Chocolate chip buns

I know these are so easy you barely even need a recipe, but if you’re into speedy baking these take 15 minutes to make and another 15 to cook (5 to scoff the lot.)

Great to make with kids too.  So straightforward you might even get them in the oven before they get bored and run off to dismantle the television.

Chocolate chip buns

Makes 12

100g / 4oz self-raising flour
100g / 4oz butter
100g / 4oz caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
large handful of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the eggs a little at a time and mix in.
4. Fold in the flour and mix thoroughly.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon into bun cases and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and springy.

Easiest ever chocolate brownies

This may not be the ultimate brownie recipe, but it is really easy, and the low oven temperature and long cooking time result in a beautifully crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside cake which is just brilliant.

Easiest ever chocolate brownies

makes 12-16

200g / 7oz caster sugar
2 eggs
110g / 4oz unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
90g / 3oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas 2.  Beat eggs and sugar together.  Melt butter in a small pan and add the cocoa powder.  Pour into the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Sift in flour and baking powder and mix.

Pour into a 15 x 25cm (6 x 10 inch) tin, lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 45 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack, remove paper and chop into pieces.

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

A basic recipe for a simple but very tasty chocolate cake, with chocolate butter cream icing, and chocolate chunks on the top.  Yum.

What could be better as the winter nights draw in but a cup of tea and a slice of cake?

Chocolate cake

serves 12

The cake:
150g / 6oz unsalted butter
150g / 6oz caster sugar
150g / 6oz self-raising flour, sieved
3 eggs
1 rounded tbsp cocoa, blended with 2 tbsps boiling water.

The icing:
200g / 8oz icing sugar
100g / 4oz unsalted butter
1 tsp cocoa
2 tbsp boiling water
chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 3.  Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.  Add flour and cocoa and continue to mix (at low speed if using electric beaters.)

Turn into a greased 20cm/8inch tin and bake for 40 minutes.  Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then cool completely on a rack.  Slice in half to get the two halves of your cake.

Next make the icing.  Beat the butter and icing sugar together, adding the cocoa and boiling water as needed to create light, fluffy icing.  When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing over the two cake layers and sandwich together, decorating with chocolate chunks.

With thanks to Nigella Lawson for the Malteser cakes recipe, from which this is adapted.

Malteser cakes

The best chocolate cakes in the world! These are especially delicious because they have Maltesers on the top. They also have Horlicks in both the mixture and the icing so the whole cake tastes of malt as well as chocolate. Mmmm.

Malteser cakes

Makes 20

The cakes:
150g / 6oz soft brown sugar
100g / 4oz caster sugar
3 eggs
175ml milk
knob butter
2 tbsp Horlicks
175g / 7oz plain flour
25g / 1oz cocoa (sieved)
1tsp baking powder
half tsp bicarbonate of soda

The icing:
250g / 10oz icing sugar
1tsp cocoa
50g / 2oz Horlicks
125g / 5oz soft unsalted butter
2 tbsp boiling water
2 packets Maltesers

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 3. Whisk the two types of sugar and the eggs together until light and frothy. Heat the milk, butter and Horlicks in a saucepan until the butter is hot, but not boiling. Beat this Horlicks mixture in with the sugar and eggs and then fold in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Divide into cupcake cases and bake for 25 minutes.

Next make the icing. Cream the butter into the icing sugar, then mix in the Horlicks and cocoa. Use the boiling water to get the butter cream to the right consistency, a little at a time. Then when the cakes are cool, ice them and put a Malteser on the top.

Adapted from a recipe originally published in Nigella Lawson’s Feast.

Chocolate Eclairs

Him Indoors is more than just a pretty face. I was very impressed to find these waiting for me when I got home one afternoon last week. I was too full to put the recipe up at the time, but I’ve calmed down a bit now, so here it is.

Chocolate Eclairs

Makes 8

The choux pastry:
70g / 2.5oz flour
60g / 2oz butter
2 eggs
150ml water

The cream:
280ml / 0.5 pints whipping cream
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp icing sugar

The chocolate:
60g / 2oz chocolate
1 tsp water

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Melt the butter in a pan, add the water. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat and mix in all the flour very quickly. Let the mixture cool, then beat the eggs and mix these in a little at a time. Pipe onto a baking sheet, then bake for 30 mins.

Meanwhile mix up the cream and chocolate and wait! When the eclairs are cooked, let them cool, then cut in half, pipe in the cream, and pipe the chocolate onto the top.

Then if you’re feeling really ambitious, make your own beard papas afterwards!

Now we didn’t get the filling quite right when we made these. Vanilla custard is lovely, but too runny. However I’ve just made a break-through by looking at the official BP website:

“The filling is a mixture of custard and whipped cream”

A-ha! Just call me Poirot. I think we’ll have to make them again very soon to try this out.