Friday, 29 October 2021

Chocolate Coffee Layer Cake

A new and improved recipe for those of you who love chocolate AND coffee!

I made this cake a few years back and I knew I needed to improve it. Chocolate and coffee marry together so brilliantly because of their ability to bring out the best of each other. They work best in desserts in my opinion and especially in cake form which is my favourite way. This cake has beautiful and moist chocolate sponge layers, with a hint of coffee to bring out the chocolate, plus the buttercream is made with fresh espresso, not too bitter, not too acidic just right. I also did a little chocolate drip just to be fancy but if the buttercream and the sponge is enough for you, miss it out. I actually made this to take to a family dinner, but then the petrol shortage happened, and no one could go anywhere, so lots and LOTS of cake for my sister and I, which I couldn't complain about could I.  This cake reminds me of a mocha, so if that's right up your street, please have a go at making this, you won't be disappointed!

If you love chocolate and coffee...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!


NOTE:
This recipe makes 2 thick 8 inch cake layers which I then cut in half to make 4. You can split this into 3 cake tins if you would prefer thinner layers straight away. 

Recipe

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Serves: 10-12

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Cake
360ml Soya milk + 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
320g Self-raising flour
75g Cocoa powder
200g Caster sugar
100g Dark brown sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Baking soda
Pinch of salt
90g Butter, melted
1 tbsp instant coffee + 2 tbsp boiling water or 1tsp coffee extract
Buttercream
250g Butter
400g Icing sugar
2tbsp instant coffee + 4 tbsp boiling water or 2tsp coffee extract

Method

✿Mix together the coffee granules and boiling water and then leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line x2 deep 8 inch cake tins. Mix together the soya milk and ACV and leave to form a 'buttermilk'. 
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and both sugars and whisk vigorously till a little foamy. Mix in the coffee and then the vegan 'buttermilk'. 
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add into the bowl with the wet ingredients and fold in till mixed evenly. 
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before removing from the cake tins. 
Meanwhile make the buttercream. In a standing mixer or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until pale and smooth. 
Scrape around the bowl to ensure all of the butter gets mixed so it isn't lumpy. 
Have the coffee prepared as it needs to cool down before you add it. 
Gradually add the icing sugar and mix in. Then add the coffee and mix. 
To assemble the cake, slice each cake in half to have 4 cake layers. Place one cake on a cake board. 
Spread a bit of the buttercream onto the cake evenly, then place another cake on top. 
Repeat with the remaining layers, then cover the whole cake in buttercream however you like.
Chill n the fridge until ready to use. Will keep up to 5 days at its best. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Pear & Coconut Crumble Bars

Summer meets autumn with these tasty crumble bars!


Pears are a really underrated fruit in my opinion, they get a bad rep because most aren't sure on the slightly grainy texture of the flesh. But if you buy the right pears you get an enormous juicy bite with a buttery sensation. Pears need a bigger title which is why they are featured here in my crumble bars. I've used Rocher pears which are my favourite, but conference pears also work work really well. The smaller pears a re little more firm which will only gives these bars a bit more of a crunch which personally is not what I recommend. I've added a little spice to this recipe with ground cardamom for some autumnal warmth which really brings out the fruitiness of the pears. And to top it off, I've mixed through desiccated coconut with the crumble topping for a slight tang, hence why this really is a transitional recipe. 

If you like these crumble bars..

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Serves: 16

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Base
150g butter softened
220g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp alt
Filling
800g pears - rocher or conference
30g light brown suagr
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornflour
Topping
120g butter softened
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour
60g Oats
2btps desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp salt


Method

✿Peel and chop the pears into small cubes. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients for the filling and leave to infuse. 
Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line a 9x9 inch baking tray. 
In a large bowl, cube the butter into the plain flour. Use your hands to mix together into a breadcrumb consistency. Then add in the sugar and salt and mix in.
Press the mixture into the base of the baking tray and then bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile use the same bowl to make the crumble topping. Mix the butter into the flour with your hands into a breadcrumb consistency. Then add in the oats and caster sugar and mix. 
When the base has baked, remove from the oven and spoon in the pear mixture. Spread out evenly and then top with the crumble making sure the pears are covered and coated. 
Place back in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown all over. Wait till cooled then cut into 16 bars. Best served with vanilla ice cream or custard. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Banoffee Pancakes

 If you love Banoffee Pie, then you'll love this twist on a big stack of pancakes!

I'm really enjoying making these upgraded pancake stacks. Don't get me wrong, a simple fluffy plain pancake never goes amiss, but when you can add a little sparkle I think that's worth risking. When I first spotted The Coconut Collaborative Banoffee pots I knew I could put them to good use and they make the perfect spread in-between each sweet pancake. I found two of the pots to be enough, but they come in packs of four so there's the option to have more banoffee spread.  I tried to layer these like the traditional banoffee pie, so you've got a simple (but delicious) vegan pancake, lots of banoffee spread, sliced bananas and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Hopefully that will curb your sweet tooth! 

If you love banoffee and pancakes...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

RECIPE

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 large or 10-12 smaller pancakes

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle

INGREDIENTS

Pancakes
350g Self-raising flour
400ml Soya milk
1 tsp flaxseed
30g melted butter
1 tsp Cinnamon optional
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Pinch of salt
Toppings
1 - 2 Bananas, sliced
Chocolate Sauce - I like Sweet Freedom

✿In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon if using, salt and flaxseeds. Then pour in the soya milk, melted butter and maple syrup and mix until well combined.
Leave the batter to sit for about 5-10 minutes so that it thickens enough to hold its shape.
✿Heat up a large non-stick pan on a low to medium heat and drizzle a little oil. Once warm, add a couple of tbsp of the pancake batter to the pan in a circle to create one smaller pancake (or add more batter to make larger pancakes). Do this again to make more pancakes in the pan depending on the size - I did 3 at a time.
✿When you see bubbles starting to appear on the surface of each pancake, you can then flip it to cook on the other side. It should take roughly 2-3 minutes per side. Then remove from the pan, put on a plate and repeat with the rest of the pancake batter.
Layer the pancakes with the sliced bananas and Banoffee pots spread on each pancake. Finish with a big drizzle of chocolate sauce and serve. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx

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