a two-layer cake.

I levelled out each cake before stacking them. I broke down some of the cut off pieces of cake to make into crumbs, and used these to decorate the top. The leftovers were eaten (It’s never good to waste food in my household, and who doesn’t like extra cake?).

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130g full fat cream cheese, cold
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. In a bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk or free-standing mixer, until a sandy texture is achieved.
  2. Add in the cream cheese and the lemon juice, then whisk for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.

For the cake

  • 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour, sifted
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp red food colouring paste, mixed with 4 tsp water ( I prefer Sugarflair Maximum Concentrated Paste Red Extra)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 240 ml buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Grease two 15 cm cake tins with butter and lightly flour.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or free-standing mixer, until well combined and paler in colour. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the food colouring, vanilla extract and cocoa powder until you get a thick paste. Add more water a teaspoon at a time if necessary to get the required consistency. Add this to the cake batter and mix in, until you get an even colour throughout.
  4. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until combined fully, then add half of the flour and mix.
  5. Gradually beat in half of the buttermilk and flour, mixing until well-incorporated. Repeat this step once more until you have added all of the buttermilk and flour
  6. Add the bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and salt, mixing well.
  7. Separate the batter into the two cake tins. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when tapped gently.
  8. Once the cakes have cooled down completely, decorate them as you wish using the cream cheese frosting.
  9. Grab a knife and cut yourself a slice!


Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes are a great alternative to the classic vanilla and chocolate flavours. Lemon desserts in general are always a solid option in my opinion. They offer not only sweetness, but a tangy citrus to cut through your taste buds.

After vanilla cupcakes, I’d say that lemon cupcakes are the easiest to make. If you’re new to baking, I definitely recommend trying this as a start if vanilla isn’t your thing.

These cupcakes are light, fluffy and quite addictive, so try to eat in moderation! I gifted these to someone for their birthday, and they revealed that they had eaten three for breakfast!

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the lemon buttercream

  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 2 lemons

Method

  1. In a bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and zest and continue to whisk for another 2 minutes until light and smooth.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 180g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder, sieved
  • 3 large eggs
  • Juice and zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest, then mix together until you have a smooth, light cupcake batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into each case until half to two-thirds full.
  6. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped gently. Leave to cool.
  7. When the cupcakes have cooled, spoon the lemon buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe in a spiral motion.

Gluten-Free Chocolate & Walnut Brownies

Here is another brownie recipe, and this time, they’re gluten free!

After seeing food blogger Lithuanian in the USA post an amazing recipe for chocolate and walnut brownies, I was inspired to make my own.

Any time I am at home in London (away from university life), I cook and bake for my family using gluten-free ingredients. This is because my pops needs to avoid type of protein. So, instead of using wheat flour in my bakes, I usually turn to the gluten-free flours from Doves Farm. The plain and self-raising flours are typically a blend of rice, potato, maize and more.

This brownie is very simple to make, and if you are not a fan of nuts or are allergic, you can omit them. I don’t use too much sugar as I actually like the flavour of dark chocolate, and I find some brownies a bit sickly if they are too sweet. You can also use regular plain wheat flour as well – the results will be the same!

Check out Lithuanian in the USA’s delicious chocolate and walnut brownie recipe here!

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 140g gluten-free plain flour (I used Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour), sifted
  • 265g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp icing sugar to decorate (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC (155ºC fan)/gas mark 3 1/2. Line a 33-35cm square oven dish with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter and the chopped chocolate into a bowl and melt this over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the butter and chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and add in the sugar. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add in the flour and stir until incorporated, then beat in the eggs until you achieve a smooth and silky chocolate mixture.
  5. Stir the chopped walnuts into the brownie batter, then transfer into the oven dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Once baked, leave to cool down before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into slices.

Lemon & Blueberry Cake

I have been MIA for 4-5 months, but it has taken a while for me to get back into the flow of university life after spending 2017/18 on a work placement.

It was about time for a makeover, so I’ve acquired a domain, revamped the website and have a new logo courtesy of my good friend (my friends are so talented, honestly).

Over Christmas, I received The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook from one of my older brothers. There was actually a week in January where I made 4 different cakes. The bakes are so good and very easy to make, so I definitely recommend purchasing this cookbook. It will also save you a lot of money by baking the various cakes, cookies and pies yourselves!

The cake recipe in this post was inspired by The Hummingbird Bakery’s Blueberry Cake. Their version used one 25cm Bundt tin. The recipe below uses two 23cm round cake tins to make it a two-layer cake, and includes a citrus hint from lemons.

