Archive | October 2011

The Easiest Chocolate biscuit cake ever!

WRITERS NOTES:-

This is by far THE easiest biscuit cake ever! You don’t need to bake anything and as long as you have all your ingredients ready to go, it will take approximately 15 minutes to make for even the dumbest/drunkest chef.  I have had sooo many requests to make this (The Captains office asks for this weekly the cheeky gits), that it rarely lasts more than a few days. This recipe is enough for approx 25 small pieces and is divine to serve up with coffee after a dinner party. This cake keeps fresh in the fridge for about a week & its bloody moorish…. I’m eating some right now while sipping my cuppa Earl Grey (yes, Tea because I can’t have a friggin glass of vino due to being 6 months pregnant, plus it makes me retch after a few glasses …)

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 200mls golden syrup
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 800g Digestive biscuits, broken into small/medium chunks
  • 350g raisins
  • a wide, deep baking tray or the rubber baking trays I swear by.  These are approx 25cm wide/long & 5cm deep.  If using the rubber baking trays, I never use greeseproof paper as the beauty of those is that nothing sticks to them.  If using a proper baking tin, then you need to line your tin with greeseproof paper (tedious & annoying….just buy the rubber/silicone bendy ones….they’re brill and easy to clean).

HOW TO MAKE:-

  • Put the syrup, butter & cocoa powder (I sieve the cocoa through like I would flour to avoid any lumps) in a large saucepan over medium heat & heat everything until melter and smooth.  Don’t over stir this either but do keep an eye on it as it can burn very quickly if you’re wandering about fixing yourself a cocktail and doing your make-up. Once everything is melted, take off the heat immediately.  Put to one side.
  • Put the biscuit chunks & raisins into a huge bowl and pour in the cooled down chocolate mixture you have just melted in the saucepan.  Mix everything with a wooden spoon and make sure its all properly mixed and the raisins have spread out properly.
  • Press this mixture into your prepared baking tray or silicone tray and cover with some cling film. Then using either a plate or your hands (I use both my hands) press down firmly onto the mixture to compress it all and make sure it sticks together properly without too many gaps.
  • Leave to cool for another 10 minutes and then put it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or better yet, overnight.
THIS IS FRIGGIN LOVELY!
* Nb. The above photo is taken of a tiny portion of the biscuit cake.

Lately …

Since falling pregnant with baby number 3, I have to admit, I’m not enjoying this pregnancy one bit.  I feel totally unprepared, exhausted all the time due to twin toddlers who insist on climbing on anything dangerous, and my days of napping are long gone.  I’m also sooo fucking bored, I don’t know what to do with myself.  Yes, yes, I live in HK and have help with the kids blablabla but I don’t want mine growing up speaking Filipino which means I’ve gotta be with them every day too.  Nor do I sit on my arse all day watching “E Hollywood” (unless they’re napping or if one of The Kardashians is getting married again).

I just cant get motivated to do anything at the moment and I think I have actually bored myself to near death.   Ordinarily, I would be able to crack open a bottle (ok, a few bottles) of White wine and let the fun begin when I have a low day (or even a very good day).  Now…. well… all I’m drinking is water, with ice because I’m friggin boiling the whole time.  The Captain came to bed last night wearing a jumper (wimp).  He complained the air-con was freezing and yet there I’m sat, in my mound of pillows that take up half the bed, wearing a t-shirt & hot-pants (sexy) and I’m still friggin boiling.  Further, my hormones during this pregnancy are shocking.  I have never, ever (even throughout puberty when I was a right bitch to my Mum), experienced tears and tantrums like I am now.  I cry at ANYTHING.  I heard an old Luther Vandross song yesterday that made me bawl like a baby.  What the fuck is that all about??  I can’t go out in public when I’m like this.  I’m like a ticking tear bomb waiting to explode the minute someone says anything that hits my newly discovered, overly raw, sensitivity button.  I can actually start crying over ANYTHING.  I guess now, I just sit back and wait for signs of madness to set in.  I just wish I hadn’t smoked all that skunk back in University.  I swear its creeping back up on me now … plus I can’t remember a damn thing unless I write it down.

