Chocolate Mud Cake

 I presume that this cake has its origins in the USA, as there's the famous Mississippi Mud Pie. My family love chocolate cakes, and as my son was coming to visit, I decided to make a mud cake, a recipe I'd kept for ages in my folder. 

So for the cake you need: 220g butter or margarine, 220g dark chocolate, 6 tspn instant coffee, 160ml water, 125g sr flour, 125g plain flour, 50g cocoa, 1/2 tspn bicarb, 480g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 35ml vegetable oil and 110ml sour cream

For the ganache you need: 280g good chocolate, 140ml double cream and 40g soft butter

Preheat oven 160C/gas4                         Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin

In a pan, put the chocolate, butter, coffee and water on a low heat, till chocolate has melted, then stir together.

Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb together in a bowl and stir in the sugar. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and sour cream together.

Spoon the egg mixture and then the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together well.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about an hour. Cool in tin for 10 mins then finish on a wire rack.

Ganache: pour the cream in a pan and bring to boiling over a gentle heat.

Break the chocolate up into a bowl then pour in the cream. Mix together gently. Add the butter a little at a time, then leave the mixture to thicken.

Slice the cake in half, and use half the ganache in the centre and half on the top of the cake.

It's a delicious cake, but one slice is enough! I expected it to be very sweet because of the amount of sugar, but it isn't. It has a lovely soft texture.

 In the recipe it says you could use peppermint extract instead of the coffee to make a chocolate mint cake, or orange extract and orange zest for a chocolate orange cake.

I asked my daughter in law to take a photo of it, but sorry it's a bit blurry, and I don't know what the black lines are there for!


Clafoutis aux Cerises

 One of my favourite French desserts is a Clafoutis. It's usually made with cherries, and the question is whether to leave the stones in or take them out! I've read that leaving them in adds flavour, but I don't like finding stones in my dessert so I always take them out. I like to add some vanilla extract too.

So for the Clafoutis you need:

500g cherries [stoned]

300ml milk

125g flour

100g caster sugar

3 eggs

20g butter [to butter dish]

pinch salt

icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven 180C/gas5                         Grease a 23cm flan dish

In a bowl sprinkle 50g of the sugar over the cherries and leave aside.

Break the eggs and beat them together. Add the flour, rest of the sugar, a tspn of vanilla extract and the milk. Beat well to make a batter. Add a pinch of salt.

Put the cherries in a layer in the base of the dish and pour over the batter. Bake for 35-40 mins till set.

When cool, sift some icing sugar over the top.

My daughter in law helped me. You can use other fruit such as apricots, plums or apples. I love the contrast between the cherries and the smooth batter. It has just a hint of vanilla.


Peach and Semolina Bake


I had to repost this as my computer went a bit haywire! Sorry if your comment has disappeared!

I was  looking for something in my tins cupboard when I found a large tin of peaches hidden at the back. I remembered a recipe that my friend used to make so decided to make it. It’s an unusual recipe in that it uses semolina and crème fraîche , and is cooked on top of the cooker.

You need:                                                          traybake tin

large tin of peaches in syrup, 

250ml syrup from the tin, 

250ml milk

,100g crème fraîche

  75g semolina

 mint sprigs to decorate


Drain the peaches and keep 250ml of the syrup. Cut the peaches into 1/4s.

Heat the milk and syrup in a pan till boiling then add the semolina and cook on gentle heat for 15mins, stirring all the time.

Whip the crème fraîche till thick then add to the pan. Mix together gently. Stir in the peach slices.

Grease the cake tin then pour in the mixture. leave to cool then put into the fridge to set.

 Unmould onto a plate and decorate with sprigs of mint.

Gâteau de semoule aux pêches

 The cake has a lovely soft texture with the juicy pieces of peach. Will try it with pears or maybe plums. Would make a good dessert too with cream of ice cream.


Squidgy Lemon-Ginger Cake

My son and family were coming at last, and I wanted to make a cake. My daughter in law loves ginger, so I found this great recipe on the BBC Good Food site.


It's a lovely cake, easy to make, and the fresh ginger cuts through the sticky sweetness of the sugar and dates.

It's a dense and sticky cake with great flavours. I didn't use the suggested candied lemon peel or the coffee crystals to decorate the top. I just used the white chocolate. It's great as a cake, but would also make a great dessert with cream or ice cream [minus the chocolate topping maybe?]


Blueberry Lemon Yoghurt Cake

There was a special offer on British blueberries at my local supermarket, so I bought several punnets.
 I love them for breakfast, in muffins and in one of my favourite cakes, blueberry lemon yoghurt cake.
Watching Monty last week, he said to pick any lemons that were ripe, so this gave me the lemon for 
my cake. It's an easy cake to make too.

 Preheat oven 180C/gas4                     Grease and line 20cm springform tin

you need:
125g softened butter,150g caster sugar, 175g sr flour, 100g Greek yoghurt, 3 eggs, grated zest of 1
 large lemon, 
130g blueberries
For the icing:
100g icing sugar, juice of the lemon
Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
Add the flour, yoghurt and eggs and beat together.
Stir in the lemon zest.
Spoon half of the batter into the tin. Mix most of the blueberries into the rest of the batter then spoon onto
 the mixture in the tin. Sprinkle the leftover fruit onto the batter. Spoon into the tin.
Bake for about 45 mins. Check to see it isn't browning too much, and if it is, cover top with foil.
Cool on a wire rack.