Serves 12-14

Ingredients

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130g full fat cream cheese, cold
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. In a bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk or free-standing mixer, until a sandy texture is achieved.
  2. Add in the cream cheese and the lemon juice, then whisk for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.

For the cake

  • 350g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 450g plain flour, sifted
  • 5 large free range eggs
  • 3 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 + 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 250ml soured cream
  • 250g fresh blueberries (plus more to decorate)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Grease two 23cm cake tins with butter and lightly flour.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or free-standing mixer, until well combined and paler in colour.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  4. Gradually beat in the flour and the baking powder, then add in the soured cream. Mix until the batter is well combined.
  5. Fold in the fresh blueberries then separate the batter into the two cake tins. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the cake springs back when tapped gently.
  6. Once the cakes have cooled down completely, decorate them as you wish using the cream cheese frosting and top with the extra blueberries.
  7. Grab a knife and cut yourself a slice!

Tip: lightly coat the blueberries in flour before folding them into the cake batter. This will help slow down the process of the blueberries sinking towards the bottom of the cake.


Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Before trying out homemade brownies, the store-bought ones were not the best to be honest. I think that’s why so many people I know aren’t the hugest fans of them. I’ve had a few very sickly brownies myself, but that nauseous feeling soon disappeared after tackling these chocolatey treats at home.

I mostly used a combination of dark and milk chocolate for this recipe. I would have definitely added hazelnuts if I wasn’t feeding my friend who has a nut allergy! The good thing about brownies is that you can experiment with a variety of added extras: nuts, nut butters, white chocolate, berries, marshmallows… the list is endless!

Scroll down a little for the recipe.

Serves 9

Ingredients

  • 80g 70-75% cocoa plain chocolate
  • 80g 85-90% cocoa plain chocolate
  • 60g milk chocolate
  • 160g unsalted butter
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan)/ gas mark 6. Line a square oven dish with baking paper.
  2. Chop up all of the chocolate into chunks.
  3. Place the butter and half of the chopped chocolate into a bowl and melt this over a pan of hot water.
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar for 2 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, sift in the plain flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate.
  6. Once your butter and chocolate has melted, stir gently until you have a smooth and silky dark mixture. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Once the chocolate and butter mix has cooled, whisk it into the egg, vanilla and sugar.
  8. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, but do not over-mix.
  9. Transfer the brownie batter into the oven dish and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  10. Leave to cool before cutting, and enjoy with a scoop of ice-cream!

Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

It’s about time I made a loaf cake.

I didn’t own a loaf tin until last week actually.

I’ve seen many recipes using 2lb loaf tins, but I went and bought a 3lb one because my family can eat.

I do love a banana bread, but I also love to jazz things up. I’ve added chopped walnuts for a nutty crunch, and dark chocolate pieces for pockets of its bittersweet flavour. I was also easy on the amount of sugar because ripened bananas are already sweet as is.

The purchase of a loaf tin may mean I’ll start baking loaves of bread and many more loaf cakes, who knows?

Below’s recipe is for a 2lb tin, but just do some quick maths to adjust the measurements for a larger (or smaller) tin.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 250g plain flour, sieved
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 70g chopped walnuts
  • 70g chocolate chunks (I prefer dark chocolate)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Grease a 2lb (23×13cm) loaf tin with butter.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and paler in colour.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla extract, then fold in the mashed bananas, flour, baking powder, milk and cinnamon.
  5. Fold in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks.
  6. Spoon the batter into the loaf tin, and place into the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake springs back when tapped gently.
  7. Leave to cool, then enjoy!

Tip: If your bananas aren’t ripe, roast them (unpeeled) in the oven for 20 mins at 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. The skins should be black. Peel and mash them up as usual, but leave to cool before adding to the cake batter.


Ghanaian Meat Pies

I first learned how to make meat pies from my mum when I was back in secondary school. If you have an African mother like myself, you’d know they always use their eyes to measure. So, that’s how I’ve done it since.

I remember going to hall parties (if you know, you know) and biting into many meat pies with barely any filling. I never understood the point of being stingy with the filling, hence why I decided to make them myself.

Warning: you’ll need a lot of time on your hands to make meat pies. Making a small batch just isn’t logical as they will be eaten swiftly. Honestly, I’ve had to hide a few in the fridge, just so I wouldn’t be disappointed when a batch of 30 disappears in 2 – 3 days. Excluding myself, there are 4 family members in the house –you do the maths!

