Bringing real baking into your home with deliciously simple recipes.
Prep 11/2hr (+ macaron prep)Bake 18-20min (per batch)Makes 10 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student, Allen Au for his graduation, this cake is certainly a show stopper.
Before starting the program Allen had always found making sponge cakes challenging and had almost given up on ever making another again. But, he set himself the challenge of perfecting a sponge and creating a version of Black Forest cake that his wife had always wanted him to. The result was a modern cake bursting with flavour and showcasing Allen's newly-acquired baking skills!
The sponge cake in this recipe is a version of the one students learn to make during the Make Me a Baker program.
Chocolate Sponge Cake (2 layers)
Melted butter, to grease
4 eggs, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
30g salted butter
110g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
Chocolate Sponge Cake (1 layer)
Melted butter, to grease
2 eggs, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
15g salted butter
55g self-raising flour
15g cocoa powder
80g caster sugar
900ml thickened cream
200g cherry jam
1½ x 680g jars pitted Morello cherries, drained
Chocolate bark (see Baker's tips)
10 Maraschino cherries with stems, drained
2 Cadbury Cherry Ripe double-dipped chocolate bar, cut into 3-4 pieces
1½ Cadbury Flake bar, broken into fine pieces
3 cherry macarons (get Allen's Cherry Macaron recipe HERE)
Chocolate Sponge Cake Layers
- To make the Chocolate sponge cake layers, place the oven rack in the oven so that the cake tins will sit in the middle of the oven and then preheat to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush two 20cm shallow cake tins with melted butter to grease and line the base of each with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. You will need to reuse one of the cake tins to make the third sponge layer later.
- To make the first two layers of sponge, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed to whisk the 4 eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is very thick and pale (this will take about 8 minutes). Lift the whisk out of the mixture and draw a figure eight. If the trail stays on the surface long enough to finish drawing, then the mixture is ready. If not, continue to whisk for a further minute.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering. Remove from the heat and pour the warm milk mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Quickly sift the flour and cocoa powder together over the egg mixture and then immediately whisk again with the electric mixer on low speed briefly until the flour mixture is just incorporated (be careful not to overmix). Scrape the base of the bowl and then whisk briefly again, if necessary.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins (see Baker’s tips) and gently tap the tins on the benchtop three times to settle the mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched in the centre and start pulling away from the sides of the tins. Remove from the oven and immediately use a small palette knife to loosen the sides of the sponges from the tins and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat steps 1–4 using the ingredients to make one more layer of sponge.
- Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the kirsch. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When ready to assemble the cake, use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place one of the sponge layers on a serving plate or cake stand. Use a pastry brush to generously brush the whole top surface with about one-third of the kirsch mixture. Spread half the jam over the top and then spread with enough whipped cream to create a layer about 1cm thick. Sprinkle with half the drained morello cherries. Repeat with the remaining sponge layers, kirsch syrup, morello cherries and cream layer, finishing with a sponge layer and kirsch syrup.
- Spread the remaining whipped cream over the sides and top of the cake to cover.
- To decorate, attach the chocolate bark to the outside of the cake. Decorate the cake with the Maraschino cherries, chocolate bars, and macarons.
- To divide the mixture evenly between the tins, weigh the tins with the mixture in them to make sure they are the same weight.
- To make chocolate bark, spread melted dark chocolate thinly over a piece of baking paper, making sure the width is similar to the height that your final cake will be. Place a second piece of baking paper over the chocolate to cover. Roll the two sheets of baking paper together into a thin cylinder. Secure with bulldog clips or pegs on both ends. Place in the fridge until set and ready to use. To use the chocolate bark, carefully remove the baking paper and break to desired widths.
Prep 20min (+1hr 30min cooling time)Bake 30-35minMakes 10-12 serves
Everyone needs a good old-fashioned chocolate cake in their repertoire that is easy enough to whip up on a whim. Made with a simple melt-and-mix method this delicious cake is a real crowd-pleaser.
