Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Guinness cake

In a little under a month we will celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone, but then again it has been a busy one (wedding, baby, moving house, moving country!).

You may or may not be surprised to hear that I baked our wedding cake. I’m sure I’ll tell you about it another time, but since then this chocolate Guinness cake has been our go-to cake of choice.

Cat approved ! I promise she didn’t lick it…

Last weekend we went to a birthday party and took this cake with us. Not necessarily the most appropriate cake for a one year old girl, but it was certainly enjoyed by the adults.

There is a crazy (to me) amount of sugar in this cake, but it’s probably necessary to balance out the bitter Guinness, so I haven’t played around with the proportion of sugar from original recipe.

You should find this to be an extremely moist cake, in a good way, with a deep chocolate flavour. As cream cheese isn’t as readily available here as in the UK, I tend to leave it plain or simply add an icing sugar glaze. I’m sure the cream cheese frosting would make it feel even more decadent.


Chocolate Guinness cake
- serves 6-8 people
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days (their recipe makes a far larger cake)


125ml Guinness (1/2 a bottle. Drink the rest whilst you make the cake ;))
125g unsalter butter
40g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
70ml crème fraîche (or sour cream, or buttermilk)
140g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

Frosting (optional)
25g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
60g cream cheese

I have used both a square brownie tin and a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
It was difficult to take the cake out of the brownie tin…


Preheat oven to 175degC

Pour Guinness into saucepan and add the butter. Melt over a moderate heat, but don’t bring to the boil.

Once melted, remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and the sugar. Stir until smooth.

Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and crème fraîche in a separate bowl/jug. Add to the chocolatey saucepan.

Sift the flour, bicarb and baking podwer into a large bowl.

Whisk (or stir) the liquid ingredients into the flour bowl. Try to remove lumps!


Once combined, pour into your greased/lined baking tin.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes – you don’t want to overcook it or it will be very crumbly.

If you are making the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix until light and fluffy.

Ice the cake once it has cooled completely.



Chocolate mousse

Can you guess what we’re making?

It’s time to use up those egg whites!

Chocolate mousse is something I remember my mum making when I was very little, whenever my parents had dinner parties (80s-tastic!). I was allowed to lick the bowl :)

I made up my own recipe after reading a few from my favourite people (David/Julia, Raymond, Molly, Deb), so feel free to modify as you like.

I recommend using a good quality chocolate (70% plus) as it will make a difference to the overall taste.

Chocolate mousse
- serves 2 greedy people


100g  dark chocolate
glug of double cream
tablespoon vanilla extract (mine still tastes of rum, which was a good thing here)
a shot of strong coffee (I used what was left in our cafetière that morning)
2 eggs whites
6 teaspoons caster sugar


Combine the chocolate, double cream, vanilla and coffee in a heatproof bowl.

Melting for the mousse – mmmm chocolate soup

Melt the chocolate and above ingredients over a pan of simmering water. The water shouldn’t touch the bottom of the bowl – you don’t want the chocolate to overheat.

Meanwhile, start whisking the egg whites in a large clean bowl. This won’t take too long if you have an electric whisk, but it took me about 7 minutes to get them just right by hand.

The whisking begins…

When your whites have formed stiff peaks start to incorporate the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, whisking between each addition.

Whisking continued

When the chocolate has cooled slightly and the egg whites are ready, it’s time to start combining the mousse.

Using a metal spoon (so you don’t loose all those lovely bubbles) place 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate bowl and stir through in a figure of eight.

Mixing mousse

Once this third has been combined, stir through a tablespoon at a time until all the egg whites have been used. Try not to over-mix.

Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Use your finger to tidy (and eat) your mess…

Optional: serve at 10pm after your husband has rocked your teething baby to sleep.

Chocolate mousse helps (parents) with teething – FACT.

How do you use your egg whites? Feel free to leave a comment below :)







I didn’t make you truffles…

Not truffles

I am one of those people who gets grumpy if I don’t have a snack around.

It doesn’t have to be naughty, there are no chocolate bars or crisps around here, but sometimes I need something to perk me up.

When looking around one of our new supermarkets, we found “date pâté ” on sale (and ridiculously cheap too). Having used many dates that needed pitting for Shake’s birthday cake recently I could see the benefit of buying them already blended and in bulk.

I’ve seen so many recipes online where dates are used to sweeten treats and decided to just make something up that sounded good to me and wouldn’t take long to make (i.e. during nap time!).

