This month’s theme: Celebrations
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Habit of the month
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This is hands down the best chocolate mudcake you’ll ever make. Perfect for special occasions!
Best ever chocolate mudcake
prep 30 min : cook 1h : serves 12 (depending how much you like chocolate cake)
- 250g (2 sticks) butter
- 200g (7oz) dark chocolate
- 375ml (1½ cups) strong coffee (ie 375ml water with coffee dissolved – about 1 tbsp if you use instant coffee granules)
- 450g (16oz) caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 free-range eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- 30g (1oz) dark brown sugar
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, cubed
- 300g (10oz) good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan-forced and grease and line a 25cm springform tin.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, chocolate and coffee over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate has dissolved.
- Add the sugar to the pot and stir it in until it has dissolved too.
- Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder over the top and whisk them into the liquid then whisk in the eggs then the vanilla.
- Once everything is combined, pour the batter into the tin.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
- Put the water, 30g dark sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
- When the mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so all the chocolate is heated.
- Leave it for a minute or two and then whisk until the icing turns smooth and glossy.
- Leave it for 1-3 hours and whisk every 20-30 minutes until it is thick.
- When the cake has cooled spread it with the fudge icing.
You can make the cake in advance and freeze it. I wrap it in plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Leave it out on the bench to thaw overnight before icing when it’s at room temp. I usually leave it at room temperature. If you refrigerate it once iced, the icing will harden.
The best party sausage rolls
prep 30 min : cook 40 min : serves 72
- 1kg (2lb) sausage mince
- 1 carrot – grated or chopped in the food processor
- 1 green apple – grated or chopped in the food processor
- 1 celery stick – diced or chopped in the food processor
- 1 onion – diced or chopped in the food processor
- ¼ cup tomato sauce or paste
- 2 tbsp mixed herbs
- 2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary
- 6 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of milk
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced and line two oven trays with baking paper.
- Mix the sausage mince, carrot, apple, celery and onion in a large bowl with the tomato sauce/paste and the herbs.
- Lay the pastry all out on the bench and cut each piece in half down the middle to make two rectangles.
- Lay a sausage shape of mince mixture down the middle of each pastry half lengthways.
- Once all the mince has been used up, fold one side of the pastry over the filling then fold the other side over the first and turn it seam-side down.
- Carefully cut each roll into 6 pieces and place on the oven trays leaving 1-2cm between each one.
- Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl and brush on top of the rolls.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
I usually make these ahead of time and freeze before cooking. For a bonus party planning tip, freeze them in aluminium oven trays lined with baking paper then you can defrost them in it and pop it straight into the oven.
Party chicken sandwiches
prep 20 min : cook 15 min : serves 4
- 4 chicken breasts
- ½ cup mayo
- one packet of garlic and herb wraps
- salt and pepper
- Cook chicken breast in individual alfoil boats with shallots, salt and pepper at 180C (360F) degrees for about 30 mins.
- Remove to a plate to cool.
- Tear up chicken and blend in a food processor with mayo, extra shallots, salt and pepper.
- Lay out one wrap and cover with chicken mix. Repeat until there’s no more chicken.
- Cover the stack with something heavy and flat and refrigerate for at least 3o mins.
- Cut into 24 wedges.
I often make the filling up ahead of time and freeze it then just defrost in the fridge and use as above. Ofcourse you can also use this to make regular sandwiches or use it in wraps and roll them into pinwheels. It’s even good on waldorf lettuce leaves if you’re after a gluten free version.
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