IngredientsMelted butter, to grease
125g diced butter, at room temperature
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
185ml (¾ cup) milk
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
55g (½ cup) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
45g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
125g butter, at room temperature
185g (1½ cups) icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a square 20cm cake tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is combined (see Baker's Tips). Remove from heat and use a fork to whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Add the butter mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 1½ hours).
- To make the Chocolate buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until pale and creamy and it is a smooth spreadable consistency. Spread the cooled cake with the buttercream and cut into portions to serve.
- Don’t overheat the butter mixture – as soon as the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool spot for up to 3 days.
Prep 25minBake 30-35minMakes 12
Drizzled with an oozing chocolate ganache, these cupcakes are wickedly rich (but light in texture) and have a surprise of intense raspberry tartness hidden right in the middle!
Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong – these cupcakes are meant to have a hole in the centre... Because the mixture is flourless, the raspberry jam sinks during baking creating a creator of sorts, giving them their name.
180g good-quality dark chocolate (45% or 70% cocoa), chopped (see Baker's Tips)
125g butter, cubed
60ml (1/4 cup) water
220g (1 cup) brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra
85g (3/4 cup) hazelnut meal
25g (1/4 cup) desiccated coconut
3 eggs, at room temperature, separated
85g (1/4 cup) raspberry jam
180g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), finely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) pure (pouring) cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tin with paper cases.
- Combine the chocolate, butter and water in a medium saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, add the sugar, hazelnut meal, coconut and egg yolks and stir well with a wooden spoon until well combined and any lumps have broken up. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Place the egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and use electric beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk until soft peaks form. Add the extra 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add a large spoonful of egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in – this will ‘loosen’ the mixture. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold in until just combined.
- Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin holes. Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in the centre of each cupcake and press down gently until the jam is in line with the top the cupcake mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes feels set and crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the side of a cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and stand in the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring to place a wire rack and cool completely.
- To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream almost comes to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and set aside to stand for 3 minutes. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Set aside, stirring occaiosnally until thickened to a thick pouring consistency (see Baker's Tips).
- Drizzle a generous spoonful of ganache on the tops of the cupcakes around the hole in the centre, allowing it to dribble over the sides and down into the hole. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the ganache sets before serving.
- Using 70% cocoa chocolate in the cupcakes will give them a more intense chocolate flavour.
- The ganache will take between 15 minutes and about 11/2 hours to reach the right consistency for drizzling depending on the weather. If it is a really hot day you can put the ganache in the fridge to help it thicken - just make sure you stir it often so lumps don't form.
- These cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.
Prep 2hr (+ cooling time)Bake 8-10minMakes 18 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student, Karthika Biju for her graduation, this stunning cake brings together numerous techniques learnt throughout the 6-month course. A real challenge, this dessert is an exquisite combination of chocolate and coffee-infused layers of almond sponge, ganache, chocolate croustillant, hazelnut praline and Swiss meringue buttercream. Karthika finished each portion of cake with gold dust and leaf and also personalised them with a chocolate disc monogramed with her initials. Not for the faint-hearted baker, this recipe is nothing short of a challenge but the results will definitely reflect the effort.
IngredientsEdible gold leaf and dust, to decorate
Joconde (Almond Sponge)Melted butter, to grease
5 eggs, at room temperature
140g almond meal
140g soft icing sugar mixture
30g plain flour
5 egg whites
30g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
30g unsalted butter, melted
Coffee Syrup160ml (2/3 cup) water
100g caster sugar
3 teaspoons instant coffee powder
Hazelnut Praline Paste125g whole raw hazelnuts
75g caster white sugar
2 teaspoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
Chocolate Croustillant40g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), chopped or callets
30g Hazelnut Praline Paste
70g Paillette Feuilletine (see Baker’s Tips)
Chocolate Ganache160g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), chopped or callets
160ml (2/3 cup) thickened cream
Swiss Meringue Coffee Buttercream4 egg whites, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Coffee extract, to taste
Chocolate Glaze6.6g gelatine leaves
250ml (1 cup) chilled water
125ml (1/2 cup) room temperature water
225g caster sugar
150g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa), callets or chopped
30g cocoa powder, sifted
65ml pure cream (35% butterfat)
Monogramed Chocolate Discs70g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), callets or chopped
Edible gold lustre paint (See Baker’s Tips)
Wax seal (kept in freezer for at least 45 minutes)
Joconde (Almond Sponge Cake)
- To make the Joconde, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Brush two 23cm x 33cm shallow baking trays with melted butter and line the base and sides of each with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.
