No Butter Chocolate Cake with whipped chocolate ganache filling and chocolate ganache icing with a side of honey toffee walnuts.
This is an excellent, versatile, and quick chocolate cake recipe that uses oil instead of butter. This is now my standard ‘go-to-chocolate-cake-recipe’.
It is also a very forgiving recipe, in the sense that you can use a cake mixer if you like, but you can also ditch the mixer and just use a fork to whisk the ingredients together. For an even quicker version I reduce the recipe to half, and cook the cake in a bundt tin (the tin with the hole in the centre, like a doughnut) and it works perfectly (the measurements for making half the mixture are in the brackets below).
I have also added the recipe for the chocolate ganache that serves a double purpose; firstly as the icing, and secondly, when whipped, as the ganache cake filling, (as seen in the above photo).
RECIPE: NO BUTTER CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups plain flour (1)
2 cups sugar (1)
¾ cup cocoa powder (1/3)
2 teaspoons baking powder (1)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (3/4)
¾ teaspoon salt (1/3)
2 eggs (1)
1 cup milk (1/2)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1)
½ cup vegetable oil (rice bran) (1/4)
1 cup boiling water (1/2)
- Set oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease two 8-inch cake tins, and line the bases with baking paper.
- In a large bowl (or bowl of a cake mixer) add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together.
- Whisk eggs with milk and vanilla.
- To the dry ingredients add the whisked eggs, milk, and vanilla, and the vegetable oil. Mix together by hand or with a cake mixer. Then add 1 cup of boiling water to the mixture and stir in well.
- Pour cake mixture evenly into tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the middle is cooked (test with a skewer until it comes out clean).
- Cool cake for 10 minutes in the cake tin, and then remove. When cake is completely cool, add your choice of filling and icing.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING AND ICING
250g double cream
250g chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa solids)
- Chop the chocolate roughly but finely so the pieces are small enough to melt quickly and evenly.
- Place the double cream in a pot and heat until the cream is almost, but not quite, boiling. Remove from the heat.
- Tip the chopped chocolate into the cream, leave it to melt for a few seconds, then whisk until cream and chocolate are combined and smooth.
- Halve the ganache into two bowls. Place one bowl in the fridge to cool (for the cake filling), and leave the other at room temperature (for the icing).
- Filling: When the ganache from the fridge has cooled, but is still slightly warm, use an electric beater and whip the ganache until it turns a light colour. Work quickly to spread the whipped ganache on one cake for the filling, and then place the second cake on top.
- Icing: Pour the ganache left at room temperature, over the top of the cake and spread over. Either let the gananch drizzle down the side of the cake or leave some ganache aside and use this to apply to the side of the cake when it is slightly firmer.
- Serve with whipped cream or yoghurt, and for even more decadence, add Honey Toffee Walnuts : http://www.inthekitchenwithmum.com/2015/09/honey-toffee-walnuts/
This is a vegetarian twist on the Cottage Pie, or Shepherd’s Pie. Some people refer to this vegetarian variety of the pie as a ‘Shepherdless Pie” (I guess the name “Cottageless” didn’t have the same appeal, and I certainly hope there are no shepherds in the pie).
The brief backstory is that the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie is the meat content; Cottage Pie contains beef, and Shepherd’s Pie contains lamb (and, if the pie is topped with breadcrumbs, it is known as a Cumberland Pie, then at some point in history, the pies were made with pastry instead of potato). This vegetarian version uses lentils instead of meat, with added vegetables and seasonings, and with no shepherds in sight.
RECIPE: VEGETARIAN COTTAGE or SHEPHERD’S PIE or ‘SHEPHERDLESS’ PIE
Vegetarian | Serves 3-4
2 medium/large potatoes
220g can baked beans
390g can of Delmaine lentils in brine
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
¾ carrot, grated
1 dessertspoon flour
1 dessertspoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper
1 dessertspoon butter, (for mashed potatoes)
Butter, for cooking
Tasty cheese, grated (for top of pie)
Paprika, for garnish
- Peel potatoes and cook in salted water. When soft, mash with butter and pepper, and a small amount of milk, so the mixture is firm enough to spread on the top of the pie.
- In a fry pan, cook the onion in butter, and then add garlic and grated carrot. Cook until soft. Add the add flour to thicken, and stir all together. Add tomato paste. Drain lentils and add into fry pan. Crumble in ½ a vegetable stock cube. Add a few chilli flakes, soy sauce, and salt and pepper, and enough water to mix to a thick consistency.
- Spread lentil mixture in the bottom of a 20 x 14 cm oven dish. Next add a layer of baked beans, then the mashed potato as the top layer of the pie. Fluff up the top of the potato with a fork, then sprinkle a small amount of grated tasty cheese on top, and a dusting of paprika.
- Bake in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes until the pie is heated through. To brown the top, grill at 220 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
This recipe is one of the reasons why I don’t mind scavenging around under walnut trees on cold autumn days, because these toasted walnuts covered in crispy toffee are absolutely delicious. Eat them as a tasty snack on their own, or chop them up finely to use as cake decorations, dessert topping, or sprinkle over vanilla ice-cream.
RECIPE: HONEY TOFFEE WALNUTS
1 ½ cups walnut halves
1 teaspoon honey
- Place walnuts on a baking paper-covered oven tray and place in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes, until walnuts are dry and crisp, then set the tray of walnuts aside, making sure to arrange the walnuts in a single layer and close together ready to be covered with the honey toffee.
- In a fry-pan, place butter, sugar and honey. Heat on medium until boiling. Boil slowly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns a light golden colour. (Test a few drops of the mixture in a bowl of cold water – when the mixture is ready it should crackle, and be a crisp consistency.)
- Pour the hot toffee mixture over the prepared walnuts (drizzling it over rather than completely covering the walnuts). Work quickly with a fork to separate the walnuts so they set as separate pieces.
- Note: You will not need all the toffee mixture so with the remainder, pour it onto the baking paper and spread in a thin layer. When the toffee is set you can snap it into small pieces of honey toffee.