Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas – Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Good afternoon friends,

Today I’m sharing a recipe, one that I’ve made before, but will no doubt become a new Christmas tradition.

This Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake, can be prepared, baked and decorated in just over an hour. A simple recipe, with the most delicious smooth, light and flavoursome cake.

Although Nigella labels this a cake, I wouldn’t personally, as it’s flourless and doesn’t have this consistency, I would say it’s more of a gooey spiced pudding.

Photo from Nigella’s site

Click on the link below for the recipe, or read on for the information and a few step by step pictures.

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Recipe

For the cake

  • 150 grams chopped dark chocolate (I used 1 while Terry’s Dark chocolate Orange)
  • 150 grams soft butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • zest of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
For the topping

  • juice of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 15 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams flaked almonds

Method

  • Take anything you need out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. The only truly important thing, however, is that the eggs aren’t cold, so if they are, just put them into a bowl (I use the KitchenAid bowl I’m going to whisk them in later) and cover with warm water for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF. Butter the sides and line the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl, in a microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or suspended over a pan of simmering water, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy. They should have at least doubled in volume, even tripled. If you’re using a freestanding mixer, as I do, this is effortless.

  • Gently fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon, cloves, clementine/satsuma zest and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have whisked in, then, finally, pour and scrape in the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate and butter, folding gently again.

  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, by which time the top of the cake should be firm, and the underneath still a bit gooey.

  • Remove from the oven, and sit it on a wire rack, draped with a clean tea towel, to cool completely.

  • To make the topping for the cake, put the clementine/satsuma juice into a small, preferably non-stick, frying pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon and melt everything together, then let it sizzle for a minute or so and begin to caramelize before adding the almonds.
  • Stir everything together, and occasionally tip the pan to keep it all moving; what you want is for all the liquid to disappear and the nuts to look shiny and be coated thinly in a fragrant, orange-scented toffee.

  • Remove to a plate and cool.
  • Unspring the cake and transfer to a cake stand or plate; I am brave enough to take it off its base sometimes, but don’t if you’re scared. Remember this cake, however intense and elegant within, has a rather ramshackle rustic appearance on the outside.
  • (My cake was curved at the top and a bit crumby, I flipped mine over, which I think looks more enticing)

  • Scatter with the almonds, mainly letting them pile up in the centre of the cake, but drop a few here and there all over the top. And serve with the cointreau cream.
  • My cake did not look anything like the picture, it wasn’t as ‘stable’, but it tasted like a dream. I dropped off slices to family, and to our neighbour with a variety of double cream, whipped cream and custard.

    If you give this recipe a go please let me know!

    Kaya •

    Blogmas 2020

    Blogmas – Christmas Biscuits

    Good afternoon friends,

    If you’re looking for quick, easy, classic Christmas style biscuits, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

    Christmas Biscuits

    I bought a pack of 10 Christmas cutters for just £4.99 from amazon, and a variety of icing pens and sprinkles from B&M for a few quid each

    Ingredients
    100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature100g/3½oz caster sugar1 free-range egg lightly beaten1 tsp vanilla extract275g/10oz plain flour

    To decorate
    400g/14oz icing sugar
    3-4 tbsp water
    2-3 drops food colourings
    Edible glitter

    Method

    • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

    • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale, light and fluffy.

    • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined.

    • Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough.

    • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm/½in.

    • Using biscuit cutters or a glass, cut biscuits out of the dough and carefully place onto the baking tray. To make into Christmas tree decorations, carefully make a hole in the top of the biscuit using a straw.

    • Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

    • For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring.

    • Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and sprinkle over the glitter. Set aside until the icing hardens.

    A no fuss recipe, for relaxing and fun decorating fun by yourself or with family, FYI the biscuits go well with a cuppa tea

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Semolina Cake Recipe

    Good evening friends,

    This year, almost everyone has gone a little baking crazy, not to mention we’re half way through The Great British bake off… It’s hard not to bake up a storm each week.

    Today I’m sharing one of my ultimate favourite desserts.

    I’ve eaten and loved basbousa since I was a child, and no cake compares.

    It’s sweet, simple and moreish.

