Ultimate chocolate cake,Blazy's pepperoni studded lasagna

                                               

 

Ultimate chocolate cake

      

                                                  

                                                                             






Ingredients

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

For the ganache

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

                                                                           

Method

Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through

While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk

  Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely

When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth

 Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days

 

 

Blazy's pepperoni studded lasagna

 

Ingredients

 

  • For the lasagna:

  • 900g lasagna sheets
  • 450g slices pepperoni, hand-cut 0.25cm thick
  • 1L tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 450g ricotta cheese
  • 450g grated mozzarella
  • 900g Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
  • 75g grated Parmesan
  • For the tomato sauce:

  • 90ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 5 medium-sized garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.2kg skinned and diced plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Key info

    • Difficulty › Easy
    • Prep time › 20 mins
    • Cook time › 1 hr
    • Serves › 8 to 10 
    •  

      Method

      For the lasagna:
      1) Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Cook the lasagne according to the directions on the packet. Remove from the water and lay out the sheets to cool.
      2) In medium saucepan saute the pepperoni over a medium heat until crispy. Remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
      3) Pour 250ml of the tomato sauce into a 25cm by 32cm by 8cm deep baking tin or dish. Layer lasagna sheets on the bottom of the tin, overlapping by 1cm.
      4) Layer 1/4 of the ricotta, 1/4 of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the sausage, then sprinkle generously with 1/4 of the Parmesan, add 120ml of the tomato sauce and 100g of pepperoni. Add a layer of lasagne. Repeat this 2 more times.

      5) On the very top sheet, top with the remaining ricotta, mozzarella, tomato sauce and pepperoni, and dust with Parmesan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven; leave to sit for 15 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.
      For the tomato sauce:
      1) In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over a medium to low heat until transparent. Add the garlic and cook until almost brown. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 1/2 hour over a low to medium heat.
      2) Add the basil and oregano and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.