Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

chocolate self saucing pudding 9

I was given this recipe for Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding by my lovely Aunty Marilyn when I was a young girl and have made no other version since! The ingredients are everyday basics you have in the pantry so this makes a perfect go to dessert when you are wanting something sweet and decadent. You are left with a lovely chocolate cake like pudding and a thick chocolatey gooey sauce, perfect on its own or divine with ice cream, cream or yoghurt.

You can easily whisk it up while dinner is cooking – pop it in the oven and by the time you have finished eating dinner its ready to go for dessert! Perfect for a cold winters evening, or really any time of the year as lets face it when is chocolate dessert not a good idea!

Ingredients

Base:
1 Cup flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 TBSP Cocoa
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 TBSP Butter (melted)
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Sauce:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Cocoa
1  1/2 to 2 Cups Boiling Water
1 TBSP Coconut (Optional)

Method

Heat oven to 150C

For the base combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking powder and mix well.

Add to this the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Combine ingrdients until smooth and creamy. Pour into a casserole dish or a large ring mould.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 1

For the sauce, combine the brown sugar, cocoa and coconut – combine well and sprinkle over the base mixture until well covered and even. Pour over boiling water and cover with a sheet of waxed paper or lid.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 2

Bake for 30-40 minutes – knife will come out of cake clean once done.

Serve straight away or set aside in fridge to heat later in the day with whipped cream or ice cream. The one photographed today does not include coconut, but it is just as tasty with or without!

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding 3

I hope you enjoy this lovely recipe my family have been enjoying for years. Feel free to check out the other easy yummy recipes here on my blog and fun kids activities also.

chocolate self saucing pudding 8

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Feijoa Loaf …….. And Cake!

feijoa loaf 9

We are inundated with feijoas this Autumn, we never know what sort of crop we will get from our trees but maybe the abundance of bees & wasps this year meant things did what they should!

Everything you ever wanted to know about feijoas can be found online – but here in NZ they are a pretty acquired taste – people either love them or hate them, and even those that love them do not always think they should then be used in baking!

Feijoa Loaf 2

As I received an extra bag of these from a local farm  I thought I best find some recipes to use – and came across this loaf in a few different places online, no idea where the original is from but it has been around for years. I put my own spin on it and a few modifications to make it even nicer.

I doubled this recipe and made it as both a loaf and a cake with lemon icing – then took it to a few taste testers and the general consensus was the cake with lemon icing was nicer – but then my kids and husband prefer the loaf and both were enjoyed at a recent coffee morning.

It is best to use really ripe fruit as I think it will add more flavour – be generous with the fruit portions for extra yumminess.

Ingredients

1 heaped cup peeled and sliced feijoas – riper the better
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
50g butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Walnut Pieces (Optional) I used half a cup, gave a lovely texture and taste

Method

Heat Oven to 180C

Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray or line with baking paper (I also cooked the cake in a ring tin).

In a saucepan add the feijoas, boiling water, sugar, butter and heat until boiling, then gently boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Feijoa Loaf 3

Carefully stir in the dry ingredients, egg and walnuts if using.

Mix until dry ingredients are just moistened, pour into prepared tin and bake. The original recipe stated to bake for 45-60 minutes – mine was done in 30, so do check after 25 minutes to assess cooking times in your oven. The loaf is ready when it springs back to the touch, and a knife or skewer comes out clean.

feijoa loaf 4 feijoa loaf 7

Allow to cool slightly then remove to a cooling rack. I iced the cake with a lemon icing which was a nice contrast to the delicate flavour of the cake. Was my basic vanilla icing, but with lemon used to moisten instead of water, could also add some fresh lemon zest. Serve the loaf in thick slices with butter.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

feijoa loaf 8

There will be more Feijoa recipes coming your way – this was nice but I am sure there are more around for me to test.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter or add your email above to receive my latest blog posts as they come up, or check out the Sweet Treats Tab above for more lovely recipes.

