Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

It’s a no brainer that whenever I go to friends’ parties (especially with kids!), I’m the designated dessert person. I don’t mind – I love baking and it’s a pretty good excuse to trial baking recipes. Mr J isn’t a huge cakes and sweets person, so I need other guinea pigs who will¬† I can share the cakes with (because you know what they say… minutes on the lips, forever on the hips).

Bundt-land is a strange place for me. I’ve always baked with the traditional round cake pans, but the sudden rise in popularity of these intricate, hole-y pans irked my curiousity. Recently inspired by baker extraordinaire Charlotte Ree and shot by the super talented Luisa Brimble, I bravely dipped my toe in bundt town and was surprised to see so many amazing recipes and beautiful cakes. So I bought my first bundt pan (Nordic Ware – recommendation from Charlotte Ree no less!) at Williams Sonoma in Bondi Junction one morning in December (ok, more like the weekend before Christmas. Yeah I know, BRAVE!), and followed their instructions to the T. Butter your pan like you’ve never butter before! Every nook and cranny of that pan must be oiled to perfection! GREASE ME UP WOMAN! *ahem* Oh and don’t forget to flour it too. And buttered and floured I did – the cake came out solid, nothing stuck to the pan, and I breathed a sigh of massive relief.

This cake is an uber rich, decadent, indulgent cake – more brownie, less sponge cake. The buttermilk helps keep it moist, and the chocolate and buttermilk glaze adds an extra layer of oomph. For my first bundt cake, this was a total winner for both adults and kids alike. We do like our big bundts and we cannot lie.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
Recipe from here

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweeted cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
375g soft unsalted butter
3 cups caster sugar
5 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp espresso powder
1 cup chocolate chip morsels

For the chocolate glaze:
1 cup of chocolate chip morsels
3 tbsps butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttermilk glaze:
1 cup powdered icing sugar
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C.
  2. Thoroughly butter and flour your bundt pan. I used a brush to evenly coat all the nooks and crannies with butter.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat in the vanilla, espresso powder and buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the batter, one big spoonful at a time.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chip morsels.
  6. Transfer to your bundt pan, ensuring you tap the pan on the kitchen bench to remove any bubbles. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. It’s ready when a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake rest for approximately 20 minutes, or overnight, before removing from the pan.
  8. Glaze with both the chocolate and buttermilk glaze.

For the chocolate glaze:

  1. In a bowl, melt the chocolate chip morsels and butter together in a microwave for approximately 40 – 60 seconds.
  2. Mix the vanilla extract and set aside.

For the buttermilk glaze:

  1. Mix the icing sugar with the buttermilk, one tsp at a time.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and glaze on top of the cake.
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The Tilbury Woolloomooloo

Summer in Sydney is so, so fabulous, and more.

A leisurely 1.5km walk from the heart of the CBD to Woolloomooloo, through the hustle and bustle of Market Street, down Macquarie Street and through Domain, and then suddenly you find yourself at Woolloomooloo, just inches away from the water and yet you feel so far, far away from the city already.

It’s a part of town that I don’t venture out to much, but I must admit in the last few months I have been slowly finding my way around the area. A cool summer lunch at Kingsley’s, a brunch stop at Flour & Stone for my lamington fix, and now a beautiful, casual dinner at The Tilbury.

Sydney, and all its beauty and charms, never ceases to amaze me.

Like I said, summer in Sydney is so, so fabulous, and more.

Thanks to Jenna of Stellar Concepts & Chef Elton Inglis of The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo for the invitation to the dinner & masterclass.

Chef Elton Inglis dazzled us with a beautiful menu using fresh Australian produce but incorporating his English learnings from working at Jamie Oliver’s and Gordon Ramsay’s kitchens back in London.

The canapes were what he described as “ice breakers” – and oh they were wonderful!

Crab arancini with lemon aioli

The crab arancini was the smoothest, softest crab meat sandwiched inside and in between morsels of rice, and encrusted in this crispy coating. Topped with the tiniest lemon tang aioli. I wanted more.

Mackerel rillette on toast with pickled beetroot and caper raisin puree

A delicious combination of mackarel and the sweetness of beetroot, with the caper raisin puree just cutting it – I think I inhaled this in one go.

