Friday, 24 January 2014

White & Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

It was this time last year when I made my other half, a Burger cake because of our love of good humour and food. This year due to the amount of university work I've had to make a simple chocolate cake...with a twist! This cake is not for the faint hearted. Its a chocoholic's dream and its so rich and full of buttercream. Diet watchers-stay away from this. 

Lucky for me then because I don't like diets and neither does my other half. Happy Birthday Rob! Hope you enjoy the cake...please let me have a slice I did make it!
My mother came up with this suggestion for the name which made me laugh: Snowed Twirl Dark White Chocolate Cake. I rejected that name for obvious reasons. Its just silly... 

Recipe: The White Chocolate Cake (Adapted from Primrose Celebrations)
·       115g white chocolate
·       115g plain flour, sieved
·       100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       100g granulated sugar
·       2 large eggs, separated
·       1 teaspoons vanilla extract
·       1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sieved
·       110g semi skimmed milk with 5ml lemon juice added (that’s about 1 tsp lemon juice)

Recipe: The Dark Chocolate Cake (my own recipe)
·       225g unsalted butter, room temperature
·       225g caster sugar
·       160g self raising flour, sifted
·       50g dark cocoa powder
·       1 teaspoon of baking powder
·       2 large eggs
·       1 teaspoon vanilla
·       15ml semi skimmed milk

Recipe:White Buttercream (Adapted from PrimroseCelebrations)
·       100g white chocolate
·       55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       30ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
·       ½ teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
·       250g icing sugar sieved
·       3 tablespoons double cream

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Buttercream (Adapted from Cupcakes from Primrose )
·       175g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
·       225g unsalted butter
·       1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk, room temperature
·       1teaspoon vanilla extract
·       250g icing sugar, sifted

·       Chocolate decorations or sprinkles

·       Bowl x 4
·       Electric hand-held whisk
·       Sieve
·       Saucepan filled with water
·       Heat proof bowl
·       2 cake tins lined with silicone paper and then wash them up / 4 cake tins lined with silicon paper
·       Wooden spoon
·       Metal spoon
·       Palette knife

To make White Chocolate Cake:
Step 1. Grease the cake tins
1.    Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4/350f/180c. Grease the cake tins.
Step 2. Melt the chocolate
2.    Break the white chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl over a simmering water on the hob, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until smooth, creamy and melted. Set aside to cool.
3.    Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda together in one bowl and set aside.
Step 4. Cream the butter and sugar together
4.    Cream sugar and butter together in a separate bowl, until creamy. Add the egg yolks one at the time.
5.    Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla extract to the creamed mixture.
6.    Gradually beat in the dry ingredients and milk and lemon juice alternately mixed until just incorporated. 
Step 7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff
7.    In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form with clean beaters.
8.    Fold in the egg whites, with a metal spoon, into the cake batter until all the white streaks are gone.
Step 9. Cooling on the wire rack
9.    Pour the cake batter into the prepared tray and bake for 20 minutes. Once baked leave in the tray for about 15 minutes and transfer carefully, to a wire rack.

For the Dark Chocolate cake:
Step 1. Cream the butter and sugar
1.    Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and smooth.
Step 2. All the dry ingredients 
2.    Sieve all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Step 3. the cake batter with the added egg

3.    Add the eggs, one at a time, into the creamed mixture and beat after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
4.    Add the dry ingredients and the milk in alternating order and mixing until all incorporated.
Step 4. The baked cakes
5.    Divide the mixture into the 2 cake tins and bake for 25 minutes. To check if its cooked place a toothpick in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean-its cooked.
Its best to make the dark chocolate buttercream first as the white chocolate buttercream goes solid really fast.

1.    To make the chocolate buttercream, melt the chocolate as in step 2. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and the icing sugar until smooth-this can take several minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the chocolate and beat until all of the chocolate has been incorporated. This should be easy to pipe in a piping bag or spread with a palette knife. Sieve the icing sugar into a big bowl and pour the chocolate butter mixture into it.