- Sift the almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the whole 5 eggs and use an electric hand mixer to mix until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the flour until just combined.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed to whisk the egg whites and salt in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold the egg whites through the almond mixture. Add the melted butter and fold gently together.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through. Cool in the tins.
- Carefully turn the cooled cakes onto a cutting board and cut each into one 20cm square and one 10cm x 20cm rectangle.
- To make the Coffee Syrup, place the water, sugar and coffee into a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Leave it to heat until the sugar has melted. Do not stir. Continue cooking until it has turned a golden caramel.
- Meanwhile, fill your sink with cold water. Once the caramel is ready, dip the base of the saucepan in the cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Set the pan on a towel on the bench.
Hazelnut Praline Paste
- To Make the Hazelnut Praline Paste, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes, or until aromatic and the skins start to crackle.
- Wrap the warm hazelnuts in a tea towel and set aside to steam for 10 minutes. Use the tea towel to rub to hazelnuts against it and each other to remove the skins.
- Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat. Place the sugar and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and simmer over medium heat, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan, until a deep golden toffee forms. Remove from the heat add the toasted skinned hazelnuts but don’t stir. Pour immediately onto the lined tray and set aside to cool completely.
- When the toffee is cool, break into small pieces. Add about a quarter of the toffee shards to a food processor bowl and process until ground. With the motor running, add the remining toffee shards and process until ground. Add the salt and continue to process until a smooth paste with a peanut butter consistency forms (see Baker’s Tips).
Chocolate Hazelnut Croustillant
- To make the Chocolate Croustillant, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.
- Add Pailleté Feuilletine and Hazelnut Praline Paste to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Spread the croustillant over the 20cm square layer of sponge cake on the board. Place in the fridge to set
- To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a peanut butter consistency (see Baker’s Tips).
- To make the Coffee Buttercream, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Use a balloon whisk to stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to stir until the mixture reaches 70°C on a thermometer.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture is very thick and glossy and has cooled completely to room temperature.
- Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and gradually add the room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition, before adding the next lot. Once all the butter has been incorporated, beat in the coffee extract.
- Remove the croustillant-coated sponge cake layer from the fridge and carefully flip it onto a on a another cutting board with chocolate croustillant facing down. Brush the sponge with about a third of the coffee syrup and then spread with half of the coffee buttercream. Place the two 10cm x 20cm sponge layers side by side on top to cover and brush with half of the remaining coffee syrup.
- Reserve about 1/4 cup of the ganache and spread the sponge evenly with the remaining chocolate ganache. Top with the remaining layer of sponge cake and brush well with the remining coffee syrup. Spread with the remaining buttercream to cover and even the surface using an offset spatula or cake scraper. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Monogramed Chocolate Discs
- Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Remove the wax seal from the freezer and place in a bowl of ice.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds bursts on high, stirring well after each burst until the chocolate is completely melted. Spoon the chocolate into a zip-lock bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Working quickly, pipe the chocolate onto the lined try to form three discs, each about the size of a dollar coin. Immediately use the chilled wax seal to imprint the chocolate discs, holding on each for 5 seconds. Place the seal back in the ice (see Baker’s Tips) and repeat with the remaining chocolate making and imprinting three discs at a time. Set aside at room temperature to set and firm.
- Once set use a small paintbrush to paint each disc with edible lustre gold paint to coat.
- When ready to glaze the cake, carefully transfer the cake to a rack over a tray lined with baking paper. Return to the fridge.
