Rich Chocolate and Pear Cake

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

This recipe came to be as an experiment after trying a simple apple and walnut cake at my friend’s house a few weeks back. The cake was perfect but as we have 100s of pears from our tree at this moment I wanted to create a pear version of it. Simple swapping the apples for pears and losing the nuts wasn’t going to cut it as the pears are so juicy, so I baked and baked until I achieved the perfect chocolate and pear cake, which is quick and super easy to make.

The cake is very chocolaty and indulgent. I used both dark chocolate and raw unsweetened cocoa powder. The taste of your cake will depend on the quality of these two ingredients, so please have it in mind whilst out shopping. I have found through my baking that some cakes are much more forgiving about swaps than others are. I tried to bake it with drinking chocolate instead of the raw cocoa but it simply doesn’t work, you can taste that something is off… also, I found using milk chocolate instead of a dark one is also a no go… the cake really becomes way too sweet.

Total time: 1h

Baking time: 35min

Serves: arguably 9 large portions

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 3 medium-size ripe pears
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp raw unsweetened cocoa
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Line with baking paper one 8”x8” brownie baking tray.

In a small saucepan over very low heat melt the butter. Once melted add the chocolate and stir making sure it is totally melted and combined then set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; add a pinch of salt and mix well.

Wash, peel, core and then chop the pears into 1cm x 1cm cubes, then pop them into the bowl of dry ingredients mix and gently stir so that all the pear pieces are coated evenly.

In another small bowl beat the eggs; then add the vanilla essence and beat some more. Add this mixture to the cooled down butter and chocolate mixture and stir well until fully combined.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a silicone spatula gently mix until everything is combined and forms an even mass. You are after the texture of your cake being similar to a cookie dough – firm and pliable.

Move your mixture into the earlier prepared baking tray and again using a silicon spatula spread out the mix till it is even and flat then pop into the oven.

Bake at 180C for around 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool completely.

Enjoy!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Raspberry Yogurt Loaf Cake

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

The idea is rather simple, sweet cake meets juicy, rather sharp tasting raspberries providing a perfect combination of flavours. Intrigued? Give it a try and I truly believe you will not be disappointed.

The recipe is a remake of my super popular Sugar-Free Blueberry Yogurt Cake but this one comes with the full-on sugar version. To turn it sugar-free simply replace 150g of sugar with 50g Natvia or another, if preferred, sugar-free alternative.

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

Ingredients:

  • 180g flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g raspberries
  • 100ml raspberry yogurt
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp baking soda

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan assisted.

Lightly grease or line with a baking paper one 8” loaf tin.

Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at the time and continue mixing.

Add half of your flour mixture and mix until combined, then add the remaining flour mix and the yogurt and mix by folding in until the mixture has an even texture. You are aiming for a rather thick batter like consistency.

Finally, add the raspberries and fold them gently into your batter until evenly spread.

Pour the mixture into the earlier prepared loaf tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50min or until golden brown and it passes the dry toothpick test.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for around 10-15 minutes, then remove from baking tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Serve and enjoy!

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

Simple, yet delicious… light, moist and bursting with raspberry flavour, this loaf cake will make the perfect treat for any fruit cake lover out there.

Countryside Plum Cake

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.Living in the countryside and finally having our own garden and an orchard means that we get to enjoy a lot of fresh produce straight from the source. We still can’t get used to this fact; it’s so surreal sometimes… In the past things had to be planned… I couldn’t just bake a plum cake on the whim, I couldn’t mainly because I had no plums in the house… I had to drive to the supermarket and purchase some, which 99% of the time were unripe and thus still too hard to use… now, I just walk out into the garden and pick some from my tree… how cool is that?!

Anyhow, after months of baking brownies and chocolate based cakes and muffins, it was time for a change… summer has finally brought us a lot of super juicy and extremely tasty fruit, so I thought it was about time we added them to our menu.

The recipe below makes one 8 inch square tin, just like you would use to bake brownies, which is as it happens the perfect size for just the two of us, but if you have a bigger family or you are expecting some guests then simply double the volume of the ingredients and turn it into a sheet cake. Also, I should add that this cake tastes the best on the 2nd day, so make sure you bake a portion big enough to allow for plenty of next days “leftovers”.

On the first day, you have a defined cake with plums – crumbly light cake with refreshing moist plums inside. However, on the second day, the cake is becoming much moister with fruity juices spreading throughout the cake part think of it as a self-drizzling cake. Try for yourself and tell me which day you like best.

