Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

Honey I am a maths nerd. I came to this conclusion a while ago when I realized I sort of enjoy doing maths homework. There is just something about numbers that I find quiet satisfying. I love that little moment of suspension when you press equals in your calculator and wait to see if the answer looks reasonable. Joy just sweeps over me when I get the correct answer. I know it’s kind of sad and you probably think I need to get out more but it makes me happy.  Recently when I was watching Take 2 I found a mathematical mistake in it. The supposedly ever so clever character played by Liam Neeson gets mixed up between his radii and circumferences when telling his daughter to draw a picture, a mistake only a maths nerd like me would notice. I often spend hours doing maths homework simply because I don’t want to start Irish or Spanish (Languages were never really my thing). But they have to be done so after I might treat myself to  one of these yummy snack cakes.

On the note of homework and study anybody struggling with any of the science subjects/maths/finance I couldn’t recommend The Kahn Academy more. It is brilliant !!!!

Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Mammy describes this as decadent but not heavy, chocolaty but not sickening perfect for every time of the day.

Makes 18 cupcake-sized snack cakes

200 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
125 ml vegetable oil
125 ml plain, whole-milk yogurt
150g sugar
, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
200 grams flour ( I used 100g of spelt and 100g of plain flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 18-cups of a  muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or lightly butter the pan.
In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup of the oil. Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat. (Alternately, you can do this in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments, stirring well between each until smooth.)
In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple times, then add the melted chocolate and stir until just smooth.
Divide the batter among the muffin or springform cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes  or until they feel barely set in the middle and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving with coffee and a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and any berries you can scrounge up in your fridge. Or, you know, as is.
Do ahead: These cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.

 

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Eagle Egg and Meringues

Okay okay I haven’t been that good recently on writing posts but I have reasonable excuses I have been very busy. First I was preoccupied with Gaisce hikes and end of school trips Sailing and Carlingford when I returned home I was in no mode to cook, then there was my trip to Chicago which I am still recovering from and unlike other jet lags this one has not sprung upon me an unreasonable need to bake bread at three in the morning. So this post will be short and sweet. I will finally get the chance to share with you the incredibly large egg that I bought in the farmers market.  Nicknamed eagle egg.

Image

I used the egg to make meringues which are oh so simple to make, delicious to eat and very forgiving on your figure.

Meringues 

50g of caster sugar for every normal sized medium egg white

I usually use 4 egg whites to make about 12 large meringues

I like to swirl pink food colouring into the mixture for a little bit of prettiness

Preheat the oven to 120C Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff with an electric mixer. The trick is to turn the bowl upside down and if the the mixture falls out it wasn’t stiff enough. I have yet to have this problem be careful not to overbeat. Fold in the sugar 20g at a time. When all the sugar is incorporated swirl in the pink colouring to get a marble effect. Don’t overmix as you don’t want a pink meringue. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and swirl out into disks it should make about 12-15 large meringues. or 24-30 smaller ones. Cook for one hour then turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven. Serve with fresh fruit and cream.

Variations

you could fold in 3-4 tablespoons of roasted chopped nuts or dessicated coconut. Fold 2 tbs of sieved cocoa for chocolate meringues and sandwich them together with a chocolate ganache.

Yes I made it :-) Louis Vuitton Cake

It’s a friends Birthday tomorrow and I decided to make a cake to bring in to school for her. Lying in bed this morning I was trying to think of something witty or personal to make. My mind wasn’t working very well at seven this morning and I wasn’t able to think of anything all I could think of was a Louis Vuitton style cake. Now my friend likes fashion as does any 16 year old girl but she has not particular ties to Louis Vuitton. I decided I was up for a challenge and was going to make an LV cake. I goggled f or inspiration but most of results were professionally made cakes. I am just a girl with no training what so ever but anybody can do wonders with a bit of food colouring and ready roll icing.

about 15 oz of  sugar, 15 oz of butter and a lot of time and shouting this is what I got.  I am pretty proud of it to be honest. I am expecting a phone call from from Louis himself to hire me.

When I am making a cake I get frustrated and shout a lot at people around me (sorry sisters I didn’t mean it). I got up at seven and  made a Madeira cake.  Then I went back to bed and rose again at 11.00 to finish my creation.  I trimmed the cake and covered it in ready roll icing (left over from Christmas). Then for the tricky part stenciling in the trademark LV pattern.  I didn’t have a stencil so I printed of a pattern from the internet and then set down to work. I used a narrow paint brush and three food colourings green, red and yellow which i mixed to get an orangey shade as well.  Anybody who knows me will know that I turn into a wagon when I am cooking especially anything as intricate as this. So poor Sister number two got some nasty shouting this morning when she decided to eat her breakfast at the table beside where I was working. Despite all the anger the production of the cake ran relatively smoothly nothing burnt or fell, touch wood. It still has to survive a car journey to school tomorrow morning and make it in one piece until lunch when it will be devoured. We always notice that when you have a cake in school you suddenly get a lot of new friends around lunch time – but isn’t that what food is for sharing.

Madeira Sponge

I use ounces in this recipe because it has been handed down to me. It makes it easier just use the same amount of Self raising flour, caster sugar and Margerine and then half the amount of eggs

80z of self raising flour

80z of caster sugar

8oz of margerine

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 160

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor then pour into a prepared tin. I used a 28 cm round silicone tin. Cook for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.  Use a wooden skewer as stainless steel has not stick properties( A tip I learnt from the pastry chef at Chapter One).

Leave to cool

Meanwhile make a buttercream to stick the royal icing to the cake

Butter-cream

70g of butter softened

140g of icing sugar

Mix the above together and put aside

200g of ready roll white icing

100g of bought white marzipan ( I usually use homemade but when it comes to sugar craft the bought stuff is the perfect colour)

 1 custard cream biscuit or any rectangular biscuit

 4 shades of food colouring – I used green, red and yellow and made orange but obviously the best three to have are the primary colours)

4 small silver balls

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When the cake is completely cool trim the bottom off  to give it a flat bottom see photo. Then thinly, as if you were buttering bread, butter the butter-cream all over the cake. Next roll out the ready roll and cover the cake with it. Use your hands or palate knife to smooth out any creases and stick it to the cake. Trim off any extra around the edge. Neaten the edges with a palate knife. Then take a sheet with the LV pattern on it and place on top of the cake. With a pin, pressing firmly, trace over the pastern so it indents the cake.  Remove the sheet and place cake in bright light so you can see the pattern. Using a fine brush, food colouring and a lot of patience paint on the pattern. Leave to dry. Any mistakes can be rectified by rolling out a thin piece of ready roll,  covering the mistake and rubbing in the creases. When the food colouring had dried in roll out thin strips of Marzipan and put around the edges of the cake. Cut out two fan shaped pieces to cover the bottom corners and a thick stip for the handle. I made buckles for the handle from two biscutis cut to the size of a stamp with a smaller rectangle cut out of the middle. Use water to stick the marzipan to the cake.  I put two silver balls in the corner of each cake.

Stand back and admire your masterpiece. Take photos quickly incase any accidents happens to it.

xoxo T. Scrumptious