- To make the Chocolate Glaze. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl and add 250ml (1 cup) of the chilled water to cover. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the remaining 125ml (1/2 cup) water in a small saucepan with the sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil gently, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the syrup reaches 104°C on a thermometer.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until combined and smooth. Add the cream and stir until the mixture cools to 60°C on a thermometer.
- Use your hands to squeeze as much water as possible from the gelatine sheets and add to the warm chocolate mixture. Stir until dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a jug anduse a stick blender to blend until the mixture is emulsified and smooth. Strain the glaze through a fine mesh sieve.
- Once the glaze cools to 32°C on a thermometer pour it immediately over the chilled cake to create a smooth surface, allowing any excess to drip down the sides. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the glaze is set.
- Use a hot, dry knife trim the edges of the cake and then cut into 18 pieces (each about 7cm x 3cm). Transfer to a serving plate. Soften the reserved Chocolate Ganache by heating in 10 second bursts on high and stirring between each burst until smooth. Cool until almost a piping consistency. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Pipe a rosette of ganache at the end of each cake portion and rest a Monogramed Chocolate Disc against the rosette to hold it. Decorate with gold leave and dust as desired.
- Paillette Feuilletine is fine broken shards of Crêpes Dentelle (a crisp biscuit made from rolled crêpes)and is used to add texture to confections and desserts. It is available from specialty food stores and French delicatessens.
- Edible lustre gold paint is available from specialty cake decorating shops and suppliers and some craft stores.
- The Hazelnut Praline Paste will be coarse crumbs in the beginning, but it will eventually get smooth with processing. Don’t add water to thin the mixture but a little vegetable oil can be added to reach the right consistency is needed.
- The longer the Chocolate ganache stands at room temperature the thicker it will become. It is ready to use when it becomes a peanut butter-like consistency. If left for too long, it will become too thick to spread.
- The wax seal must be left in the ice between imprinting the discs for it to work effectively and not stick to the chocolate.
Karthika based this recipe on one from https://www.homecookingadventure.com.
Prep 30min (+15min cooling and 1hr standing time)Bake 15minMakes 20
The German word spritzen means to squirt and reflects the way these cookies are shaped – by pushing them through a piping nozzle. The almond meal in the dough gives a lovely soft, almost cakey, texture to these chocolate-dipped cookies that can be piped in various designs, including mini wreaths.
- 250g butter, softened
- 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1½ teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
- 3 eggs
- 450g (3 cups) plain flour
- 60g almond meal
- 300g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Combine the flour and almond meal. Add to the butter mixture and beat on the lowest possible speed until just combined.
- Spoon half the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 13 mm (#13) star nozzle. Pipe 6–7 cm circles onto the lined trays (see Baker’s tips). Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until pale golden and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl sitting on top. Dip a cooled cookie into the chocolate to coat half of the cookie. Place back on the lined tray and repeat with the remaining cookies. Tap the trays on the benchtop lightly to settle the chocolate into the grooves of the cookies, then set aside for about 1 hour or until the chocolate sets.
- You can use a 6–7 cm round cutter as a guide to draw circles onto the underside of the baking paper to help keep your cookies uniform in size.
• These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Festive Cookies.
CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof columns and recipes.
Photography by China Squirrel.
Prep 40min (+1hr cooling time and 2hr standing time)Bake 30minMakes 10-12 serves
Possibly the most famous cake in the world, and certainly the pride of Austria, Sacher Torte was created by Franz Sacher, a 16-year-old apprentice stepping in for an ill head chef, to impress the guests of Prince Wenzel von Metternich. And as they say, the rest is now cuisine history. This elegant, rich and enticing cake is now loved the world over.
Melted butter, to grease
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
175g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped, melted and cooled to room temperature
110g (¾ cup) plain flour
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
85g (¼ cup) apricot jam, warmed and sieved
40g good-quality milk chocolate, melted, to decorate
Thick or whipped cream, to serve
300g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa)
60g butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush 2 x shallow 20 cm round cake tins with melted butter to grease and line the bases with rounds of non-stick baking paper.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined and creamy. Beat in the cooled melted chocolate until well combined. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the flour until just combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites in a large clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar and whisk on medium-high speed until thick and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved (see Baker’s tip). Add half the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in to ‘loosen’ the mixture. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold until just evenly combined.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Stand in the tins for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
Once cool, spread one cake layer with the warmed sieved jam and then top with the second layer, bottom side up. Place the cake on a wire rack over a tray and set aside while making the chocolate glaze.