Have a super day, 🙂

Grandma’s Microwave Chocolate Cake

Microwave Chocolate CakeOne of my earliest baking memories is of this cake made by my Grandma – well not so much the cake, or even if I helped make it – but of the crumbs left in the cake tin! When you remove the cake from the tin it leaves little traces of soft moist cake behind – and it is those little traces of cake crumb that are my most enduring memory of this cake – and the best bit is that 20-30 years later it still tastes the very same!

Grandma's Microwave Chocolate Cake 3

The next most important point to make is this cake cooked in 5  1/2 minutes!!! So at any given point you are only around 10-15 minutes away from a whole chocolate cake – forget tasteless cakes in a mug – this is real cake, whole cake, cooked in no time at all 😉

This was definitely trial and error – the original recipe said to cook on medium for 10 minutes – so I thought I would try 40% for 10 minutes – and well suffice to say I now know how to make rock cake!

So second time around I went with fullpower and 4 minutes – eventually cooking for a further 1  1/2 minutes – each microwave will vary so I recommend starting at 4 minutes and going for 30-60 second increments until it bounces back to the touch and a skewer or knife comes out clean.

You will need a microwave proof cake tin – I have the original old ring tin but I see you can get them online and in some stores still.

Grandma's Microwave Chocolate Cake 1

Ingredients

1  1/2 cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 heaped Tablespoons Cocoa
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Oil
3 Tbsp Golden Syrup

Method

Spray or line the microwave proof cake tin (I used a ring tin) It does leave a fine crumb behind but you can always use a circle of baking paper in the bottom of the ring to avoid losing the top of your cake.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and combine well – I used a whisk to ensure it was all well combined.

Pour into the prepared cake tin, pop into the microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes, then check and cook for 30-60 second increments it bounces back to the touch and a skewer or knife comes out clean. It took 5 1/2 minutes in our 1100w microwave.

Grandma's Microwave Chocolate Cake 2

Allow cake to cool in the tin then remove onto a rack ready to ice once cold.

Grandma's Microwave Chocolate Cake 6

To ice I used my basic Chocolate Icing Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 heaped dessertspoon of cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 – 2 tsp butter melted

Method

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and slowly add water a teaspoon or two at a time until you have the desired consistency, I just drizzle it straight from the tap a wee bit at a time.

Spread over cooled cake and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Microwave Chocolate Cake

I hope you enjoy this special recipe from my Grandma, I was so pleased to remember it and even better that my Mum was able to dig it up.

For more Grandma Recipes – check out my Sweet Treats Tab, stop by my Facebook page or Twitter to follow my latest recipes or you can follow this blog via your email address above too.

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Grandma’s Recipe – Banana Cake

Banana Cake 7
I was blessed to know my wonderful Grandma into my early 20’s until she passed from Cancer. She was a Wife to a Sheep Farmer, a Mother to seven, a Grandma to 21 and by now would be a Great Grandma to lots & lots of Great Grandchildren!

She was very special to me and some of the fondest memories I have of her are baking and preparing meals for her family & grandchildren and I am delighted to have many of her recipes, passed on by my Mum who was her eldest daughter.

This is one of the first recipes I made as an adult and continue to make often to this day always with her in my heart. Whenever bananas go past their best I pop them in the freezer – you can then get the bananas out a few hours before you need them, or you can even thaw them in the microwave if you are pressed for time – they don’t look great but they taste amazing in baking!

Banana Cake 6

It is such a simple recipe and can be made into a cake or muffins, its lovely, light and moist and freezes well.

Grandma’s Banana Cake

Ingredients

4 oz butter (112g)
6 oz sugar (168g)
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
2 Tbsp hot milk
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz flour (224g)
1 tsp baking powder

Banana Cake 1

Method

Cream the butter  & sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and mashed banana and beat well.

Banana Cake 2

Heat the milk in the microwave for 10-13 seconds until hot – then add 1 tsp baking soda and mix until frothy and add this to the mixture and blend well.

Banana Cake 3

Add the flour and baking powder and mix well.

Banana cake 5

Put batter into a greased cake tin & cook – my memories are always of this being done in a round ring tin so that is what I always use, but any baking tin will do and I spray it with cooking spray to prepare it. Cook for 25-30 minutes at 200C (390F) Cake is done once a skewer or knife comes out clean.