After the ice breakers, Chef Elton and Jenna from Stellar had this brilliant idea of letting us run loose in the kitchen to prepare our own entree. We were given 3 pieces of scallops, and free rein of all the other ingredients in the kitchen. Oh, you smart cookies.

Getting the low down from Chef Elton. We promise to behave in the kitchen!
Running loose in the kitchen…

How wonderful was it to experience first hand how it’s like cooking in a proper kitchen! Thanks Chef Elton for letting us get a bit creative & trusting us with your beloved kitchen! Some of our creations…

The Gook’s scallops creation
Another blogger dish by Paddy from The Jugernauts
Scallops ala ratatouille – by yours truly

My dish? Pan fried scallops with ratatouille-inspired vegetables of eggplant, grape tomatoes, pancetta, chilli & parsley.

Afterwards, Chef Elton sent his own creations and obviously, it blew all of our creations aside. How can you compete with these?

Scallops, Confit Kipfler potatoes, Truffle mayonnaise, Truffled egg yolk

 

Pan Seared Scallops, Roasted Watermelon, Pickled Daikon, Parma Ham

The mains arrived soon after…

Cootamundra Lamb Rump, Smoked Eggplant Puree, Broad Beans, Trussed Tomatoes, Persian Feta

What a beautiful dish. Lamb rump that is cooked to blushing perfection, with a beautiful combination of smoked eggplant, beans, tomatoes and a salty yet creamy Persian feta.

Spanish mackerel with crushed peas, fresh almonds, grape vinaigrette
Kipflers, Rosemary & Garlic
Pear, Rocket & Parmesan Salad

The wines paired with the dishes were perfectly selected as well for the evening.

Soon, it was dessert time. Oh, how can you go wrong with a chocolate pudding with molten centre, cinnamon ice cream, raspberries & honeycomb?

Belgian Chocolate Fondant, Honeycomb, Raspberries, Cinnamon Ice cream

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo is such an amazing find, with the casual entrance to the pub for the drinkers, the beautiful open restaurant for the diners, and the cool beer garden for everyone.

Sugarlace dined as a guest of The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo and Jenna of Stellar Concepts. My warmest thanks.

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo
http://tilburyhotel.com.au/
12-18 Nicholson St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Phone: (02) 9368 1955

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Buttercream

Peanut Butter Frosting

These babies were a hit at a recent bake sale I organised for my workplace, to raise funds for the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan appeal (through Philippine Red Cross). Thank you so much everyone for your generosity – you are truly inspiring!

Sweet, salty, peanut-buttery goodness with some dark, dark chocolate.

What do you know – you can have your (cup)cake, and help the lives of the survivors of the typhoon.

Hope you all had a fantastic, productive, helpful weekend!

For a list of some charity fundraising events in and around Sydney, go to the Haiyan Relief Effort website here: http://haiyanreliefeffort.tumblr.com/fundraising

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter and chocolate buttercream
Adapted from Bakerella’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Makes approximately 16 cupcakes

Cupcake:1 1/2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup boiling water

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 deg C. Line a baking tray with muffin liners.
  2. In a bowl, mix eggs, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  4. Add the water from a recently boiled kettle and mix well. The mix will be very watery.
  5. Divide evenly on to the cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in a rack.
  7. Ice with prepared peanut butter and chocolate buttercream (I put 2 buttercream in 1 piping bag to create a 2 tone effect).
  8. Top with a chocolate chip cookie!

Peanut butter buttercream:
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
125g butter, softened
4 tbsp icing sugar

  1. In mixer, mix the peanut butter until soft. Add the butter and mix to combine.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before piping on to prepared cupcakes.

Chocolate buttercream:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g butter, softened
4 tbsp icing sugar

  1. In mixer, cream the butter until soft.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, 1 tbsp at a time.
  4. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before piping on to prepared cupcakes.

For more information about where to donate:

The Peter Project 2 http://www.nvcfoundation-ph.org/projects/the-peter-project/

Philippine Red Cross http://www.redcross.org.ph/

Save the Children https://donate.savethechildren.org.au/typhoon

Haiyan Relief Effort http://haiyanreliefeffort.tumblr.com/

 

 

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