Recipes: Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter Cookies

Over the last few days, I’ve tried out a couple more recipes and thought I’d share the results here.

The whole cake and one delicious slice!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing
Serves: 8 – 12
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 60 minutes

Ingredients for Cake (recipe source):
6 oz softened butter
6 oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
5 oz self raising flour, sifted
1 ¾ oz cocoa, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Icing (recipe source):
3 oz soft butter
6 oz icing sugar, sifted
2 oz cocoa, sifted
1 – 2 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C, lightly grease cake tin and line with greaseproof paper
  2. Put all cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat together till smooth (do not over-beat!)
  3. Pour batter into cake tin and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, till well risen and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean
  4. Remove from oven and let cake sit in tin for 5 minutes before running a knife round the edges and turning out onto a wire rack to cool
  5. When cake is cool, make the buttercream icing:
  6. Beating the butter till creamy
  7. Add the icing sugar and cocoa to the butter gradually, mixing well
  8. Add the milk and mix well
  9. Pipe or spread onto cake

The Verdict:
Baking a cake from scratch is one of the items on my list of 50 Things To Do Before I’m 50, so I was anxious for this cake to be a success (my attempts in the past have all been disastrous, from sunken cakes,to over-cooked, to raw in the middle, to just plain disgusting!).  My buttercream icing was a little on the sloppy side, as I accidentally spilled a little too much milk into the mixture (that will teach me to measure directly into my working bowl!), so I couldn’t have piped it. Just as well it was fine being spread on the cake instead! I also only had small eggs, so I used four of them and it all worked out fine. The cake was lovely – moist and chocolate-y without being overpowering, and hubby has declared this simple recipe a keeper. Judging by Xander’s face, he liked it a lot too! A surprisingly easy 5/5!

Judging by his chocolate-y smile, Xander definitely liked the chocolate cake

Slightly disappointing peanut butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
Serves: 20 – 30
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (recipe source):
175g peanut butter
90g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
125g self raising flour
desiccated coconut to coat

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and lightly grease baking tray
  2. Beat peanut butter (I used crunchy) and butter together until well mixed and creamy
  3. Add the sugar and beat again
  4. Gradually add the egg and mix well
  5. Sift in flour and mix to a firm dough
  6. Roll cookie dough into walnut-sized pieces and roll in the coconut to coat
  7. Place on baking tray and flatten slightly
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until golden, then cool on a wire rack

The Verdict:

The original recipe called for coating the cookies in cornflakes but a) I didn’t have any and b) I prefer coconut, so I used that instead, and the cooking time in the original recipe is also listed as 10-12 minutes, but this left my cookies pretty raw. Also, I thought there’d be a fair amount of “spread” as the cookies cooked, but the first half of the batch pretty much remained as slightly-flattened balls, so I flattened out the second half a lot more. The writers of the recipe must get some pretty big walnuts, as they say the recipe will make 20 cookies – my walnut-sized balls totalled 30.

Anyway, the upshot is, I’m still searching for the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe as this wasn’t it. They were quite tasty, but not what I’m looking for and I won’t be bothering with this recipe again. A slightly disappointing 3/5.

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