Easter Chocolate Cake

Delicious Easter Chocolate Cake with Rum & Chocolate layers

Ingredients

Cake Bottom
125 grams of cooking chocolate *
125 grams of butter
1 1/2 dl of strong coffee
4 big eggs

3 1/2 dl  of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 1/2 dl of plain flour

Chocolate Frosting
250 grams of cooking chocolate *
2-3 table-spoons of strong coffee
300 grams of powder sugar
150 grams of room temperature butter
2 eggs

Making Easter Chocolate Cake

Melt the butter and break in the chocolate. Let melt on a low heat before adding coffee. In a separate bowl whisk egg and sugar until it becomes a fluffy mass. Add the baking powder to the flour and sift it into the egg and sugar mass. Fold it in, half first and half after. The point is to try and keep the cake dough as fluffy as possible so don´t stir, fold. In the end you add the now melted coffee-butter-chocolate mass, again folding it into the dough. Add the cake dough to a 24 diameter round form lined with baking paper, butter the sides.

Bake in the oven for 45 min at 180 degrees Celcius.

Tip: Turn the cake upside down on a gridiron, to cool off. This keeps the cake from falling down in the middle. Leave it to cool over night, cover with a kitchen towel when cooled down. This will make it easier to cut the cake layers and to frost the cake the next day.

Making the Chocolate Frosting
Break the chocolate into a glass bowl that is placed over a casserole with water. You want to steam the chocolate to melt it, not burn it. So the bowl should not touch the water. I usually pick a bowl that is big enough to “hang” over the edge of the casserole, and fill the casserole with only 1/4 of water. You can boil up the water then without it actually touching the bowl. Add 2-3 table-spoons of strong coffee.

Whisk the powder sugar with room tempered butter and add the egg. Stir in the melted chocolate. Add more coffee if you would like a more coffee and chocolate rather than powdered sugar taste.

Assembling the cake
I usually use a sharp bread knife to part the cake. First things first, use a knife to loosen around the sides of the cake tin, take off the cake tin, bottom and the baking paper. Slice the cake so that you have 3 equal sizes of round cake bottoms and lift the parts of by sliding in the bottom of the cake tin. Now you need a cake tray. Put it over the bottom half of the cake, and turn it around holding the grid. At this point you should have one 2/3 on the bottom part of the cake tin, and one on a cake plate, Cut the next half in two and slide the cake tin bottom under it.

Trickle three tablespoons of rum* onto the cake halves (one on each), it keeps it moist.

Add 1/3 of the chocolate cream on to the cake half that is now on a cake tray/plate and slide the next half over, repeat with the top half. Use the rest of the cream to cover the top part of the cake as well as the edges. I find that an ordinary spoon or dinner knife works best for this.

Easter Chocolate CakeChocolate Cake

If you have some left over chocolate you can grate some  and sprinkle it on top. Or you make chocolate flakes. Put the chocolate on your carving board, support the board against your body while using a chefs knife to scrape the chocolate towards you. The video shows you the principle of the thing.

Alternatively you can buy ready made toppings and make an easter cake :)

* I used 50/50 of 72% dark chocolate and 50% light chocolate
* I used 7 year old Havana Club

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Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar

Ingredients

1 vanilla bean
200 grams of sugar

Making Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Cut the vanilla bean in smaller pieces and to a food processor. Pour the sugar in and run until the sugar and vanilla bean makes a fine mix. Sift the mass into a bowl, this way you get rid of the coarse pieces of vanilla. The sifted vanilla sugar is now ready for use and should be added to an airtight container. I put mine in a glass that had been sterilized after a turn in the dishwasher. The sugar can be used for cakes and cookies, or as a sweet addition to a cup of cocoa. It also makes for a nice present, especially if you write a recipe on a little card, suggesting how to use it.

Over time I have improved this version of vanilla sugar by adding my used vanilla pods. They might not look it, but covered in sugar they will help infuse your sugar with splendid vanilla taste. Just cover them with new sugar as you use it up and give the sugar a shake to have it equally dispersed. I have been using sugar from this jar since March 2012, today is  31st of January 2013, so that is how long it lasts.

Homemade Chili

 Homemade Chili

Ingredients

3 small red peppers
1 big yellow pepper
1 yellow onion
1-2 table-spoons of sunflower oil
300 grams of minced beef
1 box of beans
1 box of chopped tomatoes
1 box of sweet corn
2 cloves of garlic
3 tea-spoons of chili salt
1 tea-spoon of paprika powder
1 tea-spoon of chili oil
Salt and pepper
Serve with rice or sweetcorn bread

Making Homemade Chili

Chop onion and garlic and sweat in the pan with minced beef and sunflower oil. When golden in colour add the chopped peppers, stir in for a while before adding the box of chopped tomatoes. If you bought a box of tomato beans make sure you rinse them. Do the same with the sweet corn. Add it at the end of the boiling time, so that they keep some of their firmness. Before adding these two you should add some spice to your sauce. We added chili-salt some home made chili-oil, paprika powder, salt and pepper. Also I added sugar, sugar is always needed when you make something with tomatoes I think. Boil in some of the fluid before you add the sweet corn and the beans. If you want more of a kick to it, I would suggest adding some chopped chilis. I used all mine for the chili salt, so didn’t have that option.

When it’s boiled away most of its fluid it should be ready. I put the stove on the high heat and let it boil away, that way the vegetable don’t go mushy. Make sure you taste it once a while and then you choose when its ready. I can’t give you a ready in so and so many minutes, because it is really up to you.

Serve with rice or sweet corn bread.

Monica’s Nutty Buttermilk Bread

Nutty Buttermilk Bread

Ingredients

50 grams of yeast
3 dl of buttermilk
4 dl of warm water
290 grams of whole grain flour (Grahamsmel)
110 grams of oats
700-800 grams of White flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
50 grams of walnuts
25 grams of hazelnuts

Making Nutty Buttermilk Bread

Crumble the yeast into a baking bowl. Add warm water to the buttermilk so that the fluid is lukewarm, and poor into the baking bowl. Mix the water and the yeast. Add whole-grain flour, oats, half of the white flour and salt and sugar. Add the nuts. Stir and add flour until it starts releasing the bowl.

Scoop out the dough from the bowl onto a floury surface and knead with more and more flour until you are able to shape it. Don’t add to much flour as the dough should not be a hard ball. If you are afraid the dough is too sticky, just cover it in flour until you are able to shape it with your hands. Preferably it should be round before its put back into the bowl. (Tip: add a little oil to the bowl and smear it out, this way the dough releases more easily. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let the dough rise in a sink filled with warm water for 1 hour.

After it has risen, and believe me it will (remember to use a big enough bowl, seeing as it will at least double in size!!), you add it back to your floury baking surface, shape into two breads, I made one round and one rectangular. (You can also part the dough in 3 and use 3 baking forms.  Let the breads rise for another 30 minutes on a baking tray covered in baking paper. Remeber to cover the breads with a dishcloth.

Brush the breads with water before you bake them in an oven preheated to 220 degrees celcius for 30 min.

Take out and let cool before making yourself a slice of bread.