Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolatey Zucchini Loaf (Or: And some other news.)

Photo  3I feel like this is part 7000 in my ongoing attempts to use all the zucchini.

I’ve had this Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf from Tracey bookmarked for ages and when we brought in another bumper crop of zukes, it seemed like a good idea. Then Melbourne threw a spanner in the works by having such hot weather. Not only was it too hot to bake anyway, our air-con gets cranky if we have the oven on at the same time as it. Finally, Sunday morning was cool enough for me to bake before it heated up too much. I GOT TO THE GRATING! And then to the eating. Seriously, this was all that was left by the time we got take a photo.

Related: my lovely Lady Friend Esther made us a delicious Zucchini Slice for dinner last night (with yet more zucchini) and I thought I should bring it to your attention. Also, that’s her blog all about our little family and it makes for some excellent reading. (Here ends the cross-promotion.)
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Put Some More Chocolate on the Chocolate Cake Birthday Cake

Want to know a secret about the New Fat Ladies? We really really really like cake – reading about it, baking it and of course, eating it. We make a lot of cakes, and over the coming months we’ll be sharing at least a few of our favourites from events in our lives, both big and small.

The first is a cake that S-J baked for her beautiful partner’s 30th birthday party. A two tiered rich chocolate cake with lashings of white chocolate frosting, decorated with edible wildflowers from her garden. I was super sad to not be there for the party to eat a slice or three, but now I get to write about the cake and that’s almost as good as getting to eat it, right? Well no, but I’ll talk about my birthday cake in a second, and I definitely got to eat that one!

So let’s get to the recipes. And a couple of tips. Look out for the tips.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
from FEAST by Nigella Lawson

Some maths will be required to work out how many batches you will need to replicate the number of layers that S-J made or to get to the size that you need (maths that ends in cake is maths worth doing). If you do just one batch as is written below, you will get a lovely cake more suited to 8-10 mouths.

Cake
200gm plain flour
200gm caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50gm cocoa
175gm butter (softened)
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla essense
150ml sour cream

Tip: This cake is best when you make it with ingredients at room temperature, so make sure you remove the butter, eggs and sour cream from the fridge at least 2 hours before baking.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line your tins.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and blend until you have a smooth, thick batter. Pour mixture, split evenly, into your tins.

Place tins in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool for ten minutes on racks, then turn out to cool completely. This cake is super prone to splitting, but you don’t need to worry about that as very soon you’ll cover any unsightly cracks with luscious frosting.

S-J’s White Chocolate Frosting

75gm butter (softened)
180gm white chocolate
500gm icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125ml sour cream1 tsp vanilla extract

To make your frosting, start by boiling a saucepan of water. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and put a glass or metal bowl on top (you just made a homemade baine marie, go you!), add butter and chocolate to bowl and, once melted, stir to combine. Tip: this bowl will be REALLY HOT, use an oven mitt to move/hold it. Remove bowl and let cool slightly. Add the golden syrup, vanilla and sour cream to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Add the icing sugar into the bowl of the food processor and whizz briefly to remove any lumps. Pour the chocolate mixture into the processor and process until frosting-y. Depending on your climate you may need to add a little more of either sour cream or icing sugar to achieve the right consistency.

Slather the icing on cakes and pile up. S-J decorated this cake with fresh edible flowers from her prolific garden, but it would also be lovely with chocolate curls or fondant decorations.

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Devil’s Food Cake (Or: a birthday must always equal cake)

This here blog might be a little quiet over the coming weeks as half the New Fat Ladies team is off on an adventure.

In S-J’s absence I will do my best (even though she might join us from parts unknown if she has the time/internet) to entertain you for the interim!

A 30th birthday has occurred and this means cake, that is one thing I know is true in my universe. I sadly missed the cake on the party day (I went to Perth and ate wedding cake instead – which was very excellent!) so I made a little cake for the birthday lady for the day of her birth!

She likes chocolate, because she’s pretty smart. I didn’t have any of my cookbooks with me as I wasn’t in my own kitchen, but luckily I had NFL supplies on hand. So, I pulled out a book of S-J’s for this recipe, the CWA one that I am holding in our “promo shots” in fact. This recipe was for a Devil’s Food Cake but honestly I have changed it so much that it is not even close to recognisable anymore. But inspiration is important, so it gets a shout out!

You can make it more simple by using storebought jam for the filling or subbing out the frosting for your favourite go-to icing. I leave that up to you. But just make cake, and then eat it. It’s the best plan.

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Tart Me Up. (Alternative Title: Two Tarts and a Tart.)

Hullo! Welcome! Please help yourself to a complimentary cheesy nibbly thing! We are the New Fat Ladies and this is our Very First Post!