Banana Cake 4

Ice cake once cooled – store in airtight container. You can freeze the un-iced cake for up to 3 months.

Ice with any icing you desire – chocolate or vanilla is nice. I usually do my basic vanilla icing for this cake.

Banana Cake 7

Basic Vanilla Icing

2 Cups Icing Sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp melted butter
Small amount water

Combine the icing sugar, vanilla & butter into a bowl and mix well. (Sift icing sugar if not smooth, or whisk to remove lumps) Carefully add a teaspoon of water at a time to the mixture until you get the desired consistency.

Banana Cake 6

I hope you enjoy this simple but tasty recipe and it becomes a family favourite for you too. 🙂

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Have a wonderful day 🙂

Buttercream Icing Recipe – Step by Step

Buttercream Icing 1
I thought I would share a more step by step process for making buttercream icing – there are many recipes out there but there are a few tips & tricks that make it easier and once you have made it a few times it’s easy to get the hang of!

Disclaimer – I am Just a Mum! I am no expert and have learnt what I know from making my kids birthday cakes not culinary school! There are plenty of other experts around for you to look at, this is just my take on it! 😉

When I was making sure my recipe was the same as others out there I noticed that there are many variations to quantities, so this is my recipe I have always used but the processes are the same regardless of what amounts you prefer.

Buttercream Icing 9

I used standard butter here but I often use vegetable shortening from our local kitchen store Chef’s Complements if I need the icing to be pure white as our butter here in NZ means the icing still retains a creamy/yellowy colour at best.

The first tip is that you will need either an electric hand beater, food processor or food mixer for best results. You need to really whip the butter to get it creamy and pale and its near impossible to do it by hand.

Ingredients

125g softened butter
1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar (you are supposed to sift I never do!)
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
Food Colouring

Buttercream Icing 2

I recommend using the best icing sugar you can find – some brands are definitely better than others and will effect the outcome. Also you use imitation vanilla essence but you will need to use more for flavour than a quality vanilla. Taste as you go for the flavour you prefer.

Buttercream Icing 3

Soften the butter in the microwave in short bursts to get it to just softened stage, not melted, 10 seconds at a time.

Add the butter to a large bowl and begin to blend on high until it begins to go pale and creamy – approx. 2-5 minutes

Buttercream Icing 4

Add half of your icing sugar and mix well again for at least 60 seconds – I find by adding this first portion of icing sugar and mixing it allows me to get a paler colour as the mixing blades have more to work with.

Add the last measure of icing sugar, milk, vanilla and food colouring. I doubled the recipe today so I added the icing sugar in 3 stages, adding milk to the last two stages. Continue to add food colouring a few drops at a time until you get the desired colour. Try not to overmix too much once all ingredients are together to avoid overly aerated icing.

Buttercream Icing 5

Once the colour and consistency is right prepare your piping bag.

There are so many piping bag sets available, you can buy them for only a few dollars to more expensive brands, and even reusable ones are available at supermarkets – with a bit of practise I find it’s easier to pipe decorations onto a cake than it is to try and get smooth icing!

Buttercream Icing 6

I usually use a plate to practise on before I ice onto the cake – this allows me time to get the feel of how to hold the bag – and also make sure I am happy with the tip I am using, try out a few different ones to see which one you like the best. Today I wanted to try something I have not done before with my Magical Orange Cake, I see all the errors but really I am sure it looks ok! Icing is pretty forgiving and you can always scrape bits off or just do your best and no one will be the wiser.

Buttercream Icing 7

When icing with a piping bag make sure you twist the top tightly and that no air is trapped in the bag and that you have a firm grip on the bag itself – there are lots of tutorials on YouTube for easy fancy ways to decorate so check them out!

Buttercream Icing 9

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask and I will see if I can help.

I hope you have enjoyed this Just a Mum ‘How To’ – icing kids cakes is such a simple way to delight them on special occasions.

Thanks for checking out my recipe today – you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter for more recipes & fun kids activities. Invite your friends along too!

Have a great day and happy icing! 🙂

Buttercream Icing 8

Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe – Finally!