To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir occasionally until just melted and combined. Use a plate knife to spread a little of the glaze over the outside of the cake to form a ‘crumb coat’ and to even the surface. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from the fridge and carefully pour over the rest of the glaze, allowing it to run down the sides of the cake to coat evenly. Tap the cake, still on the rack, gently on the tray to remove any air bubbles and to settle the glaze. Use a fork to drizzle the milk chocolate over the top of the cake to decorate. Set aside for 2 hours or until the glaze sets. Serve cut into small wedges with cream.
• To test if all the sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the egg white and sugar between two fingers – you will be able to feel if there is still undissolved sugar. Whisk for another minute if not completely dissolved before testing again.
• This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Austrian Baking.
CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof columns and recipes.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 40min (+30min cooling time)
Bake 25minMakes about 10
Everyone needs a good classic yellow cake in their repertoire and this one, made as cute individual cakes with a rich, velvety fudge frosting, is the one to add. Have some fun with the decorations – there are so many edible sprinkles to choose from you may want to give each individual cake its own unique identity.
- Melted butter, to grease
- 125g butter, softened
- 165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 225g (1½ cups) plain flour
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- 125ml (½ cup) buttermilk
- Sprinkles of your choice, to decorate
Chocolate fudge frosting
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 185g butter, softened
- 60g (½ cup) icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
- 250g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), melted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) silicone muffin pan with the melted butter to grease.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary until well combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder. With the motor running on lowest possible speed, add half the flour and beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat on low until just combined. Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin holes and use the back of a spoon to smooth the tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer inserted in the centre. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, to make the chocolate fudge frosting, combine the cocoa powder and water in a small dish and stir until smooth and a paste forms. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until very pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Gradually beat in the cooled chocolate and cocoa mixture until smooth and well combined.
- Cut each of the cooled cakes in half horizontally. Use a palette knife or the back of a teaspoon to spread a little of the chocolate fudge frosting over the bottom half of a cake and sandwich with the top half. Spread the top and sides of the cake generously with some of the remaining frosting, swirling on top and making an indent in the centre. Decorate with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining cakes, frosting and sprinkles.
Prep 25min (+ 1hr cooling time)Bake 45-50minMakes about 15
Essentially these fudgy brownies are marbled with an orange-scented cheesecake and they appear far more difficult to make than what they actually are. Perfect with a cuppa or a dollop of cream for dessert these brownies will satisfy any chocolate craving.
Brownie baseMelted butter, to grease
250g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped
150g salted butter, cubed
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
75g (½ cup) plain flour
30g (¼ cup) cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Cheesecake topping200g cream cheese, at room temperature
30g salted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan-forced). Grease a 16cm x 26cm shallow slice tin with melted butter and line the base and long sides with one piece of baking paper.
- To make the Cheesecake Topping, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter and orange rind in a medium bowl until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Set aside.
- To make the Brownie Base, place the dark chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan. Add the sugar and eggs and use a balloon whisk or wooden spoon to stir until well combined. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.
- Spoon half the Brownie Base mixture into prepared tin and spread evenly. Drop spoonfuls of almost all the Cheesecake Topping randomly over the brownie mixture. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining brownie mixture and then the remaining topping mixture. Tap the tin on the benchtop to settle the mixture. Use a butter knife or palette knife to swirl the two mixtures together to create a marbled effect and then tap on the bench again if necessary.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool in tin on a wire rack (this will take about 1 hour).
- Carefully remove brownie from the tin using the baking paper to lift it out. Cut into portions to serve.
- These brownies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Serve at room temperature.
Photography by Alan Benson.