Baking is great therapy. If I feel anxious or depressed then I force myself out of bed and do some yoga. Then, I reach for the baking cupboard.
Though the Hummingbird Bakery provide my favourite recipes, I decided to have a little search around for something different. If you can call old fashioned chocolate cake something different. Find the recipe I use to fatten up my friends and family here, and check out my tips for following it below.
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THE SOUR CREAM • Don’t freak out. I calmly used it and found it made the cake so wonderfully cool and smooth. Almost like thick chocolate milk. Embrace the weirdness because it tastes gooooood.
SIFT, SIFT, SIFT • I far too often see people who throw in all their ingredients without sieving. Anything than can be sieved should be. That means flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda should all be sifted. It will make the sponge oh so airy.
GOLDEN SYRUP • This is the first time I’ve actually added this ingredient, because at university we don’t have it…and we sure as hell aren’t going to buy it for one little cake. I’ve found that it makes no difference, so if you don’t want to put it in – don’t.
DECORATE • Confession: this is the first time I have ever decorated this, and that is because it is going to be on my blog. I like to use Cake Angels’ stuff if I want to make it look great though! NOM • Don’t think about the calories. What’s the point? Enjoy with strawberries or cream (or both)
If you’re expecting some sort of explanation for why the hell Britain celebrates Independence Day then you’ve come to the wrong place. It actually baffles me a little bit because really, it’s a war we lost… I’m not complaining – any excuse for a party, a hot dog and some fireworks and you can guarantee I’ll be up to my eyeballs in it. Also, I really like America.
This year, it’s a calorie love-in. Two of my faves in Manchester plied me with saccharine treats and I gladly fell to my knees and smothered my face in chocolate chips and buttercream (not really, but almost.) First came Hey Little Cupcake and their impeccably thought-out collection of cakes. I have now enjoyed several batches of Sarah and co.’s creations and they’re all desperately excellent. How do they do it? I don’t know, but if I ever see past that kitchen door of theirs, I’ll be sure to take pictures and send them to the government for studies.
Second came the new Dangerously Addictive waffle menu from Splendid Sausage Co. (which I previously reviewed here). An ice cream treat lurked beneath a whipped cream cloak on each waffle made with a special iron specially imported from the US. We sampled ‘Born in the USA’, featuring candied bacon, blueberries and maple syrup. ‘Chocolate And Lots And Lots (And Lots)’ featured lots of chocolate (as you might expect) in the form of house made white and milk chocolate brownies, nutella, chocolate chips and malteser ice-cream. To finish off, we sampled the seasonal fruit offering. Everything was, as usual, absolutely magnificent. Mike and Emily’s restaurant is fantastic and if you haven’t been yet then just know that they offer something that combines vodka with Nutella.