Archive for August, 2013

A cake from the cupboard: Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake with Cinnamon Cream-cheese Icing



(Unfortunately I had to re-use a picture of a previous cake, which looks very similar, as I completely forgot to take a picture of the Chocolate and Hazelnut cake – sorry!)

What do you do with half a small jar of hazelnut butter which is coming up on it’s use-by? It’s lovely stuff, but unbelievably rich! It was a bit pricey, even at 50% off, and I was absolutely determined that I was not going to waste it – and an appropriate cake-making opportunity arose in the departure of a lovely colleague. 

Hazelnut butter isn’t something I’ve seen used much in baking, maybe as a result of the cost, but it’s a great ingredient – full flavour, luxurious texture and utterly indulgent. And as far as possible, I wanted to use up ingredients I happened to have in the cupboard/fridge. I took a basic chocolate cake recipe, and adapted it to suit. In the end, all I needed to buy was the icing sugar 🙂

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake with Cinnamon Cream-cheese Frosting

4tbs Hazelnut butter
250g butter, at room temperature
250g light muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
100g cocoa powder
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
250ml milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz cream cheese (reduced fat is fine), at room temperature
2 cups Icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Grease and line the bases of 2 x 20cm springform cake tins with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) 350F / gas 4. Cream together the butter and sugar with ½ tsp salt until light and fluffy.

2. Sift together the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time and beat until well combined, then fold in half the dry ingredients followed by the hazelnut butter. Fold in the rest, followed by enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Divide between the two tins and bake for about 25–30 minutes until firm in the centre.

3. Allow to cool completely on a rack, then make the frosting. Beat all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Put one of the cakes on a serving plate and spread a third of the icing on top. Place the second on top, then spread the rest of the icing over it.


Hunger Hurts. (July 2012)

This article, and blog, speak for themselves.

Jack Monroe

Today has seen fourteen job applications go in, painstakingly typed on this Jurassic mobile phone, for care work, shop work, factory work, minimum wage work, any kind of work, because quite simply, this doesn’t work.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, this month my Housing Benefit was over £100 short. I didn’t get a letter that I know of, but I can assume that it’s still the fallout from the cockups made by the various benefit agencies when I briefly went back to work from March to May. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to work out that £670 of rent can’t be paid of £438 of Housing Benefit. So I’m a week in arrears, almost two, as by the time Thursday comes and the next £167.31 is due, there’ll still be nothing coming in. The Income Support went on keeping me afloat, briefly, as did the Child Tax Credit. Now I’m…

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