    Basbousa Recipe

    Serves 15-20

    Pre time – 20 minutes
    Cooking time – 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    2½ cups coarse semolina

    220 g(1 cup) caster sugar

    75 g(½ cup) self-raising flour

    200 thick yoghurt

    200 unsalted butter, melted

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    25–30 blanched almonds

    Syrup

    330 g(1½ cups) sugar

    250 ml(1 cup) water

    1 tsp lemon juice

    1 tsp rosewater

    Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the semolina, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl.

    If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk, but it should still be fairly stiff.
    Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 30 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm baking tray.
    Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard.
    Place an almond in the centre of each diamond.
    Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.

    Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
    Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat.
    Leave to cool.
    Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.

    Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it.

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Easy Banana Bread Recipe

    Good morning friends and happy Sunday!

    Last night I popped open a bottle of red wine, and banana bread struck me as a good idea.

    Now you know I love a quick and fuss free recipe, and this ones supplied by the amazing, Mary Berry.

    Banana Bread Recipe

    Prep time: 15 m

    Cook time: 1 h

    Total time: 1 h 15 min

    Ingredients

    100g (4oz)butter, softened

    175g (6oz)caster sugar

    2eggs

    2ripe bananas, mashed

    225g (8oz)self-raising flour

    1 tspbaking powder

    2 tbspmilk

    Essential kit

    You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in) base measurement.

    Instructions

    Lightly grease the loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a spoon.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
    Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a small palette knife and turn the cake out. Remove the lining paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly to serve.

    This paired particularly well with the wine, but I’m sure it’ll be delicious all the same with a cuppa tea!

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    The best soft and crunchy triple chocolate cookies

    Good morning friends, and Happy Saturday!

    This morning I’d like to share the most scrumptious triple chocolate cooks recipe! These cookies are so easy to make; they’re crunchy around the edges and perfectly soft throughouthe middle. Enjoy!

    Triple Chocolate Cookies

    Active Time20 minutes
    Cook Time9 minutes
    Total Time – *29 minutes

    *plus a minimum of 1 hour Chilling,

    (I completey scrolled past this and then was shocked when I had to wait a hour!)

    Servings *20 cookies (I made at least 30)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 200 g unsalted butter soft at room temperature
    • 90 g soft dark brown sugar you can also use light brown or muscovado sugar
    • 110 g caster sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 260 g plain flour
    • 40 g cocoa powder
    • tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • tsp salt
    • 100 g milk chocolate
    • 50 g dark chocolate chunks
    • 200 g white chocolate chunks

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Melt the milk chocolate (100g). This can either be done in short bursts in the microwave (no more than 20 seconds each time, stirring in between), over a bain-marie, or in a saucepan over a VERY low heat. Once melted set aside to cool.
    • Beat together the butter (200g) and sugars (90g soft dark brown sugar, 110g caster sugar) until fully combined and lighter in colour (this should take 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer).
    • Add the egg (1 whole large egg + 1 yolk) and the vanilla extract (1 tbsp) and beat until fully combined.
    • Sift in the dry ingredients (260g plain flour, 40g cocoa powder, 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ⅛tsp salt) and mix until fully combined.
    • Add the melted milk chocolate and fold into the mixture until it’s combined.
    • Finally mix in the chocolate chunks (200g white chocolate, 50g dark chocolate) until they are evenly distributed in the mixture.

    • Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 5cm in diameter (I find it easiest to split the dough into two and make two sausages) and wrap in cling film. You may find it easier to use the clingfilm to help you get an even sausage shape as the dough will be a little sticky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 5 days).

    • When you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan. Remove your cookie dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife slice into round cookies about 1½cm thick. Place them on a baking sheet (lined with greaseproof paper or a non-stick baking sheet). Leave space between each one as they’ll double in size as they cook. Cook for 8-9 minutes until crisp around the edges but still soft in the middle.

    • Once cooked, remove them from the oven. Leave them to cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    A cuppa tea is strongly adviced, as these are perfect dunking biscuits!

    Let me know if you use this recipe and what yout think of these cookies?

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Easy and Delicious Classic Carrot Cake

    Good afternoon and happy sunday all,

    A few weeks ago, I made a carrot and walnut cake for a dear friend, (decorated as a pig) and without tooting my own horn, I must say, it was the most incredible one’s I’ve made.

    This fluffy, melt in the mouth, delicious cake, was a recipe from non other than BBC.food, you can’t go wrong!