Vanilla Cupcakes 6

There is something so elusive about the perfect Vanilla Cupcake recipe. I am never completely happy with what I make so next time I need them I find myself Googling again!

Well today I had some fun and think I may have just found a winning recipe, well so far anyway! It has nothing fancy in it – no sour cream, cream of tartar, lemon zest – just everyday ingredients I have on hand – so that is a bonus too!

Today in my Google fest I came Glorious Treats and it appears she might have been on a similar journey to me! So here is her recipe & I can see why it came out top in her testing!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups cake flour (I used plain flour and was fine!)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs *
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract **
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk
(or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using, this is what I did)


Method

* Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

(If using plain milk add the white vinegar to the milk now and set aside)

* In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.

Vanilla Cupcakes 1

* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat until well combined.

* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl.

* The batter will be thin, I poured it into a jug to make it easier to top up cases. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with cupcake cases. Fill the cases until about 2/3rds full.

vanilla Cupcakes 2

* Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. They will be ready once they spring back to your touch – alternatively use a toothpick to ensure it comes out clean.***

* Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.

vanilla Cupcakes 4

* Once the cupcakes are completely cooled you can ice with buttercream icing or any other icing you desire.

Vanilla Cupcakes 5

* Feel free to use this recipe for a cake as well. The recipe above will work for a 6″ cake. It is a delicate tasting cake so will benefit from a lovely flavoursome icing to bring it out.

A few tips & tricks
*Most recipes recommend that the milk & eggs are room temp to ensure they are light and fluffy, can take around 30 minutes for this to happen but don’t stress to much if not totally room temp

** I used some gorgeous Heilala Vanilla Essence I got for Christmas but I feel that Hansells Imitation Vanilla or whatever brand you like to use would be totally fine. No food snobs here!

*** It is better to check the cupcakes early – if the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs or still gives to your touch pop it back in for just over a minute and check again – you do not want overcooked cupcakes or they will not last well and be dry and crumbly!

Gluten Free Notes – I also made this recipe a second time using Gluten Free Flour & Baking Powder, I will discuss the differences between the two in a different post but you can easily substitute Gluten Free products into this recipe, results will differ slightly but the kids still loved them!

I have not iced these ones yet but will update the finished product tomorrow – these ones will be Lego Chima flavoured! Hmmmm not sure what to expect of myself!

Here they are…..

Chima Party 9

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Easy Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes 1

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I would love you to also check me out on Facebook if you like what you see – I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do 🙂

Easy Rich Choc Cake 6

This is my go to recipe for birthday cakes after receiving it from a friend some years ago – it makes a lovely rich chocolate cake that is dense enough to use for any sort of icing and is super tasty & keeps well.

Today I have used it for cupcakes for my sons birthday. It is so quick and easy to make, with no need for a food mixer or processor.

Ingredients

Sift & add together the following in a large bowl and combine well (please note I hardly EVER sift anything I am baking, but please feel free to!)

2 Cups Plain Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup cocoa
1 1/2 Cups Sugar

Easy Rich Choc Cake
In a separate bowl combine the following

2 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 Cup oil
1 Tablespoon malt vinegar
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 Cup black coffee (I add 250mls cold water and 1 tsp of coffee, mix well then add to wet ingredients)

Easy Rich Choc Cake 1

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well until combined & no lumps remain.

Easy Rich Choc cake 3

Heat oven to 180C. Pour into muffin trays lined with cupcake cases, filling to 2/3rds full. Cook for 14-18 minutes depending on your oven. As with all cupcakes check early then continue to cook for 1-2 minutes at a time until done to ensure they are not overcooked & dry.

Easy Rich Choc Cake 4

Remove from the oven once they spring back to the touch or a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tray for a few minutes until cool enough to remove to a wire rack until completely cooled.  Store in an airtight container until you are ready to ice. These can be frozen until you are ready to use.

I just love the odd ingredients in this one, the fact I NEVER drink or eat anything coffee flavoured attests to the fact this tastes nothing like coffee! Or malt vinegar for that matter! Odd baking science at its best….

Easy Rich Choc Cake 5

Thanks for stopping by today, please do let me know how you get on.

Cupcakes

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Happy Baking 😀