Saturday, 24 September 2011

Apple Traybake

Towards the end of Shahr Ramadhan every year, our mosque holds an auction to raise money for various causes. Its a fun time, when everyone bakes different cakes and make desserts to sell.
This year, I wasn't sure if I was going to go. I spent the entire day working on my designs and finishing my chores and by 4pm I was finally free.
I honestly didn't want to miss the auction and I really really wanted to bake something- even if it was simple.

I've mentioned the Good Food baking application on my iPod before. It has so many recipes..some which turn out good while the others..not so good. But hey, its fun to try baking the different things!!
Anyway, I have professed my love for cooked apple before, and I really thought about making something with it.
Apple pie? Apple Crumble? Apple Dappy?
I had seen a recipe for an Apple Traybake and thought I would give it a go.
The recipe was quick and simple enough for it to be ready in an hour or so.

It looked great and smelled lovely, but truthfully, I didn't get a chance to taste it. I cut most of it up for the auction and gave the rest to a friend who always loves to taste the results of my random baking sprees. There wasn't much point leaving any for home because since it was summer, we mostly lived on cold drinks rather than eating anything after breaking our fasts.

It did receive some good feedback though and the friend who isn't a fan of cooked apple also loved it.

Anyway, I thought I may as well share the recipe.
After looking at it, I think that the next time I bake it I might add some mixed spice or cinnamon to give it a flavour boost.

It was way too simple!!!


450 grams cooking apple (such as Bramley)
juice of 1/2 lemon
225g butter, softened
280g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
2tsp vanilla extract
350g self raising flour
2tsp baking powder
demerara sugar, to sprinkle

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a rectangular baking tin (approx 27cm x 20cm) with parchment paper. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples then squeeze the lemon juice over. Set to one side.

Place the butter, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well until smooth. Spread half the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange half the apples over the top of the mixture, then repeat the layers. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar. 3 Bake for 45-50 mins until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn out of tin and remove paper. Cut into bars or squares.

Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or custard and enjoy!! :-)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

'Perfectly Chocolate' chocolate cake :-)

There are so many different types of chocolate cakes. When I was young, My mum used to make chocolate fudge cake that made us kids go crazy.
It was so moist and gooey and chocolatey that I remember sitting on the table and moulding my slice of cake into a basket or any other thing like it was play dough.
And then eating it :-/
Hey, I was a kid and it was fun!!!!

I have made fudge cake again, many times and never get tired of it. I once wanted to bake it again for my parents anniversary but didn't have any yogurt at home, which is one of the main ingredients in the cake. I could have waited till I went out to buy some but I really really wanted to bake at that moment, and I only wanted it to be a yummy, moist chocolate cake.
Anyway, I set about searching the internet for a good recipe and came across the Hershey's website which has the most gorgeous recipes!!! One of the recipes was for a 'Perfectly Chocolate' chocolate cake. The recipe was too simple only required the basic ingredients that everyone keeps at home.
After doing my excited jig, I ran down to the kitchen and quickly began baking.

About an hour later, the cake was ready. It was so quick and easy that I was a bit skeptical about what it would taste like.
After making a ganache and whipping it up into a mousse, I iced the cake and it was ready to be served!!

The cake was fantastic. 
I can't describe how soft and moist and chocolatey it turned out and I would totally recommend anyone to bake it. The great thing is, it isn't dense and doesn't feel very heavy, which is why its great. You don't need to worry about the frosting making it too sweet.

I haven't made fudge cake ever since I found this recipe :-/
They do taste different, this cake is light while the fudge cake is dense.
I usually choose to bake this cake, not only because of the results but also because you don't need to worry about it going off to quickly (because of the yogurt) in the summer- unless of course you use the mousse or ganache frosting- you should probably then store it in the fridge.

Just a couple of weeks ago I used the same recipe for tiny cupcakes that I made for Eid. This time I reduced the baking time from around 30-35 minutes to 20 minutes.
I was really really pleased with the results and so was my taste tester :-)

This is what it looks like on the inside!!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa ( I used the normal Bourneville cocoa)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or just one pan if you don't want it to be sandwiched.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. 
  4. I got the recipe from here
  5. You can use any kind of Frosting that you want. Here are the two types that I use;
  6. Ganache/ Mousse:
  7. 175 ml Double cream
  8. 10 ounces Dark cooking chocolate
  9. Method:
  10. -Chop the chocolate up into small pieces and place them in a heat resistant bowl.
  11. - Separately, in a pan, heat the double cream on a medium heat till it reaches a boil.
  12. -Pour the cream on to the chocolate and leave it to stand for 2-3 minutes.
  13. -Stir it till it becomes a smooth mixture.
  14. The more chocolate you add, the firmer the ganache will be.
  15. You can pour this on to the cake as it is.
  16. OR
  17. Leave the mixture until it is completely cool and then beat it with a hand mixture until it becomes thick and fluffy. You can then pipe it on to your cake.

  18. Frosting for the cupcakes: (Enough for around 30 cupcakes)
  19. 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  20. 14 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  21. 2 and a half tablespoons milk
  22. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  23. 5 cups icing sugar
  24. Beat butter until smooth. Add chocolate until combined. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar and beat until combined on medium speed. Don't over mix!
  25. When making this frosting, once you pipe it on to your cupcakes, make sure you immediately decorate it (IF you are) with sprinkles, chocolate shavings etc. because the frosting creates a thin outer shell quite quickly and loses its stickiness.
  26. Happy Baking :-)
  27. -S