Saturday, 27 May 2017

Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake

I've been saving this one for a little while now. I wanted to post it at the exact right time. And a bank holiday weekend coupled with it being my birthday weekend (yes, I'm taking the whole weekend) seems about right.

I know that I bang on about cake, but I really do love cake.

Cake is comfort. Cake is delicious. Cake is constant. You know where you’re at with a lovely slice of cake. Trends may come and go, but no one will ever be upset with being presented with a cake.

And it’s even better when it’s a four tier, ombre, chocolate caramel behemoth.

NEKKID - very trendy

Ain’t no one turning that down. There’s an entire tin of caramel in this. Don’t be scared.

One thing I love about cakes is that they are really easy to make look impressive. And this cake is absolutely kick-ass. Look at those layers! I am so proud of this. I want it for my birthday every year please. 

The inner amazingness even covers up for my somewhat questionable decoration skills. If in doubt, throw sprinkles EVERYWHERE. Solid tip right there.

Ingredients for the chocolate and vanilla cakes
  • 215g butter
  • 215g golden caster sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk

Ingredients for the caramel and caramel chocolate cakes
  • 215g very soft butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 75g caramel
  • 175g plain flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp milk

And for the rest..
  • 275g dark chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 very generous heaped tbsp of caramel
  • The rest of the tin of caramel, to sandwich


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare your cake tins by greasing and lining them.

For the vanilla and chocolate sponges, with an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar, and then add in the flour, almonds, baking powder and eggs and mix again.  Stir through the yogurt and vanilla sugar.

Pour half into one of the tins and set aside. Add the cocoa to the bowl with the remaining batter and mix well. Add the milk until you have a smooth dropping consistency.

Bake for 20-25 mins. Remove onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

While that’s cooking, whip up the third and fourth layer (caramel and caramel chocolate). It’s basically the exact same method, but add the caramel in with the sugars at the beginning.

Cooked and cooling!

When the sponges are cool, make the ganache. Melt the chocolate and pour it over the cream and caramel. Mix until you have a smooth mixture, and set aside for a little while until it hardens very slightly and becomes easy to spread (approx. 15-30 minutes).

When the sponges are totally cooled, spread a thin layer of caramel over the vanilla (palest) sponge, then place the caramel sponge on top of that and cover it with a thin layer of yet more caramel. Put the caramel-chocolate sponge on top of that, then another layer of caramel and top with the chocolate sponge:

Spread the chocolate ganache over the whole cake to serve, as neatly as you can and throw whatever sprinkles you’ve got at it to cover the patchy bits.

 Slice and serve to grateful loved ones:

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Slow Cooker Honey Chilli Chicken

Ooh, this is a good one. I haven't had time to cook much with work and revision, so anything to make the process simpler is a good one for me!

The slow cooker is such a great invention. I use mine at least 2-3 times per month, normally on a weekend. There's nothing better than shoving some food into the slow cooker on a lazy Sunday morning and knowing that dinner is taken care of so that you can focus on the important Sunday activities which include sitting on the sofa and reading the paper.

I don't know about anyone else, but my favourite takeout is Chinese food, and I love a good deep fried honey chilli chicken. I'm always looking for ways to recreate those flavours at home and this one really hits the nail on the head.

This is one of the most simple meals I've made, and the first time I made it, I'll admit, I didn't have high hopes. But the flavours are insane! This is a really delicious dinner, and super simple. Make sure to scoop out some of the sauce because it is really amazing over rice. And apart from all the other things that make this meal amazing, it also is basically made from kitchen staples - I always have these items on hand which means I can have this dinner whenever I want. Which is often, no shame.

Mmm, gotta sop up that sauuce
serves 2 with leftovers

  • 3 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup tomato pasatta
  • ¼ cup runny honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds


Chop the chicken breasts in half and line the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle over the onion, pepper and chilli.

Mix together the garlic, pasatta, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, oregano and paprika until smooth. Pour this over the top.

Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Remove the chicken and veg onto a plate, and pour over the sauce. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Sorry about the hiatus, I was on my holidays eating obscene amounts of pizza, pasta and gelato.

BUT I'M BACK BABY. And with a corker of a meal.

I am excited about this post. It's nearly the weekend, and this is the perfect meal to pop in the slow cooker on Saturday morning, to give bountiful meals all weekend.

I love my slow cooker because it takes large hunks of meat that I would normally be super intimidated to cook with, and turns them into tender, flavourful meals with almost no effort.

And when you have that big plate of delicious meat, you can go ahead and cook up whatever you want with it! I got three meals out of this, it was basically the best week’s dinners of my life. None of the dinners took much time to do, and the meat was the star ingredient.

Day one, we had quesadillas:

Tortilla wrap, cheese, meat, veg, fold over and cook. Dream

Day two, we had nachos:

Tortilla chips, meat, veg, cheese. Sense a theme?

Day three, we had bbq mac and cheese:

For this, I mixed the pork with homemade BBQ sauce, topped with mac and cheese, and baked in the oven.