Oh, just in case you wondered about the title, my step-father thought these were truffles and was pretty disappointed that they weren’t (until he tried them!).

Raw treat sweets – makes about 20

I haven’t been more specific with the name above as you can really change them up depending on what you have at home and what you like!


4 heaped tablespoons date pâté (or 2 cups pitted dates)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cacao powder
2 tablespoons rolled oats


Put all ingredients in hand blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and combined.

Taking teapoon-sized amounts, roll into truffle shapes.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee (optional) :)

Store somewhere cool and dry.

Other flavour suggestions: cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, dried apricots, dried figs, walnuts…




Oatmeal cookies

Are you seeing a pattern here? I promise I do cook savoury things too…

These cookies are for a friend of mine who is poorly at the moment. That’s an understatement to be honest, but I don’t really want to talk about it.

Instead, I’ll just do what comes to mind – bake something for her.

The recipe comes from Rachel Allen’s Bake and I love it. It’s so simple and the cookies come together in no time. I made half with raisins and half with dark chocolate chips.

I made a few adjustments. I used less sugar (200g rather than 220g) but I think they could cope with even less. I also didn’t use a mixer as I am lazy (sometimes) and prefer to mix by hand. I like the process, it relaxes me :)

I don’t have much else to say at the moment. It’s been a bit of a blah week with sicknesses, baby jabs, bad dreams which stick around too long and miserable weather. I promise I will perk up soon!

Next week should be fun – my best friend is getting married and I am a bridesmaid!

My mum is coming over from France for a few days. She hasn’t seen the boy since he was one week old. My how he has changed…

I found a great mum/baby group this week with like-minded people and will enjoy meeting up with them until we leave.

What are your plans for the next week?

Oh, and before I forget, I saw this which made me smile!

Raw super-infused chocolate layer birthday cake

For Shake’s birthday he asked me to make a special cake that we had seen on the wonderful and inspiring Green Kitchen Stories.

This was a cake with a difference for us; completely raw and with no added sugar!

The recipe was very simple to follow, but given the four different layers there were several steps involved. Due to the lack of time I had to find the required ingredients (we love you baby bakenshake!) I had to make a few amendments:

  • I couldn’t find coconut butter but used coconut oil and melted it as per the recipe in a small bowl of warm water.
  • Instead of nettle powder, I used the tea leaves from a nettle teabag we had in the cupboard, this meant that the colour wasn’t bright green but was still delicious.
  • I added a few tablespoons of a matcha tea we have to try to create the green effect, but it wasn’t very successful! No harm to the flavour but wasn’t so green.
  • I used a small glug of a Naked green machine juice we like which includes spinach (plus some other good things)
  • I omitted the peppermint essence and am not sure if I would include it next time if I find any, this layer was delicious as it was.

I really cannot recommend this cake this cake enough. It has been enjoyed by all of our family this weekend, old and young, despite what may be unusual ingredients for some. The combination of flavours works so well and it is both a pretty and interesting cake to look at.

Do let me know if you make it and any amendments you make to the recipe.

I’m definitely going to make the fudge layer again and divide it into small pieces for when I’m in need of a treat :)


Beetroot brownies

As I mentioned earlier, we received beetroot in our vegetable box this week with which I made brownies courtesy of a recipe from River Cottage Everyday.

I slightly over baked them as I used two smaller tins rather than the size specified in the original recipe (as below), but with a decent vanilla ice cream they were still very tasty.

You do notice a subtle beetroot flavour, but the following day my beetroot-hating brother still enjoyed a couple of slices!

Beetroot brownies

Approximately 20

250g beetroot – grated
250g 70% chocolate – broken into small pieces
250g unsalted butter – cubed
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
150g self raising flour
Pinch of salt


Turn oven on to 180 degrees Celsius/ gas mark 4.

Grease a baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm in size and line the base with baking paper (if you’re being good – I usually skip this and pay for it later).

Boil the beetroot until tender. Once cooled, peel, grate and set aside. ( I actually prepared the beetroot the day before, when baby was napping, and kept it in the fridge until I started the recipe).

Over a pan of boiling water, melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl until you have a delicious looking chocolate soup. Leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until combined. Stir in the slightly cooled chocolate/butter mixture.

Add the flour and salt and mix in until combined, making sure you don’t overwork the mixture.

Lastly, fold in the grated beetroot. Pour into prepared baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is crumbly and an inserted knife comes out with some mix (you don’t want it to come out completely clean – it will be overdone).