I love baking, but sometimes a whole cake is just too much for the two of us, and I hate seeing good cake (or any other food) going to waste. Normally I would take a few slices round to our neighbours, but sometimes they are away, so I had to come up with a new plan. Apart from investing in a smaller cake tin, I also bought a silicon cake form which bakes six teeny tiny cakes all at once.
I have been using two basic recipes for my cakes, just tweaked them a bit to have a bit of variety.
The first recipe is essentially the same as for a big cake, just using smaller amounts of ingredients.
Here’s the basic recipe:
- 100g plain flour
- ½ a teaspoon of baking powder
- 50g white sugar
- 1 pack or 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
- 50g soft unsalted butter
- 2 medium eggs
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with the hand mixer on low for two minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and then bake for 18-20 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cakes
Easy peasy – just add 50g of chocolate chips. Dark, milk or white, it’s up to you!
Whisky & Hazelnut Cakes
Add 50g of roasted chopped hazelnuts to the cake mix and a small amount of whisky (rum would be good too). When the cakes have cooled down glaze them with an icing sugar/whisky mix and sprinkle with more nuts.
Add 50g ground almonds to the basic recipe. If you can get hold of it, use ½ a pack of Dr. Oetker’s Lemon Finesse or alternatively freshly grated zest from an unwaxed lemon. Leave to cool when they come out of the oven. For the glaze I mixed sifted Icing sugar with freshly pressed tangerine juice, but orange juice would work just as well.
Divide the basic cake mix into two equal portions. Add a teaspoon of cocoa to one half and mix it in. Fill the light mix into the form first, then the dark. Melt about half a bar of chocolate in a bain-marie or by gently heating it over a pan with hot water. When the cakes have cooled down, drizzle them with the melted chocolate. I also decorated them with white chocolate stars.
The second recipe makes very light and spongy cakes and the taste and consistency reminds me of pancakes. They don’t keep as well as the other cakes, but are delicious when they are fresh and make excellent desserts.
Here’s the basic recipe:
- 150g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 125g white sugar
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 75g soft unsalted butter
- 125ml milk
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
The oven needs to be preheated to 170°C and the baking time is 15-20 minutes.
Avocaat Cakes with Chocolate Sauce
This is a lovely recipe, just a little bit boozy, but not too much. The egg yolk liqueur is perfect for baking and the warm chocolate sauce makes the cakes extra special.
Instead of 125ml milk, use 75ml plus 50ml of Avocaat. The chocolate sauce can be either bought or homemade. I made mine at home by melting a bar of dark cooking chocolate in a water bath and adding 100ml cream, a pinch of salt, 2-3 teaspoons of sugar, 25g unsalted butter and a splash of milk. Stir this mixture until it becomes smooth and glossy. Any leftover chocolate sauce can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of weeks and can be reheated in the microwave.
Cake & Berries
This is a lovely dessert, easy to prepare and easy to assemble and the sweet cake, slightly tart berry compote and whipped cream are a great combination.
Prepare the cakes from the basic recipe, just add 5ml of vanilla essence. The berry compote can be made with frozen or fresh berries. I used a frozen berry mix. Cover 250g of frozen berries in a saucepan with water and add sugar to taste. Bring the berries to the boil and taker of the heat. Mix 2 heaped teaspoons of cornflour with cold water until you have a smooth paste and add to the berries. Bring it back to the boil for a minute or two, then take it of the stove and leave to cool. Serve cakes with the berry compote and whipped cream.
This is a more of a winter recipe, using spices for the traditional Dutch/German Christmas biscuits Speculaas/Spekuatius in the cakes.
Substitute the white sugar in the recipe above for brown sugar and add one heaped teaspoon of Spekulaas/Spekulatius spices. This spice mix is available from www.speculaasspice.co.uk, but you can substitute it with a homemade one of a teaspoon of cinnamon, a large pinch of nutmeg and small pinches of cloves, cardamom, ginger and white pepper. When the cakes are cold dust them with icing sugar and cinnamon.