Delicious fudgy cake with a silky chocolate icing. Perfect for sharing with friends and family over the Easter holiday

Easter Guinness Chocolate Cake

 
Guinness Chocolate Easter Cake
 

Makes one cake, serves 8 

INGREDIENTS: 

260g unsalted butter/2¼ sticks plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter

300ml/1¼ cups Guinness

100g /1 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs

420g caster sugar /2 cups plus 2 tbsp superfine sugar

2 tsps vanilla essence

180ml/¾ cup buttermilk

300g/2½ cups plain flour

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

For the icing 

300g icing sugar, sifted

100g/½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

40g/1.4oz cocoa powder, sifted

40ml/2½ tbsp milk

50g/1.6oz dark chocolate, melted 

To decorate

chocolate flakes 

8 chocolate truffles 

METHOD:

1.   Preheat the oven to 170°C /325°F/gas mark 3. Line the base of a 30cm round spring form tin with baking parchment.

2.   To make the cake, heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the Guinness, then remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. 

3.   In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla essence and buttermilk and then slowly add the Guinness mixture, whisking all the time.

4.   In a separate large bowl, sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Using an electric whisk, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and keep whisking until it is all well combined.  

5.   Transfer the mixture in to the cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Test to make sure the cake is cooked by inserted a dry skewer into the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Set aside to cool a little, and then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

6.   To make the chocolate icing beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in an electric mixer (Or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium/slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed. Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. When the milk has been incorporated, add the melted chocolate. Once all the chocolate has been combined, turn the mixer up to a high speed

7.   Place the cooled cake on a cake stand and generously spread the icing on the top and sides. Sprinkle the flaked chocolate around the edge of the cake and place the eight chocolate truffles on top of the flakes. 

Please remember to drink Guinness responsibly, for all the facts go to drinkaware.co.uk. Do not forward to anyone under the age of 18.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

 
Lemon Drizzle Cake
 

INGREDIENTS: 

225g/8oz butter, softened 

225g/8oz caster sugar

4 eggs

4 tbsp milk

275g/9½oz self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 lemons, grated zest only 

Juice of one lemon ½

For the lemon drizzle

175g/6oz icing sugar

2 lemons juice only 

Garnish with the zest of one lemon 

METHOD: 

1.   Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/Gas mark 4. Grease a 20-22cm round cake tin and line the base with parchment paper. 

2.   Place the butter in a large mixing bowl with the sugar and beat together with a whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk. Next fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. 

3.   Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula. 

4.   Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden brown. Check by inserting a skewer into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. 

5.   While the cake is still hot and in the tin prick it with a skewer and pour over the lemon juice. Leave the cake in the tin to cool. 

6.    Make the drizzle. Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until it forms a smooth paste. Remove the cake from the tin and smooth the lemon drizzle over the cake. Garnish with lemon zest. 

Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting

Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting

 
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Makes 1 Cake (10 portions) 

INGREDIENTS: 

3 eggs 

140ml/5floz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 

220/7oz light brown sugar 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 

350g/12oz grated carrots, (grated weight) 

100g/3½ oz golden raisins 

100g/3½ oz walnuts, chopped 

200g/7oz self-raising flour 

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

For the orange blossom frosting 

300g/10½ oz cream cheese, chilled 

70g/2½ oz butter, at room temperature 

300g/10½ oz icing sugar, sifted 

1 orange, zest only 

2 teaspoons of orange blossom water 

 METHOD: 

1.          Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.        For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrot, raisins and chopped walnuts. 

3.        Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re using a ceramic baking dish then you’ll need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time. 

4.       Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. 

5.        For the orange blossom frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and finely grated orange zest and mix until the frosting is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. 

6.       Decorate with orange zest on top of the frosting.

Rhubarb & Ginger Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb & Ginger Upside-Down Cake

 
Rhubarb Cake landscape 2.jpg
 

I adore Rhubarb and Ginger and this is a harmonious cake perfect with a big dollop of creme fraiche and a cup of tea.

 Makes 1 Cake

INGREDIENTS:            

40g/1½ oz unsalted butter
200g/7 oz soft brown sugar
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
350g/12 oz rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g/7 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml/7 fl oz buttermilk
2 medium eggs
100ml/3 fl oz vegetable oil

METHOD:

1.     Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.   Melt the butter in a 24cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in half the sugar and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add in one third of the crystallized ginger. Remove from the heat and add the sliced rhubarb, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
3.    Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl
4.   In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining sugar with the buttermilk, eggs, oil and the rest of the crystallized ginger. Fold in the flour mixture and mix well. Pour over the rhubarb and smooth the surface.
5.    Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert on to a serving plate. Serve with crème fraiche.