Of course when you have no measurements, it’s pretty hard writing up a recipe. It’s taken up some time, but here it is! I’ve used corned-beef for this recipe, but go ahead and try this with a protein of your choice or vegetables.

Makes 15 – 20 pies

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1.5kg plain flour
  • 500g salted butter (I prefer Stork)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 250 ml water

For the filling

  • 600 – 700g corned beef
  • 1 large onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 tbsp oil (any suitable frying oil)
  • 1 Maggi cube (or liquid Maggi seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup

Miscellaneous

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden board
  • Fork

Method

Dough

  1. In a bowl, add the flour and butter. Rub together using your fingertips.
  2. Add the teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the flour and butter mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, dissolve the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 250 ml water.
  4. Add a little bit of water at a time to the flour mixture, and knead.
  5. Keep adding water and knead until you have a ball of dough.

Filling

  1. In a frying pan, heat up oil and fry onions until they start to soften up.
  2. Add in the corned beef and mix together.
  3. Add the Maggi cube, black pepper, chilli flakes, soy sauce and ketchup.
  4. Cook for 5 mins and check for seasoning.

Pie construction

  1. Flour your board and rolling pin.
  2. Beat on egg in a bowl.
  3. Get a handful of dough and roll in your hand to make a ball. Place on the board and roll out into a circle about 3mm in thickness
  4. Place some of the filling on one half of the circle, leaving some space around the edge.
  5. Close the pastry (should look like a semi circle). Using your fork, poke 3 holes into the pie, then press your fork around the edge for a decorative finish
  6. Place pies on a greased and floured baking tray. Egg wash the pies.
  7. Bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!

Nutella Cupcakes

Here’s another cupcake recipe for you all to enjoy –  this time, it features the use of Nutella (or any other generic hazelnut-chocolate spread). The cake includes cocoa powder, chopped roasted hazelnuts, and a surprise Nutella centre. Buttercream is a mixture of vanilla and Nutella, and topped off with more chopped hazelnuts for an extra crunch.

So far, I’ve got three solid cupcake flavours, and I need some more to add to my collection. Feel free to let me know of any flavour combinations you’d like to see!

Check out the recipe below:

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 100g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 30g cocoa powder, sieved
  • 50g chopped or ground hazelnuts (and a little more for topping)
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 140g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 heaped tbsp Nutella
  • 400g vanilla buttercream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and the milk, and mix together until you have a smooth chocolate cupcake batter.
  5. Add in the chopped or ground hazelnuts, and stir in.
  6. Spoon the batter into each case until about two-thirds full.
  7. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped gently. Leave to cool.
  8. When the cupcakes have cooled, make a small hole in the middle of each cake (I use the end of a teaspoon for this part). Add 1 1/2 tbsp of Nutella to small piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag so the diameter will fit the hole you made in your cupcakes. Pipe the Nutella into each cupcake hole – be generous!
  9. Spoon the buttercream into another piping bag with a nozzle of your choice, and and 1 1/2 tbsp of Nutella. Give it a little stir and pipe in a spiral motion.
  10. Sprinkle some more chopped or ground hazelnuts on top, and enjoy!

Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes along with my Oreo and Nutella cupcakes for Macmillan Coffee Morning at work. They received great reviews from colleagues, despite this recipe being an experiment!

The cake itself is a pretty standard pound cake, but with a few extra flavours. The buttercream used is Betty Crocker’s vanilla buttercream. I used the Wilton 2D Drop Flower nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Honestly, making 36 cupcakes with only 1 12-hole cupcake tray, a wooden spoon, a bowl, and a whisk (nope, not an electric one), took so much time and arm power. There was no way I was going to make buttercream by hand. I’ve made it by hand before, and mixing took a lifetime – I prefer to train arms at the gym, not in the kitchen!

(P.S. Friends, when we do Secret Santa this year, I’m asking for baking equipment…)

Anyway, enough of my waffling. Here’s the recipe:

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes (1)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 170g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium to large eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Good-quality strawberry jam
  • 12 strawberries, washed and dried
  • 400g vanilla buttercream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and fold in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and the milk, and mix together until you have a smooth yellow cupcake batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into each case until half full.
  6. Add about half a teaspoon of jam into the centre of each cupcake batter.
  7. Add some more batter to cover up the jam. The cupcake case should be about two-thirds full now.
  8. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped gently. Leave to cool.
  9. When the cupcakes have cooled, spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe in a spiral motion.
  10. Place a strawberry on top, and you’re good to go.