Black Forest trifle

Well, I don’t know about where you live, but the weather has been a bit stink-o around here recently. I guess it goes with the time of year, but the wind and the rain doesn’t really help elevate my mood (which is pretty darn sombre after recent events in the news).

I’m not saying this recipe is going to cure all ills (especially since sugar is the devil these days to a lot of folks. Hey, I still love you, sugar!) but it was certainly a worthy use of leftover cake. I made my standard chocolate cake a few days ago (this time with added flaked almonds) but that’s quite a large amount of cake for one person to get through and I’m a bit short on freezer space so it’s heading towards stale. How to deal? Take some inspiration from ye olde Black Forest gateaux!

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Sainsbury’s were selling frozen cherries at a slightly reduced price recently and I had managed to find space to squish those into my freezer. They also had a modest discount on Alpro custard pots. You may also recall that I am never without a large supply of Fair Trade chocolate from Plamil, so I simply cut up some cake, placed some frozen cherries on top, heated up a pot of custard, added a few spoonfuls of chocolate chips to melt in and about a tablespoon of rum then poured the latter over the former! A good 5 minutes work, if I say so myself 🙂

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Very easy chocolate muffins (vegan)

I don’t remember posting this recipe before, and that’s strange because it’s the easiest cake recipe I know and my go-to most of the time. Maybe I didn’t think it was worth posting because there are a huge number of vegan muffin recipes out there already, who needs another one, right? But this has been my favourite for many years because it’s so easy to remember the ratios that I never have to look it up. It’s also very pantry-friendly in terms of ingredients and it tastes good and chocolatey.

Very Easy Vegan Chocolate Muffins

The recipe below makes about 15 or 16 cupcake-sized muffins. (I quartered the recipe this evening and made 4 cupcake sized muffins by using a 1/4 cup but following the measurements as if it was a cup – it’s the ratio of ingredients that counts, that’s why you can make this recipe anywhere. I’ve made it with teacups or empty hummus containers before!). I guess this is similar to many wacky or dump cake recipes, but without the vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour (or use plain flour and add a heaped teaspoon of baking powder)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water or non-dairy milk of choice. (Water lets the chocolate flavour shine through, milk mellows it.)
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (I used canola/rapeseed)
  • pinch salt
  • vanilla extract/chocolate extract to taste. Suggest at least a teaspoon.
  • 1/2 cup add-ins – chocolate chips, walnuts, sultanas etc. (I used walnuts this time and sprinkled a few chocolate chips over the top)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4

Line a muffin tin with papers or get your silicon muffin cases ready.

Add flour to a suitably-sized mixing bowl. I usually dig the first cup of flour out of the bag using the cup measure, dump that into the bowl, pour 1/2 cup flour into the measure and then top up with cocoa powder until the top of the measure is reached. Use the same cup to measure the sugar and add into bowl on top of the flour. Mix together with a dessert spoon.

Using the same, now-empty cup to save on washing-up, about half fill it with oil, then top up with water/milk. Add that on top of the dry ingredients. Fill the cup again with water/milk and add it in. Chuck the extract and salt in, and your nuts/chips/fruit. Mix it up with the spoon until you can’t see dry ingredients any more.

Spoon mixture into your cases about 3/4 way up. Bake for around 20 minutes (check after 15 to make sure they’re not burning, and that they’re all baking evenly. Turn the tray if necessary).

Leave to cool, then eat, preferably on the same day they were baked. Or eat them warm if you prefer, but they’ll stick to the cases!

chocolate muffin

(P.S. I don’t know if the previous title of this post will continue to show up on the WordPress feed. In case of confusion, I changed it because I suddenly realised I might be unintentionally insulting other bloggers, which was not my intention at all!)


£100 challenge – day twenty-two

Went to work, then went to some different work via this place –

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New Walk, one of the prettiest places in central Leicester, especially at night. The following is a shot I took last night coming home in the drizzle, but whatever the weather New Walk is always beautiful. Obviously my phone-cam doesn’t remotely do it justice!

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I’ve avoided spending any money today, although I’m running low on or completely out of some stuff I’d quite like to have. I ate the last of the rice noodles today with more of the pumpkin stew (with a few additions), I’ve been out of facial tissues for some time and I’m starting to run out of the other kind, too. I could do with some more tights, and I’d really like to get a portable economical heater, but I think that will be completely impossible this month. I’m worried that if I leave it until it gets cold they’ll become more difficult to procure or the price will go up. Probably fretting over nothing though.

It was the final of the Great British Bake Off tonight! I won’t give away who won, because I’ve had a couple of episodes spoilered before I could catch up and it was infuriating! However, I didn’t think it was too bad a result and the winner seemed so happy I was really pleased for her.

As usual, I’d made a little something to scoff while watching. My very basic chocolate cake, doctored up with some orange oil and preserved ginger. Did the job.