Caramel Sweet Potato Cake

“This is one of the most popular cakes I’ve made in ages.  The recipe I adapted seemed too weird not to try it, but the combination of soft sweet potato and white chocolate makes for an amazing texture.  I also love the rustic drizzle of the warm ganache flavoured with apricot jam.  Very Moorish! Enjoy”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 400g peeled sweet potato
  • 300g white chocolate
  • 230g butter
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup or molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 375g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the ganache
  • 100g cream
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 70g apricot jam
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2cm cubes.  Place in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.  Remove from steamer and allow to cool.
  3. Melt the butter and white chocolate over a low heat, stirring regularly until combined.  Allow to cool.
  4. In a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and golden syrup until combined.
  5. Add the yoghurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. Mash the sweet potato or process in a food processor until no lumps remain.
  7. Add sweet potato to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  8. Add the flour and baking powder to wet ingredients and stir through until combined.
  9. Grease and line a 25-30cm springform pan.  Pour in cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes.  I found I needed to cover the cake with aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent burning the top.
  10. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin.
For the ganache
  1. Bring the cream to a light simmer and add the jam.  Stir or whisk until the jam has dissolved into the cream.  Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth.  You may need to put the pan back on a low heat if the cream has cooled down too much.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly.  While the ganache is still runny our slowly over the cake.  I applied a thin layer first and allowed it to cool on the cake before drizzling the rest over.
  3. Serve with whipped cream or Greek yoghurt

 

 

 

 

Red wine chocolate mud cake

“This would have to be my new favourite cake!  I’ve always loved a good mud cake but adding the red wine and spices adds a new dimension to this devilishly good dessert.  The smell while it’s cooking is intense and indulgent, filling the house with a mulled-wine aroma that’s hard to beat.  The addition of the port buttercream adds another dimension but I also make it with a basic ganache.  The best news is it’s so simple to make (although the decorating has taken a while for me to get proficient).  This is also one of those recipes that works just as well as a cupcake and lasts really well for up to five days without losing it’s texture.  Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 250g butter
  • 600ml red wine
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g dark sugar
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Place chocolate, butter and red wine in a saucepan and heat on medium stirring occasionally until all the ingredients have melted and combined.  Allow to cool for 1/2 and hour.
  3. Beat the eggs and the sugar until combined.
  4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Stir in the flour and spice until combined.
  6. Pour into 2 lined 20cm cake tins and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool.“If you plan to decorate your cakes in fondant, cover cakes in glad wrap and refrigerate until the cakes become completely cooled and solid.  This makes slicing them much easier.  If you want to make a simpler version, slice the cakes in half and fill with cream, ganache or butter cream or use sliced strawberries or fresh raspberries. But for pure indulgence I’ve included my port buttercream recipe.  Try not to eat more buttercream than goes in the cake!”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup port
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 200g room temperature butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • a splash of port

Method

  1. place port and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved then reduce to a low heat and let the port reduce to 1/3 of a cup.
  2. Place the reduced port in a container and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Add butter and cooled port (it will be very thick and sticky!) to a food processor and mix until combined.  (You may have to stop the machine several times to help combine the sticky port mixture into the butter).
  4. Add the icing sugar and a splash of port and mix until smooth.
  5. Remove the cooled cakes from the fridge and cut off the domed tops.  Slice the cakes in half and fill with port buttercream making sure the top level of the cake is the bottom of one of your cakes.
  6. Cover the cake in chocolate ganache and decorate with fondant.

 

 

Decadent Chocolate Orange Cake


“Confession time.  I’m addicted to chocolate!  Okay, not such a world-changing declaration but it does mean I’m constantly looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe.  This one is one of the most decadent and rich recipes I’ve made so far.  The addition of the sugared orange rind and juice add a great flavour and texture to the cake and the hit of chocolate ganache and butter-cream leaves me in chocoholic heaven.  One piece is never enough so make sure it’s a big one then hit the gym.  Enjoy!”

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • Rind from 3 oranges
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 600ml orange juice
  • 400g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and butter and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Peel the rind off the oranges, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  3. Drain and repeat another two times.  On the fourth time add 100g of castor sugar to the rinds and boil until most of the water is gone leaving the rinds in a sugar syrup.  Place rinds in a food processor and blitz into small pieces.  Set aside.
  4. Put butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat while stirring on medium until both have melted.
  5. Juice the oranges and add bottled juice to 600ml.  Mix into chocolate mixture with sugar, vanilla and orange rinds.
  6. Let the mixture cool then add eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add flour and cocoa and stir until combined.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Orange Butter-cream

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind from 1 orange
  • 125g butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  1. Process icing sugar in a food processor until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Chocoalte Ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 75g butter (at room temperature)
  1. Bring cream and Cointreau almost to the boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the hot cream.  Leave to sit for 1 minute.
  3. Stir the mixture until combined.  Chop the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate until melted.
  4. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool on the bench (Don’t refrigerate or it will become too hard to work with).

Putting The Cake Together

  1. Cut the cake in half and spread the butter-cream on the bottom half.  Place the other half on top.
  2. Spread 3/4 of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the remainder of the ganache and pipe swirls onto the cake.
  4. EAT!