As Fairy Mother I offered to make Joe’s 3rd birthday cake.Lou and Mark, as Joe’s mum and dad, try pretty damned hard at giving Joe a very healthy diet. So I attempted to make this cake a little healthier………even if it was already full of
predominantly butter, sugar, chocolate…..I did at least check myself…..So I made a fresh blackberry icing………….The blackberries were actually frozen, my sister Jane picked them down in Somerset a couple of weeks ago and packed me back to London with them…..Anyway here was a good reason to bring them out.
Fresh Blackberry FrostingSo I tipped the blackberries, about 400 g, into a small saucepan and drizzled in 2 tablespoons of runny honey. (my first move to be healthier.) Banged on a lid and simmered for about 10 minutes, then removed lid and simmered again for another 5 minutes or until it thickened slightly.
Tip into a sieve over a bowl and push as much of the flesh of the berries through using a ladle or wooden spoon. Cool completely.
350 g icing sugar
175 g butter, softened
Blackberry puree as above
200 g Natural yoghurt
So after beating the icing sugar together with the butter until smooth and then beating in the blackberry puree, I had a beautiful lilac coloured frosting. I then decided that a health slant was needed, so I beat in the yoghurt and then it, as they say in catering, it “split” It curdled! Damn it. Damn health. I was running late already……I took it as it was and grabbed another box of icing sugar on my way out the door. Fuck.
But thankfully on arrival and by tipping loads of icing sugar into a large bowl and gradually beating in the curdled icing, I was able to ressussurect (how do you spell that?!!) it, even though, by now, you can forget health benefits and any flavour of blackberry with regards to this icing. Oh dear. But even so it did look and taste pretty damned good.
Chocolate and Prune Brownies
I made 2 to make it a double decker tier…..
The first attempt in making the cake a smidge more healthy, was to add chopped soaked prunes. It worked really well and created a really dense fudgy brownie. But I reckon if you halved the amount of prunes it would still work well and be more cakey in texture.
250g dried pitted prunes (soaked for an hour or so…see method)
250g unsalted butter
250g dark chocolate (I used 52 %)
150g dark brown muscovado sugar}
100 g molasses sugar } Or just 250 g dark brown sugar
100 g Spelt flour } Or just 150 g plain flour
50 g plain flour }
3 medium free-range eggs
baking tin 20 x 30 x 3cm. or 20 cm square
Oh yes and lots and lots of edible glitter and chocolate buttons……….
Boil a kettle and pour over the dried prunes in a heatproof bowl. Leave to soak for about and hour. Then drain well. Nb. You could of course soak the prunes in hot tea or rum or brandy…… It’s up to you. Chop the drained prunes finely by hand or whizz in a food processor until finely chopped.
When you’re ready to make the brownies, set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. (It takes about 10 minutes for an oven to warm to the temperature you need it to be.)
I didn’t line the tin because there’s enough fat in the mixture to stop it sticking. But if you’re happier, then line your tin with parchment paper.
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a pan. Break up the chocolate into pieces and add to the pan. Tip sugar into the pan with the butter and chocolate.
Melt the sugar, butter and chocolate, over a low heat and when half melted remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile weigh the flour and tip into a large bowl. Break eggs into small bowl and beat with a fork. Stir the eggs into the chocolate mix.
Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl of flour with the chopped prunes and mix well. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Careful not to overcook them. When the surface of the brownie is completely even in texture it should be ready. If you look at the surface of the cake every now and then you will see what I mean.
Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool.
Cover in Blackberry frosting above or make a cream cheese frosting……………
350 g cream cheese
2-3 rounded tablespoons clear honey
50g toasted pecan or walnut halves, roughly chopped
Enough for 1 x 20cm round cake
To make the frosting beat the cream cheese and honey together until smooth and spread over the top of the cold cake. Scatter the top of the cake with chopped pecans before serving.
Then drop chocolate buttons all over cake and sprinkle with edible glitter….. My cake to Joe did end up looking like a massive glittery, blancemange…….who cares……..