Friday, 5 April 2013


Typical - I've managed to stay healthy for over a year with not a sniffle in sight and just before we are due to go on holiday, I get ill :-(. Mr Happy Larder is on dog walking duties this morning and I will hopefully be back to normal soon.  Lots of hot drinks and vitamins for me and a bit of sleep - I usually fight these things off quite quickly :-).  For dinner tonight, we will just have a pork casserole - it's so easy to just throw together and leave to slow cook in the oven - the perfect food when ill as there is really just minimum effort required but you still get the goodness of a home cooked meal.

Talking of food and recipes, I have just realised that I haven't yet posted the recipe for the chocolate cake we had for Easter, so without further ado, here it is.

Have a lovely weekend!

Chocolate cake
For the sponge:
50g cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water
3 eggs
4 tbsp milk
175g flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g baking spread or soft butter
300g caster sugar

For the ganache icing & filling and the decorations
200g good quality chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used a mixture of dark & milk chocolate)
200ml double cream
3 tbsp jam (apricot or berry works well)
18 x 2finger Kitkats or other chocolate fingers (for the fence) plus marzipan or icing figures or other chocolates to fill the top of the cake (M&Ms, Maltesers, etc)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking parchment.
  2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined but don't overwhisk.
  3. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
  4. Meanwhile, for the ganache icing & filling, heat the cream in a saucepan.  Stand a bowl with the chocolate over another pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Remove the bowl with the melted chocolate and add the hot cream, stirring frequently to combine the two. Set aside and leave until cool and almost set.  The longer you leave this, the more set it will get - if it gets too hard (like mine did because I forgot it in the fridge), simply put the bowl back on a pan of simmering water to melt again - it will firm up afterwards.
  5. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
  6. Spread the top of the bottom cake layer with jam and top with a layer of the ganache filling.  Put the next cake layer on top and spread the remainder of the ganache over the cake (top & sides). You can now add the chocolate fingers around the cake to create the "fence effect" - I left a small gap between the fingers to make cutting the cake a bit easier.  As it was Easter, I made marzipan bunnies etc but you could also just fill the middle of the cake with chocolate buttons, M&Ms...whatever you fancy :-)


  1. hope you feel better soon x

  2. So sorry Kirsten....yes, hopefully it will be short lived.
    Lots of vitamin c for sure.....praying you feel better quickly, thank you for the cake recipe :)

    1. Thank you Kim! I hope you will enjoy the cake recipe - I forgot to add that this is a Mary Berry recipe but will add this note to the recipe. Kirsten x

  3. Are you going away for your holidays? Did you know onions have more Vitamin C in them weight for weight than citrus? I do hope you feel much better very soon :-)

    1. Thank you so much! I hadn't realised that about onions but have done some reading since you mentioned it & apparently they are really good cold busters. I cooked onion soup for lunch, so fingers crossed! Thanks again! Kirsten x

    2. Oh, and yes - we are going away. To Savannah in the US :-)

    3. Have a great time and maybe do a post on Savannah when you get back :-)

    4. A few more days to go yet before we are on our way but I'll definitely write about it when we are back :-)

  4. Hope you recover soon Kirsten so you can enjoy your holiday. Weather here in Melbourne Australia is a lovely balmy 28 degrees (C) - seems like autumn is going to be warm for a little while longer.

    1. Thank you Victoria - I am starting to feel a bit better. Melbourne at 28 degrees sounds heavenly - we are barely making it into double digits here at the moment and the day started at -5 degrees. Brrrrr... Kirsten x