triple threat chocolate attack

tripple threat chocolate cake... chocolate ganache. rich, moist chocolate cake made with quinoa. chocolate & vanilla bean cream filling! Entirely gluten-free

Sometimes I cheat….

What I mean by that is, if I have to make a cake for a tasting (as I’m doing today), I wont make a whole cake.

…I like to do what I call the “half-a-cake“. What I mean by that is, I divide the whole recipe in half, bake only one layer of cake, cut that cake in half & stack it on top of itself.┬áThen decorate as intended.

It’s cheating without cheating.

Truth is, if I made the entire cake, I’d eat anything that wasn’t being given as a sample.

…And then I’d be huge.

Todays cake was made as a half (although the recipe given is for the full shebang). It was a special request from a couple who are about to renew their vows & want something a little special to mark the occasion.

My orders were, that they wanted it chocolate, chocolate & more chocolate….. & that it had to be moist! Well, ok, I can do that.

What I have here is a rich, moist, bitter chocolate cake. That has then been filled with a light chocolate & vanilla bean cream filling. & that whole thing has been covered entirely with a chocolate ganache that is neither dark chocolate nor milk chocolate but rather somewhere in-between.

Message received!

They’ve also asked me to make BINGO cookies as their giveaways for the occasion. Turns out they are quite avid BINGO players who frequent ballsupbingo more often than not. Hey, we each have our quirks. Turns out the game can be quite fun (yes, I may or may not have wandered over & played a few games).

Any way, I’ve not done the cookies yet, but the cake tasting went quite well… looks like I’ll be making about 30Kg of it!

I’d also like to share that I used quinoa as the selling point for the cake. I mean, besides the fact that it is completely gluten-free & the cake was absolutely delicious, quinoa is incredibly healthy for you. Since people are always trying to be more health conscious, I thought I’d throw that little tidbit in there.

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sour chocolate ganache on banana cake cupcakes

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I have this thing where I think that if I make cupcakes instead of a full sized cake… I’ll control the quantities I consume. Theoretically, it should work. Practically, it rarely does.

Surprise, surprise though, this time I’ve managed it. Possibly because I found some very willing taste testers to give the excess to.

See, theoretically, my idea is genius. It’s so much easier to give cupcakes away than to show up to someone’s house with a cake that has chunks missing & dig marks from your fork left all over it.

Still…. can’t say I wanted to share these. The creamy sour chocolate ganache & rich banana cake was just so delicious. The quinoa flour used was also an excellent compliment in both taste & texture.

Folks, we have a winner. xxx

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the real deal, chocolate covered orange

chocolate covered candied orange rind

Make these & make them in bulk.

Do it. Do it now.

Seriously, if you ever had the slightest interest in the combination of chocolate & orange, you’re not going to get better than this. Get yourself some good quality chocolate though, like Valrhona or something, & some big, juicy, sweet organic oranges. Maybe even your sugar is organic, who knows. Just, it’s amazing.

It’s this amazing combination of the chewy, tangy, fresh orange rind which is wonderfully complimented by that creamy, bitter dark chocolate taste & just a hint of vanilla at the end.

Not going to lie, I’ve eaten about 20 of them already. I’ve even reserved some of the un-dipped rinds (the sans chocolate ones) which I’ll chop up & put into something else, like a cake or something.

The rest? Well, I’m going to have to force myself to wrap them up & give them away as gifts for Christmas otherwise I’ll end up consuming the lot!

It’s dangerous being me.

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roasted almond & sea salt chocolate bark

I’ve decided that since we’re getting closer to christmas, day by day inching forward, it’s time to bring out all the recipes that could potentially be given as gift.

Truffles are traditional. Hot chocolate mixes go a long way. Pre-made brownie mixes in a jar that’s been topped off with marshmallows & tied with a pretty red bow. You know, all that jazz.

Although I’m not going to do any of the aforementioned.

As always, I am once again guided by my stomach & a slave to the gods of cravings…. Yes. What I am basically saying is I want this, I want it now, if I eat it all I will be a little piggy with an extra layer of fat to keep myself warm during winter, so instead I’ll eat my fill & tie the rest off with a pretty gold bowl. No, that is not chocolate around the corners of my mouth I swear. Fine, yes it is.

My motives are irrelevant, let’s not bypass the most important point here in which I’m thinking about all my Christmas giving. Hurray for the holiday season!!!

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lavender truffles

Here is a very good tip when it comes to making truffles….

Do not attempt to make them in the middle of summer when it’s 35C outside & you have no air-conditioning!

Take it from me, I learnt the hard way. I was a big ball of melted chocolate mess. I had to keep returning my ganache to the freezer so it would firm up, but of course my hands were so warm that when I tried to roll the filling it just melted all over my hands.

Seriously.

These are fine to make if you live in London or somewhere else that has an equally cool (if not cooler) climate. Or in fall. Or winter. Or spring.

Not summer though.

Certainly not greek summer.

Still, they were for a gift. It was worth the mess.

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