For the White Chocolate Buttercream:
Step 1. Melted white chocolate
1.    Break the white chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl over a simmering water on the hob, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until smooth, creamy and melted. Set aside to cool.
Step 2. Add the icing sugar a little at a time
Step 2.  Almost finished buttercream...
2.    Combine all the ingredients, apart from the melted chocolate and cream and beat until smooth and creamy. I found that its loads easier if you add the icing sugar a little at a time or it flies all over the place!
3.    Add the melted chocolate and cream  and beat well again.
Step 5. Finished buttercream
4.    Ice cake straight away (If it gets really solid, microwave it so its liquid and beat again and let it set out for a little while).

Finishing off the cake off
1.    To assemble the cake, place the white chocolate cake and smooth the dark chocolate buttercream on top.
2.    Place the dark chocolate cake on top of the white cake and spread some more dark chocolate buttercream.
Step 5.  The cake layers
3.    Repeat with the next 2 layers so you’ve got alternating layers filled with dark chocolate buttercream.
Step 4. Dont be tempted to leave the cake like this...
4.    With the white chocolate buttercream spread all around the cake with a clean palette until you get the desired finish. Decorate as you like!

Theres on more thing I'd like to say: 

Have a great weekend baking lovers 
Bake On!

Bake On! Penny x

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy Day Challenge Day 3: Covering Alice

Welcome to day 3 of the 100 happy days challenge! Today's picture comes from my diary, where I wrote that I've covering a  shift for work colleague Alice. 
I know she might not want the details published all over the internet but the short story is that her and boyfriend can't spend loads of time together because he has a job which takes him half away around the world and she is in the UK. When he comes back to the UK, they try to spend as much time as they can with each other. This is (10-12th January 2014) the last weekend before he leaves again and sadly, Alice works Saturdays. She texted and asked if it was alright if I could cover. 
Thinking about it, I've been in that situation before and I was let down by all the other staff members because they didn't want to give up their day off (different job and different area of the world. Don't ask!). So I know how that feels when you can't get the day off to see a loved one. Its not pleasant. So of course I said yes! It made her and her boyfriend happy and  it made me happy to do a good thing. That's the most important thing that a little action like this can make the world a little more brighter.

Bake On! Penny x

Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy Day Challenge Day 2-Abbie's Note

This is the second day of the 100 happy days challenge and it was this note that caused me to smile.
The note in question was left by a work college called Abbie left this note saying that anyone who was in the shop don't forget to reprice the stock and take down all the Christmas decorations but she wrote:

Please carry on repriceing!
Done loads today!
I'm frazzled hunnays
Keep it real like Ian beil and take down more Xmas decs if there are any lol!

love Bunny (Abbie) xxx loves ya!
If you knew how sweet and funny Abbie is, then you'd see how funny it is. Thanks for the day-brightening note Abbie! 

Bake On! Penny x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Its looking like another year, just happier

For Christmas I ate so much cakes, sweets, and just food that not only did I get baking related gifts, I'm sure I put on an extra couple of pounds! Which is totally worth it. Food is always worth it!
But this year the baking gifts have been so epic cool!

  • Cupcake Calender (Thanks mama!)
  • The New Primrose Bakery Celebrations Book (Thanks again mum)
  • A set of measuring shot glasses (Yet again thanks mum)
  • A diary that has my name on it!!! (NOTHING EVER HAS MY NAME ON IT!!! So I was very thrilled with this. Thanks mum!)
  • Conversion Apron (Very helpful Naomi and thank-you)
  • Undead cookie cutter (This is totally cool! Thanks Ben)
  • Green tea ice cream powder (Naomi this is so cool!)
  • Green tea x 2 (Will be drinking this quickly, thanks Naomi)
  • Caramel covered dates (Again thanks Naomi)
  • Camel Milk chocolate (ermm... thanks Naomi...  Not sure what to make of this one. I bet it tastes great.) 

