Monday, 2 April 2012

Nigella's Chocolate Cake

We came across this brilliant recipe from Nigella Lawson for chocolate cake.


For the cake:
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40g best quality cocoa
175g soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
150 ml sour cream

For the icing:
75g unsalted butter
175g best quality chocolate broken into pieces (Nigella's recipe calls for dark but we used milk chocolate)
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125 ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


All ingredients should be room temperature so take out of fridge beforehand.
Preheat oven to gas mark4 or 180C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins, preferably tins with removable bases.

Put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, eggs, vanilla and sour cream in food processor and process until it's a smooth, thick batter. We don't have a food processor so we used a hand mixer - works just as well.

Divide batter between the two prepared tins and bake until a thin skewer comes out clean which should be about 35 mins although start checking at 25 mins.

It's a good idea to switch cake tins around halfway through cooking time.

Remove cake tins and place on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 mins before
turning out of tins. Don't worry if there are a few cracks you can fill them in with icing later.

To make the icing -
Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water or microwave. Go slowly - don't burn it!

While choc/butter is cooling, sieve icing sugar into another bowl to get out lumps.

Add golden syrup to choc/butter mixture followed by sour cream, vanilla and when all combined add the icing sugar.

To get right consistency you may need to add a little boiling water or even some more sifted icing sugar. We left it for a few mins in the fridge, to thicken up a bit. Spoon a third of the mixture into the centre of the cake and spread evenly and sandwich together. Spread the rest of the icing over the cake and go mad! We added some birds nests and little Easter eggs. The birds nests are made of melted chocolate and shredded wheat.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Toffee Brownies

I love Brownies and I love this Toffee Brownie recipe. Stefan and I made some at the weekend and they were really yummy. Quite crispy on the outside, moist in the middle and lovely and chewy. We adapted the recipe a bit because the original recipe called for dark chocolate and, although they are very nice and rich with dark chocolate, using milk chocolate made them sweeter. So the recipe goes like this:


12oz/350g Milk chocolate - broken into pieces (we used Fairtrade chocolate)
9 oz/250g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
9 oz/250g soft brown sugar
3 oz/85g plain flour
1 tspn baking powder


Preheat the oven to 160c/gas 3/fan oven 140c
Butter and line the base of a shallow 23cm/9 inches square cake tin.
Melt the chocolate & butter together, stir well and cool.
Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick & glossy
& well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then sift in the
flour & baking powder and stir until smooth.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Test by inserting a wooden cocktail stick or skewer into the middle - there should be a few moist crumbs sticking to it. The mixture will still be soft in the centre, but will firm up on cooling.
Cool in the tin on a wire rack for at least 1 hour, then cut into squares and finish
cooling on the rack.

Don't eat them all at once!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dolgellau Craft Fair Saturday October 22nd 2011

It was really nice to get together with a bunch of girls, hire out a hall and throw a craft market. Pauline came with her cards, Nia and Lesley with their lovely jewellery. Cross stitch from Llinos. Soaps, lotions and essential oils from Kathy and Gemma. Not forgetting Bekki and her stall in aid of the British Heart Foundation. We had a lot of fun and hopefully the people that popped in to see us liked it, too.

Half of our table was our other business 'Siop Gardd' and the other half was 'Patti's Cupcakes' Here are some pictures of the cakes we sold:

And finally, our very popular, extra buttery, Welsh cakes!

Girly Cupcakes

It's kind of scary when you get an order for cupcakes from the wife of the Health Inspector (the man that inspected my kitchen, no less) who also happens to work in Trading Standards and the cakes are going to be eaten in the Trading Standards office because two people have birthdays! No pressure, then!!!

Although we have, as anyone handling food for public consumption does, a rigorous regime in our kitchen as per Health & Safety guidelines it was still scary and I won't feel okay until they give me some feedback -- if they do, that is. We always eat a couple of cakes out of each batch as a sort of quality control (well, that's our excuse, anyway)

The theme was 'girly' cupcakes and these are photos of the cupcakes we made:

Monday, 3 October 2011

Cupcakes at the Farmers Market

It's been awhile since we got the chance to take cupcakes to a farmers market as pretty much all markets already have someone doing cake and we can never get a look in. But patience won out at the farmers market we started attending three months ago (we had been selling things from our other business - Siop Gardd.) Noticing that the other cake stalls were not exactly regular in attending, we took the plunge and asked if we might bring cupcakes to the next one. Luckily the organizer said yes and Stefan I made up a couple of boxes to see how they would go.

We debated over which nozzle to use for decorating. I favoured the 3M but Stefan finds the 1A easier to use and I must say on DC Cupcakes (our favourite cupcake show) they tend to use this one. However, they use a cream cheese icing which gives a lovely effect to the cake and with buttercream icing we find it doesn't look as effective.

Nevertheless, the cupcakes turned out lovely and sold really well, too. They looked fab and tasted great, and as I keep telling everyone, Welsh butter definitely makes the best cakes!!! Here are a few photos of our cakes boxed up and ready to go.

We made vanilla and strawberry cupcakes. Some of the vanilla cupcakes were decorated with coconut and cherries, others with edible flowers. The strawberry cupcakes were dusted with edible glitter and topped with an edible fondant strawberry.

The chocolate cupcakes were made using Cadbury's Bournville cocoa. It makes a delicious, rich icing, too.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Cappuccino Bars

We're not all about cupcakes at Patti's Cupcakes, but we are all about 'cake'!!!
Here is one of our favourites. These moreish bars can be frozen, without their topping, for up to 2 months. So why not make some and stick them in the freezer?


1 teaspoon cocoa powder, plus a little extra for dusting.
2 rounded tablespoons coffee granules
225g softened butter
225g castor sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

100g white chocolate, broken into pieces
(plus a little extra to grate on top of the cake)
50g softened butter
3 tablespoons milk
175g icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C
butter and line the bottom of a shallow 28 x 18cm oblong tin.
Mix the cocoa and coffee granules into 2 tablespoons warm water. Put in a large
bowl with the other cake ingredients.
Whisk for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer to combine, then tip into the tin and level out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cool on a rack. Peel off the paper.
For the icing, melt the chocolate, butter and milk in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then spread over the cake. Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder and a little grated white chocolate. Cut into 24 bars.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cupcake Update

I've been a bit remiss in putting my cupcake pictures on my blog, so here are a few I've made recently.