Pudding at Paté Paté, Copenhagen

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After our underwhelming dinner at Kødbyens Fiskebar, we wanted to have pudding elsewhere and decided on invitingly cosy Paté Paté that we walked past on our way to the other restaurant.

Even though we just wanted dessert and a drink the staff was really welcoming and took good care of us, so our moods immediately elevated and we had a nice evening.

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Maria chose a Pavlovaesque dessert, which was really nice – just enormous! Daniel had the über-chocolately cake thoroughly recommended by our waiter and it was absolutely lovely. I decided to go for savoury instead and had the cheese plate which was also very satisfactory.

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What a difference between these two restaurants! The first one with staff as cold as the interior and inferior cooking, the second warm and friendly and easy, but lovely, food. We obviously should have come to Paté Paté to begin with and can’t wait to come back for a whole meal.

Paté Paté, Slagterboderne 1, 1716 København, Denmark

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Nigella’s sumptuous chocolate cake

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I have had a complicated relationship with Nigella through the years. It was definitely because of her and Jamie Oliver I started cooking as a teenager, but as I got better at both cooking and baking I also got a bit disappointed with some of Nigella’s recipes. Sometimes they seem to promise more than they delivered, but then some recipes are so great I still use them 15 years later.

With her new cookbook and series, both named Simply Nigella, I am back in awe of her. I want to try all the recipes, love like the style of cooking (and baking) and all the recipes I’ve tried so far have been great.

This cake seemed absolutely delicious and easy to make on her show, and it certainly is a treat, plus it’s vegan – so a good recipe to have in your repertoire. Mine wasn’t entirely vegan though, I must confess. As I couldn’t find any coconut butter in my supermarket I used regular butter in the icing, which worked just as well would you prefer to make it non-vegan.

It is probably the most moist chocolate cake I’ve ever made and I will certainly make it again and again.

Nigella’s dark and sumptuous chocolate cake, serves 10-12

Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.

For the icing:

60 ml cold water

75 coconut butter (this is not the same as oil)

50 soft dark sugar

1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder – I omitted this 

1 ½ tbsp cocoa

150 dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the cake:

225 plain flour

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp fine sea salt

1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder – I omitted this 

75 cocoa

300 soft dark brown sugar

375 ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle

75 g (90 ml) coconut oil 

1 ½ tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C and pop in a baking sheet. Then start with the icing: put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure everything’s dissolved. Then turn off the heat – but leave the pan on the hob – then quickly add the finely chopped chocolate and swirl the pan to allow the chocolate to sink.  Leave for a minute, then whisk until you have a glossy icing, and leave to cool.

Line the bottom of your springform cake tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, bicarb, salt (and instant espresso) and cocoa in a bowl and fork to mix.

Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Though do check at the 30-minute mark to see if it is already done.

Once the cake is cooked, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool in its tin.

Give the icing a good stir with a spatula and  pour over the unmoulded cake, and use a spatula to ease the icing to the edges, if needed. Decorate (Nigella used chopped pistachios and rose petals while I went for snowflake sprinkles) and leave for 30 minutes until serving. 

 

The ultimate chocolate cake with frosting

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This chocolate cake is nothing new. The cake recipe is courtesy of several generations in my family and our staple chocolate cake. And although the frosting is courtesy of The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook it reminds me of the frosting that my grandmother used to cover her chocolate cake (made from this recipe) with when I was a child. It’s not the same recipe (I know for sure she didn’t use Philadelphia in hers) but the taste is very similar.

The only reason I’m posting this cake again is that I’ve re-calculated the measurements to suit a higher cake. The ratio of cake to frosting is just perfect and to me, the cake also has the perfect height.

Chocolate cake with frosting, serves 10

600 ml (480 g) caster sugar

500 ml (300 g) plain flour 

6 tbsp cocoa

4 tsp vanilla

4 tsp baking powder

200 g melted butter

4 eggs

300 ml just-boiled water

Chocolate frosting

200 g icing sugar

75 g softened butter

30 g cocoa

150 g cream cheese, cold

Pre-heat the oven to 175C, butter and two springforms and line the bottoms with baking parchment. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa and baking powder in a large bowl. Add melted butter, vanilla, egg and water and combine. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool completely. 

Make the frosting: Beat sugar, butter and cocoa with an electric whisk. Add the cream cheese and beat until you have a glossy and even frosting.

Remove the cakes from the tins and remove the baking parchment. Place one cake round upside down on the cake plate and cover with half the frosting. Place the next cake round on top – also upside down – and cover with the rest of the frosting. Decorate with confetti sprinkles and serve. 

Chocolate fudge cake

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I baked this moist and lovely chocolate cake with fudge frosting for the office last month to celebrate the October birthdays and it certainly went down a treat among the colleagues.

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I had also made a very straight forward vanilla cheesecake (with the muscovado substituted for regular caster sugar) and my mother’s oat crisps – a real crowd pleaser.

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The recipe for the lovely chocolate cake is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen one of my favourite food blogs out there. It is really easy to make, very moist thanks to the buttermilk and not too sweet. It is also incredibly easy to spread frosting over as it doesn’t crumble. The frosting is quite sweet and therefore works well with the less sweet cake. However if you haven’t got a very sweet tooth I would recommend a less sweet frosting.

I am certain this will become a staple in my repertoire as it is so easy to handle and tastes great. The cake was demolished within a few hours but I am fairly certain it will keep for a few days in the fridge if not eaten immediately.