Also, this is wicked cool, a necklace with my name on it. Its so hard to find something with my name on it. Thank-you Lucy this is so lovely!

Not featured in the photos is
Great British Bake Off Calender (thanks Sofia!)
A pretty butterfly cake stand (Thankies Naomi!!) 
Gingerbread man soap (Yummy smelling thanks Lucy!)

After the celebrations of Christmas and the partying of New Year has worn off the dreaded January Blues begins to set in. Its been 5 days into 2014 and its starting to look like another year. It's that sort of thinking along with going back to work or studying and the cold weather that really get the January Blues really gets going. I've found out that on January 10th, most new year resolutions get broken. (This post is going somewhere, it won't be doom and gloom. Just keep reading.) This is why I don't make new year resolutions I always forget them in the end. But this year I've decided to keep to 2 resolutions:
  • Cut down on the swearing. I know it sounds strange that this lovely looking, not awkward at all lady, swears at all. But after working in kitchens and the frustrations of uni, yes I do admit I have a swearing problem! So for the sake of my families and friends ears, I'm cutting down the swearing. 
  • I'm trying the 100 happy days challenge, trying to be happy for 100 days... that's pretty much it! And why not? January is a bit of a bummer month but doing even the smallest things can bring us an amazing amount of joy. 
So that's how I'm fighting the January blues with a little bit of happiness everyday. I encourage all of you to do the same because we can make this year like every other... just a lot more happier. What's my first happy moment? Well it's writing this post! 
(Update 07/01/14 I may not be able to update the blog everyday, however all the pictures will be published on the facebook page)

Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year and Pizza Chunk Biscuits

Happy 2014 baking lovers! I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas, a happy new year and a hazy hangover recovery on the 1st of January. 
This is a very delayed post, it has been a crazy busy Christmas and New year. I just got back from Dorset after spending the New Year with my boyfriend and his family. 

Which was a earthing experience, spending the new year with a guy that you've been with for almost 3 years. Yeah we've been able to stand each other for that long! The fact is our endless love of food and stuffing our faces has kept our love strong. 
I'm joking darling. But we are obsessed with food. 
Then I caught a horrid cold just after New Year, so I've been snuggled up with a hot chocolate set that I got for Christmas trying to recover before going back to uni, and so all the posts are all delayed. 
My Bad...

So back to the recipe below, this a competition entry for Slow Food on Campus Portsmouth. The object of the competition was to use grana padano cheese in a recipe. Of course it had to be something to do with baking. Bring in the Pizza Chunk Biscuits! A whole pizza flavour in a single biscuit. Anyone in the UK can enter, if you would like to enter please email:
Your name, your age, your email address and phone number (and twitter username if you'd like to be featured on twitter) to  
This recipe is also featured on the Slow Food on Campus Portsmouth blog 

Recipe: Makes around 24-30 (Adapted from Cookies Galore by Jacqueline Bellefontaine)
·       150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       180g Plain flour, sifted
·       25g grated grana padano cheese
·       20g grated mature cheddar cheese
·       1 tablespoon tomato paste
·       25g sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
·       1-2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
·       1 egg yolk
·       1 tablespoon water
·       Food processor
·       Bowl
·       Sieve
·       Teaspoon
·       Tablespoon
·       Baking paper
·       Baking sheet
·       Rolling pin
·       Fork/pastry
·       Wire rack
1.    Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4.
Step 2. Put all the ingredients together in a food processor and blitz!
2.    Put all the ingredients into a food processor and process, using the pulse button until the mixture just come together.
Step 3. Roll out dough in between bits of baking paper
3.    Roll out the dough between sheets of baking paper to a large rectangle shape.
Step 4. Place on a baking sheet
4.    Remove the top piece of baking paper and lift the dough, using the bottom paper, on to a baking sheet. Leave the bottom paper in place. Using fork to pastry wheel, mark lightly into squares or bars.
5.    Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
6.    Cool on a wire rack on the baking paper and then break into pieces along the perforations.

Have a great weekend!

Bake On! Penny x
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