I’ll give you an example of how much I over-react about a situation.  Last week, after my zillionth appointment at the Dr’s to discuss our unborn baby and further tests about her chromosomes etc, the Captain and I leave to drive home.  It was a Friday evening, bad rush-hour traffic in Hong Kong, it was raining and the Captain and I got into a mutha of a fight while I’m driving.  I got sooooooo ANGRY, I wheel spun our 7 seater Volvo (aka. “the expat XC90”) into a Bus lane.  While screaming, crying and ranting at my husband, I pulled the hand-break up, grabbed my bag and proceeded to walk the rest of the way home, in the rain minus an umbrella, while wearing high heels that hurt like a muther-fucker.  All the people standing at the bus stop were a mix of Chinese, Western and Filipinos.  I’m sure I gave them a good show (as well as the finger), screaming every obscenity at my husband while crying and of course, they’re all looking at my pregnant belly thinking “Flipping heck. That birds lost it!”   The Captain then proceeded to drive up and down the road 3 times begging me to get back into the car (in HK you can’t cross or do a U turn over double white lines, which meant him driving up to a roundabout and turning himself around to come back down the other side of the road).  Everytime he got near me, my response was “FUCK OFF YOU C&%T!” 

Once I cooled off, I continued my walk home (it took about 15 minutes & 5 juicy blisters) and put the kids to bed (who must have been wondering why my hair had grown into such a huge afro, from when I left the house a few hours earlier).  My point is…. this hormone thing is totally out of hand and yet I cant quite get a grip on it.  I’m also still feeling hugely argumentative about, well, anything.  If you see me at a petrol station or shopping mall, I suggest you sprint the other way.  This is the grumpiest I’ve ever been and even thats pissing me off!!  I used to be a smiling, laughing, bundle of witty fun.  Now… I bake and go to bed at a reasonable hour. What a fucking geek.

Anyhow… enough of me moaning, I have baking to do, followed by some arts & crafts crap for Halloween.  Joy.  Someone shoot me now.

* Photo above taken In Turks & Caicos… in the days when all was well and good (& before the recession).

Sponge cake with whipped cream, Strawberries & grated dark chocolate

EASY STRAWBERRY CREAM CAKE

THE INGREDIENTS:-

* I used a rubber 25cm  greased & lined baking mould but a tin obviously works just as well.

For the cake:-

  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 275g unsalted butter – melted or kept at room temperature so that its incredibly soft/slightly melted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of full fat milk
For the topping:-
  • 500g whipping cream (you can use soft cream cheese instead of whipping cream & make a buttercream topping instead)
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 2 punnets of fresh strawberries (or mix with blueberries & raspberries to make it even more colourful), washed & cut into quarters (or whatever size you like)
  • half a bar of good dark chocolate for shaving onto strawberries

HOW TO MAKE:-

There are 2 ways to make a sponge cake.  The quickest (& least time consuming) is the way I am going to describe for this recipe. The other way involves creaming the butter & sugar first, then adding the flour & eggs and beating as much air into the batter as you can (so the cake rises more & is fluffier).

  • Mix all the Cake ingredients together with a handheld mixer or food processor.
  • Put in a preheated oven at gas mark 180 for approximately 25 minutes & then check with a toothpick if its cooked through.  If the toothpick doesn’t come out clear, put the cake back in the oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes (but keep checking to make sure it doesn’t burn.  I placed a sheet of tin foil over the cake after 25 minutes so that the top doesn’t burn while the inside cooks.
  • Once the cake has baked, take out the oven, leave to cool for approx. 5-10 minutes & then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  • While the cake is cooling down, make your topping. Begin by mixing the whipped cream & vanilla sugar together and then using your handheld mixer (or processor) whipping the cream until it makes soft peaks.  You want the cream to be thick and strong enough to cover a cake.
  • Once the cake has cooled down, cover it with the whipped cream, then decorate with chopped strawberries & grate the chocolate all over the cake.  Nb. If the cake is not cool enough, keep the freshly whipped cream in the refrigerator as you don’t want watery whipped cream on your lovely sponge cake to make it soggy. 
This is by far the easiest sponge cake I have made and although it doesn’t rise as much as the traditional sponge (you can do it that way too!), it’s very quick to make and tastes delicious.  This lasts for about 3 days in your fridge and is lovely with a cuppa tea!
Before…
And after…