The latest season of that BBC One Baking Show has ended and Selasi wasn’t crowned the winner, much to the dismay of half the UK population. The show as we know it will be no more as it up sticks to Channel 4 from next year. Goodbye Mary and the comedic duo Mel and Sue. Hello to a plethora of adverts right at the crucial moment we found out who is going home. Boo.
Alas, cake always makes things better and what better way to commiserate by getting your bake on.
I’m not the biggest chocolate cake fan, however, I have all the time in the world for Gâteau Fondant au Chocolat. I first came across it in a little pâtisserie near my dad’s apartment in Paris. It was love at first bite and is a cake I can never resist.
It is a dense gooey cake in the middle with a crispy top, perfect warm with some ice cream on top. Even better, with limited ingredients and effort, you don’t need to be Mary Berry in the kitchen.
I’ve made this cake at home numerous times and now you can too, just save me a slice!
- 200g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
- 200g of butter
- 150g of sugar
- 80g flour
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 200 °c
- Break the chocolate into a small heat proof bowl. Using the bain marie method, melt the chocolate over simmering water ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Be careful not to overcook chocolate.
- Melt the butter in another small bowl using the same method and add then melted chocolate to the bowl. Mix.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar, and flour.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the large bowl and mix until smooth.
- When smooth, pour into a buttered and floured pan. Bake for approx 25 minutes. The cake will still be a little wet inside, don't worry!
With Christmas just around the corner (yes, I said it!) this would be the perfect time to start dropping hints to your loved ones to buy you some essentials. After all, they’ll be reaping the benefits as well… won’t they?
In collaboration with House of Fraser, I’ve picked out five of the best essential baking equipment to ensure you become a baking superstar in your own kitchen.
My kitchen is overloaded with mixing bowls in various sizes and this set is definitely high up on my essentials list. It includes five measuring cups, one small non-slip mixing bowl with measurements, one stainless steel mesh sieve, one colander and one large non-slip mixing bowl. Even better, it’s currently on sale!
There is nothing worse than being unable to find the right bowl or measuring cup. I honestly think I must have around 3 different cup sets in my kitchen all in separate locations. With Joseph Joseph, everything is neatly tucked away making it almost impossible to lose. Unless you’re me.
When you’re dealing with whipping up egg whites, a little handy tip is to never use a plastic bowl, only use copper, metal or glass. Why? Fat particles find a way to lurk in the bowl in any scratches which then in turn interfere with the egg whites while beating. These Linea Metal Mixing Bowls are perfect for dealing with fragile ingredients. Just don’t overbeat!
I cannot live without my digital kitchen scales which are similar to these. With digital scales, you get a more precise measurement, but that’s not rocket science is it? I don’t see the need having the spend a fortune on scales when these at around £20 are perfect. Just don’t let your boyfriend steal them to weight his coffee grounds and never give you them back! Not that I’m talking from experience…. cough.
Macarons, what else do I need to say? Since my dad moved to Paris 10 years ago, they have been a firm favourite. An indulgence. For Christmas 2 years ago, Ross enrolled me on a macaron making class and I successfully managed to make my own batch at home. Hello Pistachio Macarons! This nifty set gives you the piping bags, nozzles and silicon mats with an embossed outline to ensure you pipe the perfect size. You’ll be saying “Ladurée who?” in no time!
Aside from the usual cupcake, muffin and baking trays, spring form pans are perfect for avid bakers. They come in a range of sizes, shapes and come with sides that separate from the base. My grandmother baked a lot of cakes and our kitchen at home is full of her old equipment. These are a personal favourite of mine.
Ideal for cheesecakes, tarts or even larger cakes. Say goodbye to fighting to get a cake out of a normal tin and say hello to an easy free life. Just make sure the cake has cooled fully before releasing the “belt” as it could lead to a rather crumbly end.
The Ferrari of stand mixers. My mom has my grandmothers old Kenwood mixer from the 1970’s and it still works to this day. Luckily for me, I get to steal it when I want to bake and I also have a Kenwood hand mixer which is handy for whipping up smaller quantities of mix. This is an investment piece. Yes they are pricey but they are also definitely worth the money.
Are you an avid baker? Do you have any baking essentials? Going to attempt my favourite chocolate cake? Let me know in the comments below.