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Chocolate fudge cake, serves 12

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

230 g butter, at room temperature
380 g dark brown sugar
135 g caster sugar
4 eggs
475 ml buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla 
345 g plain flour
115 g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Fudge frosting:

55 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
350 ml icing sugar (no need to sift)
115 g butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp single cream or whole milk
1 tsp vanilla 

Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Line the bottom of 2 approx 21Ø springform with parchment paper. Grease parchment and sides of tin. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating each in until just incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla, then buttermilk. 

Place flour, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and salt in a sifter over the mixing bowl and sift ingredients in. Beat or stir dry ingredients into batter until just combined; scrape down bowl again. Divide batter between the two tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tins then remove and leave to cool completely before frosting it.  

Beat the butter for the frosting until light and fluffy with an electric mixer, then add the sugar and melted chocolate, followed by the milk or cream and vanilla. 

Place one cake, upside down, on a cake plate and cover the top with half of the frosting. Place the next cake on top, also upside down, and cover the top with the rest of the frosting. Decorate and serve. 

Frosted chocolate cake with almonds

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We’re serious about our cakes and other baked goods in Sweden, but sometimes I roll my eyes at the names the cakes get. This cake is called ‘Success Cake’ in Swedish, don’t ask me why, and I just refuse to call it that in English, but the more describing name frosted chocolate cake with almonds, doesn’t really do it justice either.

I mean, yes, it is a frosted chocolate cake, but a very yummy one. Just go ahead and make it and see for yourself!

Frosted chocolate cake with almonds, serves 10

150 g salted butter 
180 g caster sugar
1 1/2 eggs
75 ml cocoa
90 g plain flour
3/4 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp baking powder

Frosting:
150 ml double cream
120 g caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp golden syrup
100 g dark chocolate 
75 g butter

Decoration:
50 g almond slivers

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter a normal sized baking tray. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add sugar and eggs. Mix cocoa, flour, vanilla sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and incorporate well. Pour into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. 

Mix cream, sugar, syrup and chocolate in a saucepan. Let it simmer until the frosting has thickened and the chocolate has melted, it takes about 15 minutes (less on a gas hob). Remove from heat and add the butter in chunks and beat it into the frosting. Pour the frosting over the cake, spread it evenly, decorate with almond slivers and place in the fridge to set.

Chocolate cake with fudge icing

When I make the monthly cakes for work, I make sure to make a chocolate cake each time as you can never get tired of chocolate.

This very popular cake courtesy of Fiona Cairns is made with dark muscovado sugar giving it a depth in flavour and it almost has an ‘earhty’ taste to it. The fudge icing is more toffee like in flavour, and the two works very well together.

I followed the instructions below, but my icing as already thick, so whipping it made it into a frosting, which I spread in between the two cakes – lovely too. Which ever method you choose for the icing, it will taste the same, i.e. delicious.

Chocolate cake with fudge icing, serves 8

After Fiona Cairns’s recipe.

175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin

100g chocolate (50-60% cocoa), finely chopped

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g ground almonds

275g dark muscovado sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs, lightly beaten

150ml buttermilk

Icing:

90g chocolate (50-60% cocoa), broken into pieces

40g unsalted butter, softened and diced

1 tbsp golden syrup

2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

150ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins, and line the bases with baking parchment.

Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over 120ml just-boiled water. Stir until melted, then set aside to cool.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then stir in the ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with an electric hand whisk), cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract to the eggs. With the whisk running, very slowly add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tbsp of the flour during the process to prevent curdling, then add the melted chocolate and the buttermilk.

Fold in the remaining flour very gently and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Leave for a minute or two in the tins before turning out on to a wire rack. Remove the papers and leave until absolutely cold.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl suspended over gently simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat, then stir in the syrup and sugar and, lastly, gradually pour in the cream until all is well blended and smooth. Allow to cool completely, then whisk until it thickens. Spread half on the base of one cake. Sandwich the two cakes together, then spread the remaining icing on top.

 

Chocolate truffle cake

Before flying off to meet my fellow food bloggers I baked the monthly cakes for the office. And among them was this dense super chocolatey cake. It is flourless and baked in a bain marie which makes it light and dense in texture at the same time. It is a must for all chocoholics and best enjoyed with some lightly whipped cream.

I found the recipe on a Swedish food blog where the blogger writes in English, so do check it out; Anne’s food.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
From the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum via Anne’s Food.

450 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
225 g unsalted butter
6 large eggs 
40-50 g sugar
butter for the baking tray

Grease and line a round baking tin, around 22 cm in diameter. Wrap the tray with double layers of tin foil as it will be standing in a bain marie.

Preheat the oven to 220°C, and bring 2 litres of water to the boil.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together and stir to blend. Crack the eggs into a bowl that will fit onto a small saucepan, and add the sugar. Pour water into the small saucepan, and place on medium heat and top with the bowl. Beat the eggs with an electric whisk while heating until they are slightly warm to the touch. Remove from heat and beat very vigorously for at least five minutes – the egg mixture should become very pale and fluffy.

Mix the eggs and the chocolate mixture carefully, until you see no more streaks. Pour into the baking tin. Place the tin in a large baking tray and pour the hot water into the sheet so it reaches about half way up the sides of the cake tin. 

Bake for five minutes. Cover the tin with tin foil and bake for ten more minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 45 minutes. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least three hours or overnight, until the cake is very firm. 

Take it out of the fridge, and loosen the cake from the pan with the back of a knife. Remove the sides of the tin and invert the cake onto a plate, and gently remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper. Invert back onto the plate you want to serve it on.