It has been a busy few days not only with the arrival of Easter, but also with the passing of a milestone birthday…. This week I turned 50.
I cannot believe I got this old so quick! In my head I am still 30…… but my body has all the telltale signs of ageing…… I creak in the morning and struggle not to pile on the pounds. Part of it is lack of time to exercise properly and the rest is a metabolic slow-down. Either way, it’s hard not to be confronted by its interconnectedness with and inevitability of getting older. For those of you out there who still have youth on your side, grab and enjoy it while it lasts…… in a blink of an eye, reminiscence is your closest link.
Whatever I may think of reaching 50 (and to be honest, this is the anniversary I have most struggled with), a birthday as significant as this needs cake……. a very special cake…. to celebrate, but also to distract from being the central focus of the occasion….. I would much rather talk about the virtues of sponge than the experience of being 50.
Alongside the cake, I have been happy to be anaesthetised with champagne, which paired surprisingly well with this celebratory offering…..
I have had plans for this cake whirring and elaborating in my head for weeks….. It needed to be chocolate…… it needed to be decadent….. it needed to be showy and (being symbolic of 50) it needed to glitter with gold! As it was an Easter birthday, it seemed fitting to have a bit of an eggy theme as well.
When I saw the Galaxy Golden Eggs appear in the shops shortly after Christmas, my sparkly inspiration was complete…… I gathered up a few bags into my shopping trolley immediately, lest they should become scarce as Easter got closer and stashed them in the larder away from prying eyes and eager mouths (including my own…). I mean….. how perfect is that? Golden mini eggs for an Easter 50th?!
After further thought, I settled on a bundt cake…… Bundts exude prettiness with minimal effort and a good sponge will shine underneath its carefully designed and moulded exterior. This sponge is better than good. It is a chocolate cake to be proud of…… Moist, very chocolatey, fudgy, but not over-sweet….. light and airy, yet the ideal density to ensure it falls from the bundt tin with all the detail perfectly intact…… Dotted with an internal fusion of chocolate chips to add little bursts of sticky, creamy sweetness as you devour it’s cocoa-hued softness.
I had planned to get a differently designed bundt before the big day, with the intention of having a dual drizzle of chocolate ganache with butterscotch sauce, criss-crossing over its rounded surface……. but by the time I had settled on the tin that I wanted, it was too late to order in time. No worries…. I combined ganache and butterscotch sauce anyway for extra heavenly decadence, before crowning with little golden eggs, a sprinkle of chopped roasted hazelnuts and some edible gold sparkle.
The Butterscotch Sauce is courtesy of a recipe that I found over at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen which is both simple and delicious.
The finished cake was a definite head-turner, yet was probably one of the easiest cakes I have made and decorated in a while…… And best of all? Its tempting charm and scrumptiousness ensured that all conversation was successfully averted away from the subject of the celebration and my birthday passed with as little focus on my age as possible.
I am sharing this lovely cake with the following linkies :
Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.
Cook Blog Share, this week with Hijacked by Twins.
Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse.
Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.
Chocolate Bundt with Chocolate Ganache & Butterscotch Sauce
a little sunflower oil
2 teaspoons corn flour + 1 teaspoon cocoa powder mixed together to line the bundt tin
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
300g soft light brown sugar
3 large eggs
70g coconut oil – melted
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
75 ml boiling water (to dissolve the espresso coffee powder)
375 ml plain yoghurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g milk or plain chocolate chips
40g good quality dark chocolate – chopped
40 ml double cream
Butterscotch Sauce (slightly adapted from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen)
60g unsalted butter
100g light soft brown sugar
120 ml double cream
pinch fine sea salt
To Decorate :
1½ packets of Galaxy Golden Eggs
a handful chopped roasted hazelnuts
gold edible sparkle
- Sponge : It is essential to prepare your bundt tin carefully by lightly oiling with sunflower oil (I rub the inside with oil using a piece of kitchen towel), and then coating with the cornflour-cocoa mix. When well-coated, tip the bundt upside down and tap to empty any excess powder.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and xanthan gum, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until well-blended and thickened.
- Melt the coconut oil either in the microwave or in a small bowl over steaming water.
- Mix the espresso powder with the boiling water to dissolve.
- Add the yoghurt, melted coconut oil, coffee and vanilla extract to the egg mix and whisk again to blend.
- Add the flour mix and fold until just combined.
- Add the chocolate chips last and fold through until evenly distributed, but be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the mixture into the bundt tin (about two-thirds to three-quarters full) and smooth the top evenly.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If the cake doesn’t come out easily from the tin, carefully loosen the sides and central ring using a small silicone spatula before tipping out and once upside-down, gently tap the base.
- Ganache : Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and separately heat the cream to simmer point.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for about 1 minute. Stir through until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache.
- Leave the ganache at room temperature to cool, stirring occasionally until the ganache has thickened to drizzle point.
- Place the cooled bundt cake on a serving plate and drizzle the ganache over. Leave to set.
- Butterscotch Sauce : Have all your ingredients weighed and ready to use.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.
- Add the sugar, cream and salt and stir well to combine.
- Turn up the heat a little and continue to stir until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Once bubbling, turn the heat down, but continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring until golden and thickened slightly.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool, stirring occasionally until it reaches thickened drizzle point.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce over the bundt cake.
- Decorate with Golden Eggs, chopped roasted hazelnuts and gold edible sparkle.