By Kelly Lee McCarren
There is nothing better than coming home to a warm house and the aroma of a baking cake. Add that to a crackling fire and snuggles under a throw rug, and you have the essentials for winter bliss. Now although we won’t be opening a bakery anytime soon, we do pride ourselves on our cake-making abilities. So here are two of our favourite recipes you’ll be baking over and over again…
Gordon Ramsay’s Gooey Chocolate Cake:
A rich yet light, sumptuous chocolate cake that makes not fitting into your skinny jeans SO worth it.
? 120g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
? 5 eggs, separated
? 200g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
? 220g caster sugar
? 90g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
For The Filling
? 284ml pot double cream
? 200g pot half-fat crème fraîche
? 2 limes or 1 lemon, grated zest only
For The Ganache Icing
• 150g dark chocolate
• 142ml pot double cream
• 25g grated chocolate, to serve
• about 100g chocolate shaved into curls, to serve
1. Grease and line a 24cm spring form cake tin. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas. Melt 120g chocolate in a bowl. Cool for 5 mins, then beat in egg yolks. In a bowl, beat the butter and 100g sugar until soft and creamy. Mix in the melted chocolate and yolks.
2. Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks then beat in remaining 120g sugar in three batches and continue whisking until stiff. Beat a third of the meringue into the chocolate mix. Then, gently fold in alternate spoonfuls of the flour and remaining meringue.
3. Spoon into the tin, level and bake 40-45 mins until the top forms a light crust. Test the centre with a metal skewer, it should come out clean. Remove, cool 10 mins, before turning out of the tin. When cooled, cut in half carefully as it is fragile, with a large serrated knife.
4. To make the filling: in a bowl beat the double cream until thickened, but not stiff. Then mix in the crème fraîche and the zest.
5. Spread one half of the cake with all the zesty cream and sandwich together with the other half. Place on a rack with a large plate beneath.
6. To make the ganache icing: break up the chocolate into a pan and add the double cream. Melt over the lowest heat and stir until smooth, then cool until the consistency of thick pouring cream. Pour over the cake.
7. Let excess icing run onto the plate and spoon it back over to fill any gaps. Spread the icing evenly on the top and around the sides using the back of a spoon or a palette knife. While the icing sets sprinkle the grated chocolate on top and around the sides.
8. Make the curls: You will need a large block of chocolate. Ensure the chocolate is at warm room temperature and placed on a worktop. Gordon used a sharp knife to make the curls, but it’s easier to draw a swivel vegetable peeler down the side of a thick block of chocolate.
9. Place a large ring cutter (about 10cm) in the centre of the cake and fill with the chocolate curls. Carefully remove the ring and let the curls cascade gently out. Serve at room temperature. If chilled ahead the cake should be allowed to come to room temperature before serving.
Check out more Gordon Ramsay delights here.
Nigella Lawson’s Cheeky Carrot Cake:
A delicious moist carrot cake with the ever-so-cheeky shot off sherry, which just makes all the flavours in this cake sing. Topped off with a beautiful cream cheese icing with a hint of ginger. Yum!
• 3 cups grated carrots
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 Tbsp Sherry
• ½ tsp Ginger Powder
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
• For Decoration
• 1/4 cup whole walnuts
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 250g cream cheese
• 3/4cup icing sugar
• 1tsp vanilla essence ¼ tsp ginger powder
1. In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots, sherry and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Grease a medium size bundt tin.
4. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light.
5. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts.
6. Pour evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick.
7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting.
8. Heat 3 tbsp of sugar in pan until it melts and turns into toffee.
9. Add walnuts and coat. Turn out onto baking paper and refrigerate until the toffee sets.
10. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar until well combined. Mix in the vanilla essence and the ginger powder. Spread the icing all over the cake and top with the toffeed walnuts.
Click here for more delicious Nigella Lawson recipes.
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