Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

I've had a busy cake baking weekend! This is the 40th birthday cake I made for my brother in law's birthday on Saturday. Very large and very chocolatey!
For the cake
28oz margarine
28oz caster sugar
14 eggs
24oz self raising flour
4oz cocoa
100grams chocolate chips
In a very large mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time adding a small amount of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. When all of the eggs have been mixed in, sift in the flour and cocoa and fold in gentle. Fold in the chocolate chips. This mixture is enough for 5 sandwich tins of cake - I use two 10 inch tins, two 8 inch tins and one 6 inch tin for the top layer. Bake the cakes in a moderate oven (Gas Mark 6, 180oC, Aga Roasting oven below the cold shelf) for approximately 20 minutes until the cake springs back when you press it and a knife comes out clean.
Now for the icing (you need a lot of this!) I use both buttercream and ganache for this cake, although you could cover the whole cake in buttercream if you prefer.
600 grams plain chocolate
75ml double cream
50 grams butter
Place all the ganache ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on full power until the chocolate has melted. Take the bowl out half way through and stir. Leave the icing aside to cool slightly.
1 tub betty crockers choclate fudge icing
300grams icing sugar, sieved
50 grams butter
approx. 2 tbsp milk (this will depend on how runny your icing is - you may not need any milk at all)
Put all the ingredient in a bowl and mix until smooth.
You will also need lots of chocolates for decoration!
Sandwich the two large cakes together with some of the buttercream. Place the cake on a cooling rack (best idea is to put some foil below to catch any icing which makes cleaning up a lot quicker!) Pour some of the chocolate ganache icing over the centre of the cake and using a knife spread over the sides of the cake. Place this cake on a cake stand or plate. Repeat with the remaining cakes (cutting the small cake in half to fill with buttercream) and once coated with the ganache place on top of the first layer on the cake stand. This should give your cake three tiered layers. Secure the cake with a wooden skewer through the centre, which can be removed once the cake has set.
Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag and use this to secure the chocolates on each layer. It is best to make this cake the night before you need it as this allows the icing to set overnight and makes it easy to transport (this cake make a 2 1/2 journey and survived!) Decorated the base and top of the cake with fresh flowers in oasis!

1 comment:

mrs edna wells said...

Oooh this looks lovely, so yummy and creative... what a talented young lady you are. I hope your brother-in-law had a wonderful day (he certainly was spoilt with this beautiful cake).