Cherry Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

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First of all I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

This year we decided to do the food celebration in our home on Christmas Eve, since we won’t be home on Christmas Day.

I am kind of looking forward to having my food prepared for me on Christmas day, I think it might actually be the first time in my life (as an adult) that I am not cooking.

So, on Christmas Eve we are going to have a buffet style dinner  with lots of bites and appetizers and goodies, no real cooking involved and lots of desserts. Of course lots of desserts.

I am going to put this cake on the table too and I’m kinda hoping there will some left for Christmas morning. Fingers crossed…

It’s a pretty straight forward cake with just some glacé cherries and chips since kids don’t like to many “things” in their cake.

And the good part is you can make a day or two in advance.

Ingredients;

1 C. butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes

1 1/4 C. Caster Sugar , packed

3 large eggs at room  temperature

2 C. Self Rising Cake Flour

4 tbsp. Whole Milk

1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

25 red   Glace Cherries cut in half

1/2 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1 tbsp. flour

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Method;

Pre heat oven to 160° C  / 320° F

Butter your Bundt pan very well and dust with flour. Tap of excess flour.

Beat the butter until light and creamy in the bowl of your mixer.

Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add the vanilla.

Now add the cake flour in two times alternating with the milk.

Toss the chocolate chips and cherries with the tablespoon of flour, add to the batter. Mix it in with a spatula.

Divide the batter over the Bundt pan and even out with a spatula. Place on a rack, just below the middle in the oven.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes,  until a wooden skewer comes out dry.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes before turning over the cake.

Decorate with icing or frosting.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer brownie-cookies-squares-43

Oven Baked Christmas Churros with thick Spanish Mocha hot Chocolate

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Great childhood memories for me about Churros, we used to get them at the weekly market in my village in Spain, they’d be deep fried and sprinkled with lots of cinnamon sugar. Served in a paper cone. Crunchy and warm, and oh sooo good.

My version is baked, not fried. Just because it can get a little heavy otherwise and it’s also less calories.

Traditionally these are served with hot thick Spanish chocolate but since I love Coffee, I have made us a Mocha Hot Chocolate. Basically the best of both worlds.

I have sprinkled the Churros with a cookie spice mix (pumpkin spice) to give it an extra “Christmassy” flavour.

Some people have this even for breakfast but they are great any time of day and even as a dessert (YUM is all I can say).

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Serves 4

Ingredients Churros;

½ cup unsalted butter or cooking margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar of choice (I use coconut)
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. mixed spice (like pumpkin spice
1/4 C. powdered sugar of choice
cooking spray
Method;

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Remove from heat add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine. Mixture will thicken…add the vanilla.

Leave dough in the saucepan, but beat it on low with a hand mixer, adding one egg at a time, mixing well before adding another. After adding each egg, the mixture will become wet and glossy, but after mixing on high for a few seconds it will thicken again.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and pipe 8-inch rows of the dough with at least 1 inch between each Churro.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown*, and when a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix spice and sugar in a shallow dish.
Spray Churros lightly with cooking spray, and one at a time, transfer them to the dish and sprinkle with spiced sugar. Serve immediately with Spanish hot Chocolate

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Ingredients Spanish Mocha Hot Chocolate;

1/2 C. hot freshly brewed coffee

3 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 tbsp. coconut sugar or of choice

2 c. full fat milk (or of choice)

2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with a little water

Whipped cream to serves

golden mini starts to decorate (optional)

Method;

Make the cup of coffee and mix in a saucepan with the cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and cocoa completely. Add the milk and stir to combine. Heat until just begins to bubble. Add the corn starch slurry and combine well. Keep stirring frequently and heat thru until thickened, for about 5 more minutes.

Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream and dip the Churros in the hot mocha chocolate.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls or Triple Chocolate Donuts

Ultimate Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake

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Every year I ask my daughter what cake she would like for her birthday and the answer is always the same, chocolate.