Icing: mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick but not too stiff icing. Drizzle over the 
cake when cool.

The reason I put half the batter in the cake tin and mix the blueberries in to the top half
 is that when I mixed the fruit into the whole mix, they always went to the bottom!
It's a soft, moist cake with a nice lemon flavour. You get little bursts of blueberry, and the icing gives another
 layer. A good cake to have with an afternoon cuppa!


Muffnuts and Orange, Walnut and Rosemary Muffins

Am still doing my weekly bake for my kind neighbours, so decided to make something different this week, muffins. There’s been a lot of hype on Facebook about Muffnuts or Donkins! They’re a doughnut muffin. I just had to try them. Decided also to make one of my favourite muffins, using some rosemary from the garden and walnuts . So 2 for the price of 1 today!


It makes 6.            Preheat oven 180C/gas 4

200g sr flour, 100g caster sugar, 125ml milk, 85ml sunflower oil, 1egg and 1 tspn vanilla extract
Jam, Nutella or other filling of choice

Topping : 75g melted butter and 100g granulated sugar

Mix milk, oil, egg and vanilla together in a bowl. In another bowl mix flour and sugar.  Add the milk mixture to the flour, gently. No problem if there are some lumps. Don’t over mix!

Put 6 muffin cases into a muffin tin or grease 6 holes in the tin.
Fill half the case with batter then add a heaped teaspoon of jam or Nutella or Biscoff. Add more mixture till case or hole is nearly full.

Bake 20 mins.

Melt 75g butter in the microwave and put granulated sugar in a shallow dish.

Remove muffins from tin and whilst warm, dip top in melted butter then sugar. Cool on wire rack.

Ate one warm and it was delicious. A lovely soft texture and the contrast of the filling and then the crunchy topping. Will be making these again and maybe trying adding cocoa to the flour mix. 

Orange, walnut and rosemary muffins

It makes 12.     Preheat oven 200C/gas 6.  Grease a 12 hole muffin tin or use paper cases.

280g plain flour, 1tbspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda, 115g caster sugar, 70g roughly chopped walnuts, 2 eggs, 250ml natural yoghurt, 6 tbspn sunflower oil, finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges, 1 tbspn finely chopped rosemary leaves plus extra sprigs.

Icing: 175g icing sugar, 3-4 tspn fresh orange juice, finely grated zest of 1/2 orange

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and bicarbonate. Stir in sugar and walnuts.
In another bowl beat eggs,  then beat in yoghurt, oil, orange rind and rosemary. Make a Well in the middle and add the egg mixture. Stir together gently but don’t over mix.
Spoon into the cases or holes in tin and bake for 20 mins till golden.
Cool on a wire rack. 

Make the icing - sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add the orange juice and rind and stir till smooth and thick enough to coat back of a spoon.
Spoon icing over each muffin and top with small sprig of rosemary. Leave to set for about 30 mins.

I love rosemary. These muffins have a good soft texture from the yoghurt. They have hints of orange and then a hint of rosemary. I love this combination. The icing gives them a luxury finish, but the rosemary sprig is just a decoration - you're not expected to eat it!


Gargouillau, a French Pear Cake

Since lock down started, I have been baking every week to share with my lovely neighbour who gets some shopping for me. I decided this week I wasn't going to make just a cake, but a cake that can also be a dessert. In the fruit bowl were some ripe pears, so I made my favourite pear recipe, a French one from Creuse, Gargouillau.

You need for the cake: 150g butter, 150g caster sugar, grated zest 1/2 lemon, 2 eggs, 350g plain flour, 2 tspn baking powder and 8 tbspn milk
You also need: 600g pears, ripe but not soggy and 50g butter, extra sugar and cinnamon/icing sugar

Preheat oven 200C/gas6        Grease a 25cm springform tin and line the base with greaseproof                                                            paper,lightly greased

Cream the butter and sugar, add the lemon zest and mix in. Add the eggs gradually. Fold in the flour, baking powder and 6 tbspn of the milk. Stir in the rest of the milk.

Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise, remove the core with a teaspoon and cut cross wise into 1cm thick slices.

Spread 1/4 of the batter over the bottom of the tin, then add a layer of 1/3 of the pear slices, pressing them lightly into the batter. Do this twice more ending up with a layer of batter. Dot the top with the extra 50g butter. 

Bake on the lower shelf for about 45 mins.

Release the cake from the tin and let cool. Sprinkle a mixture of caster sugar and cinnamon over the top then cut into portions and serve freshly baked as a dessert, or dusted with icing sugar as a cake with maybe some whipped cream.

I love the textures in this cake, the soft pear and the layers of cake. It freezes well too. My neighbour loved it!

Chocolate Mud Cake

  I presume that this cake has its origins in the USA, as there's the famous Mississippi Mud Pie. My family love chocolate cakes, and as...