Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you're enjoying some quality time with your loved ones over the Easter break.
Today I am delighted to let you all know that the Cookbook of the Month feature is back on Diary of a Ladybird! This month's featured cookbook comes from the 2011 winner of MasterChef Australia, Kate Bracks. Her newly released book 'The Sweet Life' is a sweet book indeed, a compilation of mouth-watering dessert recipes. Some will ring a bell to the MasterChef fans out there with recipes such as Kate's apple pie, coffee cake and her date and hazelnut torte. But there are plenty of fantastic looking, fresh and innovative recipes too and and I'm so excited to share some of them with you all as I taste-test my way through the book.
Here is the first recipe I've tried so far - a great basic chocolate cake. This one is great for getting little ones involved in the kitchen, and I think the result is one that would please kids and adults alike. A great texture and not too sweet.. am definitely going to make this one again!
The Australian colloquialism 'bung' essentially means to quickly throw together, so this is the type of cake recipe where you throw it all in a bowl, stir it together, and you're done! :)
Bung-In Chocolate Cake
From 'The Sweet Life' by Kate Bracks
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
350g (1.5 cups) caster sugar
35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
350ml (1 1/3 cups) milk
150g butter, melted*
* Kate notes in her introduction that, in all her recipes, she recommends the use of regular (i.e. salted) butter rather than unsalted butter.
200g (1 1/4 cups) icing sugar mixture
2 tbsp cocoa powder
30g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease a 23cm (base measurement) square tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Whisk gently, gradually taking in the dry ingredients from the side of the bowl. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract, and enough milk to get it to a paste consistency, stirring vigorously until smooth. You may not need all the milk. If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too runny, add more icing mixture.
5. Once the cake has cooled, smother the top with chocolate icing.
Nom nom nom... stay tuned for more from 'The Sweet Life'!