In what is probably a fairly good indicator of what is to come, I am now going to attempt to write up our Very First Recipe . . . which we made six weeks ago. THINGS HAPPENED, OK?! WE GOT BUSY! YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF US! I mean, um, we are totally going to get better at this ‘blog as you go’ thing otherwise this is likely to not only be the Very First Post but also the Only Post.

So, here we go.

Apologies for iPhone photos. We had a slight mishap with our many, many other photos and these are what we have left. Thank goodness for Instagram and our obsessive blogging of every second of our lives.

Katie and I know each other through a mutual friend, Jen (who is about to start performing at the Edinburgh Fringe! You should go and see her show if you are there!). We bonded over Camp Rock and food and being generally fairly awesome. This past summer, Katie joined Aquaporko, the fat synchronised swimming team that I am in and also moved to live one suburb over. Thus, many cookings and talkings about food were made. And then the brainwave: if you blog with another person, you probably need to have some sort of responsibility (sorry, poor neglected solo blog).

Partial tart

If only these were slightly more in focus . . .

Via the medium of work emails, we decided that we would start with a cherry pie to ‘pop our blog cherry’ – ho ho, we are hilarious. Sadly, it is winter in Australia and we felt that we couldn’t start with a frozen thing on our Very First Post and Recipe. (Don’t worry, we are planning elaborate cherry pies for summer. I bought a cherry pitter and everything.)

The planning went something like this:

Pears! Pears are in season! PEARS AND CHOCOLATE! PATE SUCRE! CHAMBORD! OMFG!

Pear and Chocolate Tart and Icebox Cake

Please try and ignore the delicious icebox cake that is also on that plate. Yes, we did need a backup dessert.

And so, we present,

Chambord-Poached Pear and Chocolate Tart

Inspired by Vegan Chambord Poached Pear Tart Bittersweet Chocolate Tart & Chocolate-Caramel Tart

Full disclosure: we weren’t huge fans of this pastry at all. It was very dense and made way too much. If you halved (or even thirded) it, it would probably be the light, crispy pastry of our dreams. All the other bits are ace, though.

For the pastry (this makes two shells. see details above and below.)

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 250g butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the poached pears

  • 4 pears, peeled, cored and halved (we used Josephine pears as they are the shapeliest.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup Chambord
  • 1 cup raspberries (we used frozen but fresh would work too.)
  • 2 teaspoons Raspberry Cordial (or just use more Chambord! Your call.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the chocolate ganache filling

  • 225g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 20g caster sugar

Make the pastry: 

Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and butter in a stand mixer and mix on low speed until you make it to ‘coarse crumbs’. (Obviously, you can do this without a stand mixer but, by gum, it makes things easier.) In a separate bowl, combine the egg, cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Add the wet to the dry mixture and mix until just combined. This is where you are meant to knead it together and make magic happen. Here is a direct quote from our notes about this stage: “mash together with hope. believe it will be crust and LO, it is.” Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour in the fridge (or, if you are us, 15 minutes in the freezer because we were disorganised.)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and cocoa and roll the dough out in a circle to hang over the edges of your tart tin. Ours was approx 2/3cm thick but this was probably a bit too thick. Place in your tin and trim excess. This was the point when we realised that this made enough pastry for two tart shells.

Bake the tart in the oven for 12 minutes and allow to cool completely before adding the filling mixture.

Poach the pears: 

Peel, core and halve the pears and then dip them in the sugar and make sure they are evenly coated. (Katie wants to add that the sugar left after this stage was pretty much the greatest thing ever and that she still have Pear Sugar Feels.)

Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over a medium-high heat until bubbly and golden. Add the sugared pears and caramelize for 6 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side. With our second batch of pears, we added a bit more butter and they really only need 2 minutes each side.

Add the Chambord, remaining sugar, water, raspberries, cordial and lemon juice. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes basting and turning pears, as needed. Poach until tender, remove the pears and cool.

Reduce liquid until thickened, coating the back of a spoon, making it a delicious Chambord-y jelly. Push jelly through a mesh strainer to remove the raspberry seeds. Cool and reserve.

Make the chocolate ganache filling: 

Combine chocolate and cream in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until melted.

Combine yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water for 6 minutes or until thick and pale.

Remove from heat, fold through chocolate mixture and whisk, using an electric mixer for 6 minutes or until cold.

Put it all together into a delicious tart:

Take your baked and now cooled tart shell and put 2/3 of the Chambord pear jelly in the shell. To quote Katie, “wiggle to coat” and then pop in the freezer for five minutes.

When it is done, pour the chocolate ganache in and then, sadly, return it to the fridge until the ganache is set.

When that is done, arrange the pears on the ganache and glaze the whole lot with what is left of the jelly that you have reheated.

Sit back and look at your fabulous tart. And then eat it. Yes, indeed.

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