I can’t even begin to tell how much fun it is to create a cake, a special cake for a special someone. Surprise them and show them through baking how much you care.

This cake has caramel shards on top, that I will explain in detail how to make, then a swiss meringue fudgy caramel buttercream between delicious moist chocolate cake layers. Caramel dripping around the cake.  Then besides the impressive caramel shards  and Unicorn Bark all sorts of chocolate and sweets to make it a decadent feast.

Ingredients Fudgy Caramel:

1 C. plain sugar

3 tbsp. water

1 C. cream

3 tbsp. butter.

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Method.

In a large pan add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Cook around 7 minutes, brushing down the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Be careful, sugar is extremely hot!

When the caramel turns light golden remove from the heat, Remove it before it gets too dark because it will continue to cook for a while off the heat. Alternatively use a candy thermometer, when it reaches 180°/356°F remove from heat. Add the butter stirring vigorously with a beater the the cream and vanilla.

The caramel will bubble up like crazy. Stand back, wear long sleeves!!!

Pour into a clean heat proof container. I use a glass weck jar. Cool and store until ready to use. Will keep for about a week.

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Ingredients Caramel Shards;

1 C. sugar

4 tbsp. water

Method;

Place sugar and water in a pan and cook over medium high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until thermometer reaches 180°/356°F.

Remove from heat and pour onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment. Pour into the desired shape. I pour it into a rectangle like shape so I can break it in to large segments. Let cool for a couple of hours before using.

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Ingredients Swiss meringue butter cream;

5 large egg whites

1  C.  sugar

2 C.  butter at room temperature cut into little blocks of about a tablespoon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Method;
Combine egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler.

Whisk constantly until the  sugar has dissolved and reached 160°F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. Test this by picking some between your thumb and index finger if you don’t have a thermometer, there should be no sugar grains.  Put mixing bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing until mixture cools to room temperature. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.

Now add your vanilla. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.

Makes enough frosting to cover and fill one 9.5″ layer cake.

Store airtight in fridge for 3 days.
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Unicorn Bark;
1 C. vanilla white candy melts + 1 tbsp.
edible glitter
Nonpareils
wooden skewers
Method;
Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave at thirty second intervals until melted.
Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and form a sort of rectangle.
Sprinkle with the decorations and leave to dry completely.
Break lengthwise into two or three shreds.
Flip them over, melt the remaining tablespoon of candy melts in a little bowl and “glue”on the wooden skewers with the chocolate so you will be able to stick them into the cake.
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Chocolate Cake;
Yield: 2  10 inch rounds

Ingredients:

butter and cocoa for coating and dusting the cake pan

3 C.  All Purpose Flour

3 C. Granulated Sugar

1½ C.  Unsweetened Cocoa

1 tbsp. Baking Soda

1½ tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

1½ C.  buttermilk

1½ C.  warm water

½ C.   Vegetable Oil

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Method:

Preheat oven to 175°/350° degrees.

Butter two 10 inch cake rounds. Dust with cocoa and tap out the excess.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

In a seperate bowl beat the eggs and combine with the buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet to dry. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.

Divide batter among the two pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream frosting (filling);
Mix one cup caramel fudge sauce with one cup buttercream, whip until well combined.
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Assembling and decorating the cake;
 Place a little dab of buttercream on a cake round and place the first cake layer on it. Level the cake with a serrated knife or a cake cutter. Level the other cake layer as well.
Spread with the caramel filling and place the second layer of cake on it. Press a little bit.
Now cover the entire cake with a very thin layer of the Swiss meringue buttercream and place in the fridge for half an hour. After this time cover the cake with an other layer of the buttercream, smoothing it out completely.
Dab some pink food coloring here and there and with your scraper just go alongside the cake to spread out and smooth.
Decorate the cake with the shards of caramel,  the Unicorn Bark and all the pretty Nonpareils you feel like. Let yourself go and use your vivid imaginations.
Note: I used a dummy to make the cake look twice as high, you can get one online.

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