Sunday, 15 April 2012

Chocolate Oreo Cream Cake


Who doesn't love a good chocolate cake? And who doesn't love Oreo biscuits? I know that I'm a BIG fan of both! I've found a great and dare I say it 'fool proof' chocolate cake recipe which is simple, moist and reliable. I've made this recipe at least 4 times now in the space of a few months which is saying something! I think that the secret ingredients to this cake are buttermilk, which makes the cake moist, and coffee which brings out the rich chocolaty flavour (you can't taste the coffee in the cake). The finished result from the pictures you can see above was made in 3 stages over 3 days , and you can decide to skip out stage 2 or 3 of course:
1. Make the chocolate cake
2. Add buttercream and cream icing
3. Decorate

One major problem that I came across was the fact that the cake wouldn't fit in the fridge! Our  fridge is always packed to the brim and trying to fit a cake in is always a challenge, and we always end up repacking the whole fridge. So bear this in mind and decide on a more suitable sized cake, or try and make it all in one day before you want to serve it, or don't add the whipped cream icing (buttercream filling is fine out of the fridge tough). I'm not going to ask Santa for a new fridge (I don't think it would fit down the chimney), but something I do wish I had is a kitchen aid mixer; it would be so easy to just put everything into one bowl and let the machine do the work. But I guess on the brighter side my biceps definitely benefited from all the whipping and whisking! For all of you who also don't have a kitchen mixer I've proved that you make this cake without it, so no excuses.

I made this cake for a friend's birthday, and I'm glad that there were quite a few people to help finish the cake, however the cake defeated us even tough there were around 15 people. So if you want to make this cake, make sure you have people to share it with, and lots of them for that matter. One last tip for making this cake is to buy an extra pack of Oreo biscuits: you'll definitely be tempted to have 'one or two' biscuits whilst making the cake, and you don't want to end up with the situation where you have none left for the decoration!



Chocolate Cake
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup cocoa powder
4 cups caster sugar
4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup oil (I used sunflower as it won't affect the flavour of the cake)
2 cups buttermilk (or you can use 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup milk)
2 cups brewed coffee (use hot water)

Oreo Buttercream Filling
1 1/2 blocks (375g) of unsalted butter  at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or use the same quantity of vanilla essence)
4-5 cups of icing sugar (depending on your preference of sweetness and consistency)
1/2 pack (around 7 Oreos) of a 154g packet of Oreos crushed

Oreo Cream Icing
368mls double cream (x2 of 184ml cartons)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/2 pack (around 7 oreos) of a 154g packet of Oreos crushed

Vanilla Cream Icing Peaks

200mls double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Optional Extras

Oreo biscuits to decorate (you can get mini and regular sized biscuits)


Chocolate Cake

You can make this cake mixture in 2 batches (just half the recipe for each batch) if like me you don't have a mixing bowl big enough to fit all the ingredients.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
 3. Mix the oil, buttermilk and eggs together. Slowly add this to the dry ingredients and whisk.
4. Slowly mix in the brewed coffee until the mixture is smooth.
5. Divide the mixture equally into 4 cake tins which have been lines with greaseproof paper (or if you don't have 4 tins just bake in batches)
6. Bake for 35-45mins until a knife stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool before handling (otherwise it will fall apart easily).

Oreo Buttercream Filling

1. Beat the butter till it is soft and creamy.
2. Slowly add the icing sugar in batches and whisk into the butter after each addition.
3. Once the right consistency and sweetness is achieved add the Oreo crumbs and blend well.

Oreo Cream Icing

1. In a mixing bowl add the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk till still peaks are just about to form.
2. Add the Oreo biscuits and use a spoon to mix into the mixture (be careful not to over-whip the cream).

Vanilla Cream Icing Peaks

1. Whisk all the ingredients till still peaks form; the 'can you put the bowl over your head?' test.

Cake Assembly:

1. Cut the cake layers till they are all flat and even.
2.Place a layer of cake cake board or plate that you want to present the cake on as it will be difficult to move later on.
3. Spread a layer of butter cream on, then add another layer of cake and repeat process till you end up with a 4-tiered cake with 3 layers of buttercream.
4. Use any remaining buttercream to smooth the sides of the cake.

6. Use a piping bag to pipe the vanilla cream peaks onto the cake.
7. Decorate with Oreo biscuits.
8. Chill the cake till serving.

Chocolate cake adapted from 'Food and Wine'

A post from Fullest of Life


Monday, 2 April 2012

Giant Scotch Eggs

I'm a scotch egg lover. I remember when I was a child my mother used to pack mini scotch eggs in school lunches and I was soo excited whenever I found them in  my lunch box. I'd like to say a special thank you to my mum for my lunches actually, when I think  back to my school days I had awesome lunches filled with lots of snacks and treats that used to make the other kids jealous; no boring old jam sandwiches for me that's for sure.

I didn't realise just how easy it was to make scotch eggs until now and it's great because now I can make customised scotch eggs with all sorts of flavours; it's opened a whole new window. Since this was the first time I made them I thought I would stick to fairly basic ingredients. However next time I make them I've got a whole host of flavours I would like to try adding to the humble scotch egg, for example a bit of coriander for a more Indian touch, or maybe some lemon zest, or what about hoisin sauce (honestly I think it would work!). Another good thing about these scotch eggs is that they are baked and not deep fried making them 'healthier'. On the other hand when I baked them the sausage meat on some of them split and I just don't know why; if you know please let me know so I can learn. I've decided that next time I make them I'm going to try mashing up the egg with a bit of mayo and mustard instead of leaving the egg whole to make it more like the ones in the shops, but that's an experiment for another time.

Preparation time: 1 hr 20mins
Makes 6 giant scotch eggs

meat of 10 sausages / 550g sausage meat
6 eggs
seasoning suggestions for sausage meat: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce
1 beaten egg
bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper


1. Get the meat out of 10 sausages. I used Cumberland sausages.

2. Season the meat with 1/2tsp each onion powder and garlic powder and 1 tsp paprika. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce if you want an added kick. Mix into the meat well. Divide meat into 6 portions.
3. Into a pan of simmering water add all the eggs and boil for around 4-5 mins (you only want to partially cook the eggs). Take of the heat and replace the boiling water with cold water to cool the eggs. Remove the shells from the eggs.
4. Now you want to start assembling the scotch egg. Get a sheet of cling film and place a portion of meat onto it. Flatten the meat into a circular shape a little bigger than the eggs. You can coat your fingers with a little oil to stop the meat sticking to your fingers.
5. Place the boiled egg onto the meat pattie.
6. Use the clingfilm to help you mould the meat around the egg.
7. Once the meat is all around the egg, twist the top of the cling film to seal off the top.
8. Remove the clingfilm.
9. Dip in beaten egg and coat all over.
 10. Coat evenly in bread crumbs.
11. Arrange on a baking tray and bake at 160C for around 40mins to 1hr depending on your oven.
12. Eat hot or cold.


A post from Fullest of Life