    This morning I decided it would be a good idea to make the cake again, not only because we were having a BBQ and I insisted on bringing dessert, but also, because when I made the birthday cake last time, I didn’t actually take any pictures of it before I turned it into a pig! Of course, this meant I had to bake another, just for the photos.

    And yes, my family were devastated that I made the cake and that they had to force it down, shame shame.

    Classic Carrot Cake

    Ingredients

    For the carrot cake

    For the icing

    Method

    1. For the carrot cake, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 26cm/10in springform cake tin.

    2. Mix all of the ingredients for the carrot cake, except the carrots and walnuts, together in a bowl until well combined. Stir in the carrots and walnuts.

    3. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cake from the tin and set aside to cool completely on a cooling rack.

    4. Meanwhile, for the icing, beat the cream cheese, caster sugar and butter together in a bowl until fluffy. Spread the icing over the top of the cake with a palette knife.

    Let me know if you try this recipe and if you add anything extra to your carrot cakes, for me, cinnamon is a must!

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    The best ‘Pinch of Yum’ Chocolate Chip Cookies ever!

    Good Afternoon All!

    This is a super short blog today, but I had to share this quick and easy chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    If you’re after those delicious, soft, melt in the mouth, fresh bakery cookies, well this is the recipe for you! I of course, added a few extra chunks of chocolate… And I suggest you do the same… If you have a sweet tooth like me.

    Chocolate chip cookies Recipe

    I baked 10 last night. And how many do we have left? Any guesses?

    4… In my defense, I wasn’t alone in devouring them, and we both took 1 to work today.

    Oh and little tip… The recipe says to leave them for 30mins once they are baked… I would recommend waiting 10-15 minutes, and enjoying them still warm with a cold glass of milk.

    Have a wonderful afternoon, and do let me know if you bake these treats!

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Bake off, Halloween Special

    A very good evening and warm welcome to my Halloween Post!

    This year we decided to celebrate Halloween a little differently. In past years we’d have a Halloween party, fancy dress (of course), and a night out drinking.

    This year was slightly more relaxed but no doubt just as entertaining.

    We also watched the brilliant, BettleJuice at the cinema for a one off screening. My friend told about about this a few weeks ago and I booked the tickets there and then. You can’t beat a classic. We also dressed up at home, whilst drinking heaverly and watching Halloween films… What more could you want?

    So, this evening… We mixed it up a bit.

    The final of The Great British Bake off aired last night, so I decided that Halloween night, we would have a get together and watch in suspense on channel 4 catch up.

    I asked each guest to bring their home baked goods. The delicious dishes included, shortbread, Welsh cakes, 2 varieties of sausage rolls, sweet potato pie and rice crispy cakes. It was quite the fest!

    And yes… I gave a handshake

    I went a little rogue with the recipe as couldn’t find one I liked so made it my own. I made sweet and sticky orange buns for the occasion. And not to toot my own horn, but they were bloody tasty!

    Countless cups of tea and great company made my Halloween perfect.

    How was your Halloween and do you have any traditions?

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Quick and easy Banana and Blueberry Loaf

    Good afternoon all!

    Last night whilst watching The Great British Bake off (who’s going to win?!?), I was craving something sweet.

    Luckily my bananas had finally ripened, so I thought I’d whip together a little something. I had this recipe in mind for a while and it can be prepared and baked within an hour.

    This is my recipe for a quick, easy and scrumptious banana and blueberry loaf.

    Ingredients

    125g blueberries
    3 x ripe bananas
    150g self raising flour
    150g caster sugar
    140g unsalted butter at room temperature
    2 x medium eggs
    1 x tsp baking powder
    1 x tsp cinnamon (optional but it does add a lovely warmth)

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4

    1. Line the cake tin with baking parchment.

    2. Peel the bananas, and mash them up in a bowl.

    3. Mix together the flour, sugar, butter, bananas, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon and blueberries.

    4. Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes.

    5. The loaf should rise and turn a golden brown.
    After 40 minutes, test the middle of the loaf with a skewer until it comes out clean.

    6. Once the loaf is baked, leave it to cool, then slice it up and enjoy!

    This is a light and delicious dessert that can be eaten warm or cold, and tastes even better with a dollop of custard.

    Let me know if you have made this and your opinion!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday all!

    Kaya •