Chocolate Fridge Cake (a Misnomer)

This really is a misnomer.  It is not a cake at all, it involves no baking.  But this is one of those recipes that is so easy to make, and so forgiving – you can use any combination of ingredients to add to the chocolate base.

I have been trying to get this recipe “just right” for too long. The issue is the chocolate base.  I want this to be firm enough to hold together, so that you can pick up a small square of this fridge cake with your fingers, instead of needing a spoon or a fork, and yet it must be just enough on the soft side of firm as to not be hard when you bite into it. You want a slightly forgiving level of firmness.  Yes, fussy, I know! There are numerous recipes for this and equally numerous are the variations on quantity of ingredients for the chocolate base.  You start off with chocolate, golden syrup and butter.  Oh, but the quantities vary so much.  Too much butter and you end up with an oily mess, too much syrup and you have a sticky gloop that will not co-operate… see what I’m getting at here?

Sadly I have not yet found my perfect combination, although for this particular batch I used 300g of milk chocolate, 150g of golden syrup and 120g of salted butter. This is melted together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Now comes the fun part!  You add to this melted chocolate mixture your choice of “filler” ingredients.  Some type of biscuit or cracker to add crunch, and then it is all about texture and flavour – dried cranberries, raisins, cherries, nuts, orange zest, candied citrus peel, mini marshmallows….the choice is endless.

I have a love – not just a love but a complete and over-riding passion for the combination of salty and sweet – and, just mention salted caramel and I am all yours!  Galaxy used to make some chocolate caramel balls which were PERFECT for this recipe.  Unfortunately they seem to have stopped them.  I used a bag of Rolos instead, a bag of Reece’s peanut butter cups minis, plus a large pack of salted pretzels, with just a tiny sprinkling of sea salt flakes over the top. Chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, salt…….who’s arguing! The result – sweet and salty, sticky and gooey, crunchy and chewy. Sigh……


It’s Saturday

Whilst many people are enjoying the festivities and celebrations of the season, this time of year is not a happy one for everyone, and it can be fraught with stress and tension.  We all need a little time out, to get some peace, to feed our souls. Remember to take time for yourself.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a happy and peaceful weekend 🙂


The “C” Word (Part 4)

What do you do when you’ve had a long stressful week at work and only two hours sleep? You think it’s a good idea to unwrap and ice your Christmas cake! Yes, with barely a brain cell, and absolutely no artistic ability, it seemed like a very good idea.

Over the years I have tried various toppings / icing / decoration for my cake. Now I am an icing girl. Through and through.  Without icing there is usually very little point to anything.  I am a “would you like a piece of cake with your icing?” type of girl. Less is most definitely not more, when it comes to icing!

I do think a classic royal icing is the best, but we all remember the tooth-shattering hardness of this, and so the soft royal icing took over. I love this, you  need no talent, just put it on the cake, rough it up, and it looks like lovely peaks of snow. Royal icing however is made with egg, and I hate egg. Did I mention how much I hate egg? Bleurgh. And somehow I manage to smell the egg, when I have made the royal icing, with every mouthful of cake I detect that egg.  And guess what, fondant icing is made with egg too… this put me right off making my own fondant icing.

I don’t like to buy ready made icing, I need to feel I have actually made the effort, and succeeded. But, in this instance, reader, I caved. I gave in and bought ready made fondant icing.

And so, to the cake, which has been wrapped up tightly for weeks, just waiting for this day. A layer of apricot jam, and then a layer of marzipan:

and then topped with a layer of white fondant icing:


This, you understand is just too plain. I must decorate it. Being completely devoid of talent doesn’t prevent me from having a wild imagination.  Past experience however has taught me to scale down my ambition, and I am determined, one day, to master a basic form of cake decoration so that it doesn’t look like a three-year old has done it. I have to admit, I am not doing very well on this front.  This year I set myself the task of making a fondant icing bow. I have watched countless YouTube videos of how to do this. I have even had a few trial runs (no photographic evidence!). Today it was now or never. I am not happy with my bow, it’s a bit rough around the edges, it’s just not quite right, but I have done worse.  I wanted to dust some edible lustre on the fondant ribbon, but it had a pinkish tinge to it, and didn’t look right. The blue one didn’t sparkle and shine, but somehow ended up making the ribbon look as if it was made from suede! Oh well. There’s always a next time! As for the snowflakes, no talent required, I have one of those marvellous stamp things that you punch into the fondant icing 🙂


And so here is my Christmas cake, with fondant icing decoration. I just need to wait for it to dry a little bit before I cut myself a slice!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stay safe. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

The “C” Word (part 3) aka Bûche de Noël

Once again we go back to chocolate, and somehow it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Bûche de Noël – also known as Chocolate Log. I have made this a number of times, and always use the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “Christmas”. It works, it is delicious. And, it contains no flour!  The sponge consists entirely of eggs, cocoa powder, caster sugar and vanilla essence.

Whisk the egg whites with some of the caster sugar; whisk the egg yolks with the remainder of the caster sugar until creamy and mousse-like; add the cocoa powder and vanilla, combine with egg whites and pour into baking tin.

Once baked, remove from the oven, cool slightly before turning out onto a sheet of baking paper and carefully roll up.  Leave to cool before icing.

And, finally…..p1000374f

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have a peaceful and happy weekend 🙂