Now, let’s get baking.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 15 large Damsons plums
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar – for decoration (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper.

In a small saucepan over a very low heat melt the butter, once melted put aside to cool.

Wash, halve and pit the plums then put them on a large baking tray to air dry whilst you continue with the rest of the cake.

In a large mixing bowl mix together the sifted flour, both sugars, and salt.

In a separate small bowl beat the eggs, then add the vanilla essence and stir well.

Once the butter has cooled down to room temperature combine it with the eggs and mix well.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a silicon spatula mix well until combined.

Pour the mixture into the earlier prepared baking tray.

Decorate however you want with the plums, or simply place them next to each other in a grid. Whichever way you go ensure that the skin side is pointing up. When your work of art is completed just pop into the oven.

Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Once totally cooled down, decorate with icing sugar (if using), then finally cut into portions and enjoy.

Light, moist and very refreshing this countryside plum cake is the perfect treat any time of the day. #plumcake #cake #fruitcake #baking

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the standard banana bread recipe… Everyone loves it and its super yummy and delicious but I have discovered that the addition of some cocoa and chocolate really takes it to a whole new level, making it much more cake like, which is never a bad thing.

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 85g butter
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 75g milk chocolate
  • 30g raw cocoa powder
  • 2-3 bananas / ~225g peeled weight
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pack white chocolate buttons / hearts (optional for decoration)

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

With a sheet of baking paper line one standard size loaf tin.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, set aside and allow to cool.

Chop both chocolates into desired chunk sizes. I like to leave them around the 0.5cm diameter, no larger.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda; mix well.

With a fork or potato masher, mash the bananas until all the big chunks have disappeared. Then stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and finally the cooled down butter; mix until just combined, don’t over mix or you run the risk of having a dense cake.

Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients leaving only the chocolate chunks which are to be added last.

Add the chocolate with a quick stir to help distribute them and pour the entire mixture into your earlier prepared loaf tin.

If using, decorate with some white chocolate chips or hearts.

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

Bake at 180C fan for 35-40 minutes or until the so called dry stick test is passed (be aware of chocolate chunks… if you hit one the toothpick will never come out clean).

Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before digging in.

The bread will freeze for up to 3 months so a good excuse to make a whole batch of them 🙂

Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.
Banana bread taken to the next level – super rich yet light and moist with a deep chocolate flavour. One definitely not to be missed.

 

Black Forest Muffins

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all, they can be on your table within the hour! Though they do taste better if you can resist until they are cooled completely 🙂

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! Almost everyone loves a classic Black Forest Gateaux but who has access to or even afford one every day? So as we fancied one but didn’t have access to one our creative juices started to flow and this is what we came up with – a black forest muffins!

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 25g organic unsweetened raw cocoa
  • 4 eggs; separated
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 75g cherries in juice; drained

For the syrup:

  • 3tbsp cherry juice
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbs cherry liqueur

For the decoration (optional):

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 10 cherries
  • Chocolate shavings

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 10 cups in a muffin tin tray by lining them with paper muffin cases or lightly greasing.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on a low heat melt the butter and sugar, gently bring to the boil and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly till the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, transfer into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites until peaks form.

Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooled down, stir in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla essence, then sift over flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.

Then gently fold in the cherries and whisked egg whites.

Spoon the batter into the earlier prepared muffin cases and bake for around 15 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch, use a wooden toothpick to check, it should come out clean when you stick it into the middle of the muffin.

Whilst your muffin are baking mix up the syrup by combining all the listed ingredients. If you are struggling with dissolving the sugar simply heat the cherry juice up a bit.

Once the muffins are baked remove from the oven and whilst still hot slowly drizzle a little bit of the syrup mix onto each muffin. It will give them a wonderful shiny finish 🙂

If you are opting for the fully loaded version of the muffin with whipped cream then whip the cream (I don’t add sugar but if you fancy more sweetness, you might want to add a tablespoon of icing sugar… or two) so it is ready for serving.

Once you are ready to eat, simply decorate your shiny muffins with the whipped cream and place a cherry on top; finish with some chocolate shavings sprinkled all over…

Perfection!

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! In the past we used to only bake these muffins for special occasions, especially if we opted for the whipped cream finish but lately we have decided that actually, every day is a special day, so why not treat ourselves for no particular reason at all!

What is your favourite special occasion dessert?

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour!