Donna Hay’s Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake

I love chocolate desserts. I’ve posted quite a few over the years including chocolate pudding, decadent chocolate mousse cake and more chocolate pudding not to mention all the different types of brownies.

So how excited was I when Donna Hay’s General Store delivered a gorgeous little package containing their latest addition to the cake mix baking range, the Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake.

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This, my friends, delivers a decadent, rich chocolate cake in just 15 minutes of preparation. Definitely faster than other chocolate truffle cakes I’ve made in the past. Plus it’s packaged up to make it so much easier, minimising the amount of measuring.

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But this is no instant cake. Once the batter is made in a few easy steps, the cake cooks for 45 minutes and then needs 3 to 4 hours to set. But the simplicity and end result make it worth the wait.

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So, does this taste like a packet cake? Absolutely no way! Is it as good as a ‘made from scratch truffle cake’, like this one? Maybe not, but it’s a very close second and for the ease of preparation it gets a big tick from me!

It’s available for around $8 from supermarkets throughout Australia.

Warm Apple Pie

Dessert in my house is normally fruit, yoghurt, or if we’re going all out…ice-cream!

But after a roast chicken dinner I made an extra special effort and baked an apple pie.

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Apple Pie
from http://www.taste.com.au

1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
185g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tbs milk
Demerara or caster sugar, to sprinkle

For the filling:
8 large Granny Smith apples
Juice of 1 lemon
45g unsalted butter
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Sift flours and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and rub lightly into flour with your fingertips. Lift mixture high above the bowl as you rub, to incorporate air into the pastry and make it lighter. Continue until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir through sugar. Lightly beat 1 egg (ONLY ONE….I got caught here and added both) with 1 tablespoon chilled water, then drizzle over flour mixture. Start to bring the dough together by cutting the liquid into the dough with a blunt knife, then form into a smooth ball with your hands, adding a little more water if necessary. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, peel and core the apples, and cut each into 8 pieces. Toss immediately with lemon juice in a large bowl, to prevent apples from discolouring. Place the butter and sugar in a large frypan over medium-low heat. When butter has melted, add apples and spices, then stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until apples have softened. Set aside to cool.
Roll out the larger pastry ball on a floured workbench to a 30cm circle (about 2mm thick). Roll pastry around rolling pin, then unroll over a 22cm metal pie dish. Gently press into corners and allow excess to overhang. Place filling in base with a slotted spoon. Roll the small pastry piece to a 25cm circle. Beat remaining egg with milk, brushing some on rim of the base. Top with small pastry.
Lift the pie dish and cut excess pastry from edges with a sharp knife. Crimp edges of pastry together with your fingers. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C, place pie dish on a baking tray. Brush top of pie with more beaten egg, sprinkle with demerara or caster sugar. Cut four small air vents in the centre of the pie and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

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I added a drizzle of custard…

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Sunday Night Pudding

Tonight we had a special little visitor sleeping over so we had a traditional Sunday night dinner in his honor…lamb roast and chocolate self saucing pudding. I must admit, my preference is a gooey centred pudding over a self saucing pudding but self saucing is so simple to make and you’re sure to have the ingredients in your pantry.

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I found this recipe in the Women’s Weekly and you can find it here.

Yum!

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Chocolate Puddle Puddings

Sometimes I’ve been known at the end of a hard day to have a big fat glass of wine, but the end of a hard week calls for a Chocolate Puddle Pudding. And this one involves just a couple of simple steps to create an oozy chocolatey dessert.

Chocolate Puddle Pudding
based on recipe from taste.com.au

  • 150g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 20g Dutch cocoa
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Double cream or ice-cream, to serve

Sauce

  • 75g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 30g Dutch cocoa
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Frangelico

Preheat oven to 180C. For puddings, process all ingredients, except chocolate, in a food processor until just smooth, then stir in chocolate. Spoon into a greased, shallow 27cm round 7-cup capacity baking dish, or 6 x 1-cup capacity dishes.

  1. For sauce, combine sugars and cocoa in a bowl, then sift over the top of the pudding. Combine Frangelico and 500ml (2 cups) boiling water, and pour evenly over the back of a spoon over sugar mixture. Bake large pudding for 40 minutes (or individual puddings for 20 minutes) until the top is puffed.
  2. Serve immediately with spoonfuls of double cream or ice-cream.

Pear and Almond Upside Down Cake

I only ever post the recipes that I’ve made and really loved, so I’m sure you’re used to reading me say ‘this was really delicious’, or ‘super easy and super tasty’. But…please believe me…this Pear & Almond Upside Down Cake is one to try.  It is absolutely delicious!

Pear & Almond Upside Down Cake
based on recipe from taste.com.au

  • 180g brown sugar
  • 270g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ripe pears (such as beurre bosc), peeled, cored, cut into 2cm-thick slices
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 80g almond meal
  • 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (not fan-forced).
  2. Grease and line base of a 26cm cake pan with baking paper. I only had a 20cm cake pan, so my cake was a slightly different shape.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over base.
  4. Melt 100g butter and pour over brown sugar.
  5. Top with overlapping pear slices.
  6. Place remaining butter and caster sugar in bowl of electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices, fold into egg mixture with almond meal.
  9. Stir in buttermilk. (If you don’t have buttermilk you can easily make it by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and leaving it to sit for five minutes before using). Mix to form a smooth batter. Carefully spread over pears.
  10. Place pan on a baking tray, cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  11. Cover loosely with foil if cake begins to brown too quickly. Remove and cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan and carefully invert onto a plate.

The original recipe suggests serving this with cream, but I served it warm with a rich vanilla ice-cream and it was just perfect.