Tag Archives: chocolate


Easter Rocky Road

Easter Rocky Road

Easter Rocky Road

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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Day in the life


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It’s a Rocky Tiffin Road…

It’s a Rocky Tiffin Road…

WARNING: this may be addictive!

The basic ingredients are the same although I think if you add raisins & then cover the bar with chocolate you have a Tiffin, if there are marshmallows in it it’s a Rocky Road anything else is a Fridge Cake. As long as it tastes good, who cares?!

If you have been into the Café or Take-Away this week and tried some you may be desperate for another fix, so here’s how to make it:

March Recipe: Retro Rockin’ Tiffin

Generously line a shallow tin/dish approximately 20 x 20 cm square with cling film

Put 125g Digestive Biscuits into a deep bowl and bash with a rolling-pin. You don’t want the biscuits to be completely powdery but at the same time you don’t want the chunks to be too large as it will make the finished bar harder to cut. Mix in any other ingredients such as raisins/marshmallows/nuts/dried fruit, I would recommend doing this by sight as everyone has their own personal preferences.

Put 100g Butter, 2tbsp Golden Syrup into saucepan on a gentle heat until melted & bubbling. Remove from the heat & stir in 200g Milk Chocolate (broken into pieces) and stir constantly until the chocolate has all melted evenly.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly until completely combined. Spoon it into the tin, smooth the top & place in the fridge.

 Rocky roadRocky road 2Rocky road 1

For my version, I crushed 2 Crunchie Bars with the biscuits for a honeycomb flavor and then threw in a handful of White & Pink Marshmallows. I then melted 200g Dark Chocolate with a small knob of Butter in a bain-marie (bowl resting above a pan of simmering water – make sure the bottom of the bowl does NOT touch the water) and spread it all over my cooling bar. A few Sprinkles later & back in the fridge to set for an hour or two.

Rocky road 3

I like the thick chocolate layer on top and use dark chocolate only because I find that more milk chocolate makes it a bit too sweet. Just try not to eat it all in one go!

DAIRY FREE VERSION: Use dark chocolate & a cooking spread (instead of milk choc & butter)

TOP TIP: Always have a small bowl of boiling hot water to dip your measuring spoon into when using Golden Syrup. A hot spoon will release the syrup more easily ensuring you get an accurate measure.Hot water pot

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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Recipes


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Pink Hot Chocolate? Raspberry Romance or Strawberry Sweetheart!

Pink Hot Chocolate? Raspberry Romance or Strawberry Sweetheart!

Next week our White Hot Chocolate Sauce is going all a flutter by blushing Pink for Valentines. I used my basic recipe adding some red food colouring paste at the end. You want a bold colour as it will go paler once you add the milk.

As always, a note about food colouring: remember to start with a little and keep adding until you get the colour you desire – you can always add but you can’t take away! Pastes and gels are preferable to liquid colours as they don’t affect the texture of your recipe.

Add a few spoonfuls to hot milk, a dash of raspberry/strawberry syrup a squirt of cream and finish with some little heart sprinkles!

Or come in and try one of ours!

Raspberry Romance

Fed up of the usual Valentines Day rigmarole?

Why not take your loved one out for lunch?

Book a table here next Friday (14th Feb) and we will give you a complimentary Red Velvet Valentines cupcake!

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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Day in the life, Recipes


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Valentines Hidden Heart Cake

Black Forest Hidden Heart Loaf Cake!

Black Forest Hidden Heart Loaf Cake!

After the success of my Battenberg with the hidden Union Jack inside  I thought it would be fun to make a hidden heart cake for Valentines Day. I found some amazing Cherry Essence and used Black Forest Gateau as the flavour inspiration. There are a few hidden heart cake recipes on the web, but here’s how I made my Black Forest Valentines Hidden Heart Loaf Cake (now that’s a mouthfull!!)

January Recipe: Valentines Hidden Heart Loaf Cake

First pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and grease & line a 1lb loaf tin (to ensure neat corners, lightly grease the tin then cross over two strips of measured baking parchment)

You need to make two sponges, one red & one chocolate. Each Sponge will be a three egg recipe – this is the easiest cake recipe ever! You weigh the whole eggs and that weight is the weight you need for all the other ingredients.

Cake One: Mix together using an electric whisk or mixer: Butter (or cooking margarine) and Caster Sugar

Add your Eggs one at a time, beating each one in fully before adding the next

Add a few drops of Red or Pink Food Colouring & Cherry Essence (I use red colouring paste to get a bright pink colour)

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FOOD COLOURING: As a general rule pastes and gels are better than liquid colourings. Make sure you start with a little and gradually as you can always add but you can’t take away! Make sure you have a definite colour that you are happy with before you bake.

Gently stir in Self-raising Flour

Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Then leave for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely – then put it in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

When the cake is completely cold & firm, stand it on it’s end and carefully draw your heart shaped cookie cutter down the length of the sponge. You can cut the cake into smaller sections if it makes it easier. When you have done this it is time to prepare Cake Two:

heart cake cutting heart cake cut through

Cake Two:

Re-line your loaf tin with parchment paper as before

Mix together using an electric whisk or mixer: Butter (or cooking margarine) and Caster Sugar

Add your Eggs one at a time, beating each one in fully before adding the next

Gently stir in Self-raising Flour & Cocoa Powder you need to substitute 25g of the weight for Cocoa Powder

Pour about 1/4 – 1/3 of the mixture into the lined tin then carefully place the heart cut out sponge lengthwise. Cover with the remaining mixture.

Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer come out clean. Then leave for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with pink coloured water icing.

Wait for your loved ones to be watching before you amaze then by cutting the first slice!

You could of course use Raspberry or Strawberry Essence instead of Cherry & bake with a lemon sponge – not substituting any flour for cocoa, and adding Vanilla Essence & Lemon Zest

hidden heart hidden heart cake

TIP: Turn your pink cake cut-offs into Truffle Pops!

Just crumble up and mix with enough buttercream (icing sugar & butter beaten together) to bind it together, then shape into balls. Refrigerate for an hour before covering in melted chocolate. You can make these into traditional cake pops too, my favourite Valentines themed ones are dipped in pink chocolate melt (which you can buy in Lakeland) & covered in sprinkles with a Love Heart attached.

making cake popstruffle ball cake pops

Love Heart Cake Pops

Love Heart Cake Pops


Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Recipes


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Spookilicious! Halloween Battenberg

Spookilicious! Halloween Battenberg


A Halloween take on a traditional Battenberg: Chocolate & Orange Sponges sandwiched together with Smooth Orange Marmalade and wrapped in Golden Marmalade:

Cupcakes decorated with White Chocolate Spiders Webs:

Cupcakes stabbed with Caramel ‘Glass’:

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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Day in the life


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Chocolate Coffee ‘Tiramisu’ Cake

Chocolate Coffee ‘Tiramisu’ Cake

I have chosen this delicious cake which falls in to the ‘very easy to make’ category and is a popular afternoon tea choice at the Cafe. This is based on a recipe by the fabulous Mitzie Wilson whose book I used constantly as a student – baking for my flatmates to brighten up our days. Instead of Mitzie’s Marscapone Icing I tend to use Cream Cheese frosting (a cheaper ingredient for a poor student which has now stuck!). I also think this keeps better in the fridge as a Marscapone topping can look pretty sad the next day & nobody wants a sad-looking cake.

Recently voted by one of our customers: the best cake she has EVER had. You can’t beat that for a recommendation! Here’s how I make it:

April Recipe: Tiramisu Cake

First pre-heat the oven to 170ºC and grease & line a cake tin

Dissolve 1 tblsp instant coffee in 1tsp boiling water then put into a large mixing bowl with:

125g Self-Rasing Flour

1 tsp Baking powder

125g Butter (I use cooking margarine)

125g Golden Caster Sugar

60g Grated Dark Chocolate (or coarsely chopped in a processor)

2 Free-range Eggs

Mix together then pour into the prepared cake tin.

Place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes until springy to the touch.

Leave to cool then pour over Brandy (you could also use Rum or Marsala) and leave to soak in.

Make your Icing: whisk together 100g cream cheese, 150g icing sugar, 100g butter (margarine)  until smooth.

Spread this over your sponge and then dust liberally with cocoa powder

They also make delicious & unusual cupcakes and you can booze them up as much as you like for a grown up party!

NB: For the version I make at the Cafe, I make two of these sponges (using decaf coffee) soaked in a slightly Brandy flavoured sugar syrup then sandwiched together with some of the frosting.


Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Recipes


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The best chocolate brownie recipe in the world?

Thanks to a suggestion from a twitter friend, here is the first of my new monthly recipe blog! Every month I shall focus on one of our Cafe Retro favourites for you to try at home. I am beginning with THE best chocolate brownie recipe in the WORLD! You will have everyone talking about these beauties…

March Recipe: Chocolate Brownies

I often make these for the Cafe & take-away as well as friends & family and they are honestly well worth making. Rich & gooey but not too sweet, this is a very simple recipe requiring no special skills just top quality ingredients.

Turn the oven on to 170ºC and line a baking tin with greaseproof paper

Melt 300g cooking margarine in the microwave for approx 2mins, then pour in 300g chopped up dark chocolate (I use 80% cocoa dark chocolate pistoles) and mix until it resembles Willy Wonka’s chocolate river.

Whisk 5 (free-range) eggs into 450g granulated sugar then whisk in the chocolate mix. Whisk in 200g sieved plain four.

Pour into the baking tray and cook for 20-25 minutes until it has cracks around the edges & remains wobbly in the centre (the wobblier = the gooier). Serve warm or cold (great for pudding with ice-cream & chocolate sauce: heat some cream then melt in chocolate & sugar to taste)

Some Variations:

after the flour has gone in you can add 200g of nuts/dried cherries or whatever else you fancy? Perhaps small sliced slithers of orange zest or ground cardamom?

Tip: to ensure even distribution when adding your bits: pour half the mixture in th tin, then sprinkle on your nuts/fruit etc before covering with the remaining mix. There’s nothing worse than wanting a nutty brownie and only finding one in your slice! My father-in-law taught me this when buying nut chocolate: always feel the underneath of the bar before you buy it!

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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Recipes


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