However, it was my friend's birthday yesterday, and she invited me to her birthday BBQ. Before you ask, we don't live in sunny climes, and it is still only March, we live in Wales, and it was raining, but we'd had sun so therefore it really was BBQ weather - just wear a coat or a jumper! :)
So as a present for my friend, I thought I'd bake up a mocha cake, from my Great British Bake off books, it's one of the show stopper recipes and quite early on in the book. It's a chocolate marble mocha cake, with a white chocolate ganache (http://www.waterstones.com/wat/images/special/pdf/GBBO-Mocha-Marbled-Loaf-Cake_Recipe%20Card.pdf). Yum yum! I'd made this for a friend's birthday before, (but wasn't keeping this blog at the time). The cake went well, but the ganache was a bit rushed at the end and I didn't give it enough time to set before pouring it onto the cake, so I thought this would be a fab time to try it out again, get it right and blog about it....hahahah...no...once again I'd left it all til the last minute, made the beautiful ganache and then realised I had about 30 mins before I had to head off to get a bus out to my friends....
The cake has been made much earlier in the day, and was quite a success. It's a loaf cake, and meant to be baked in a 2lb loaf tin. The mix should be split in two, with one half having a coffee essence and the other half having a lot of coco powder. So much it feels like its drying out the mix, but with a drop of milk it seems to help a bit. The mixture is then blobbed into the loaf tin, taking it in turns to blod in the different mixture. There's meant to be a couple of layers in the cake where you add chocolate chips as well, but I struggle to get one layer out, let alone 2 or 3, so I just make sure there's a good mix of chips in there too. The cake takes a good hour to bake, so I set to cleaning up the mess I'd made (cake bowls everywhere), before popping into town to grab the ingredients for the ganache. Sadly, I forgot that the mix had coffee in it, and had a good ole scrape around the bowl and licked it out, before remembering the coffee and that I'd given it up. Oopps...too late to do anything.
So later in the afternoon I set to making the ganache, which is white chocolate pieces, whipped cream, and as it was white chocolate, some butter needed mixing in with the cream. That part went well, and it was really lovely white chocolate with vanilla specks in it as well. I could happily have eaten it all! But as I had to get it so warm to melt the chocolate, it just wouldn't cool quick enough, so the ganache was dribbled on, rather than spread, and a nice gathering formed at the bottom of the box I used to carry the cake.
It went down really well at the party though, lots of compliments, so either everyone as been drinking by the time I got there, or they did really like it! I once again forgot about the coffee, and had a slice of the cake myself, and was impressed it wasn't dry after fearing the worst with the chocolate side of the mix.
I forgot to take a photo myself, but my friend grabbed on once the cake had started to be demolished!
Apologies for the sideways photo, I'm a computery person, I've tried turning the photo around in an editor and then saving it, it appears fine in the editor and has returned to the sideways photo when I upload it. I'll try again when it's not late on a sunday night)