Friday, January 11

When only caffine and chocolate will do.....

Sadly, being pampered, fattened up and looked after at home can't last forever and reality soon decides to kick us...hard!
After consuming an impressive number of atleast 100 mincepies (Can you tell that I'm just a smidge proud..?), baking atleast 25 different recipies and spending as much time as possible dog walking through the fields instead of revising; it was time to brave the baltic weather up north in Leeds once again.

So after wedging as much is humanly possible into the car, saying goodbye to the family and this certain chocolate 'bear' below...I trekked up the A1 stocked up on food, clean washing and new cook books to face the new semester.

Poser if ever I saw one!?

 But no.. this is not the fun, energetic and constantly hungover beginning as it was last semester at Freshers week, this is *dum dum durrrrr...* EXAM TIME!!
The word every student dreads when they realise all those lectures missed and avoidance over Christmas actually now matters!
So what will I do to get through these rough, tense and dull two weeks in the library?....Cook and bake my ass off!!

So here is my first of many de-stressing recipes to solving those exams woes and curing those caffine and chocolate cravings as the exam depression settles in... My delicously squeltchy, moist ...

....Double Choca Mocha Loaf!!

A slice of this beauty with a cup of tea will easily help you forgot that crummy Geography exam or horrendous Spanish oral!

Just look at the lush, crumbly cake... Solves your caffine needs and the chocolate depressing cravings in one! Fabulous!

 To make your cure to exams woes, you will need:

For the Sponge:
- 250g unsalted buttter, softened
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large free range eggs
- 250g self- raising flour
- 200g good quality chocolate broken up/ or chocolate chips

( For the Chocolate Part)
- 30g cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp milk

( For the Coffee Part)
- 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp boiling water- (vary depending on how strong you like your coffee as I ended up for 3tbsp- caffine addict!)

(If like me, you fancied a drizzle of chocolate on top for that slightly cheekier indulgence, add an extra 150g of chocolate to your shopping list)

Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F, then line a loaf tray with greaseproof paper to stop the caking sticking to the tin.

Mix the 250g of butter with the 250g of caster sugar, (you ideally want the mixture to be very pale and fluffy), when it has reached this creamy, cloud like stage, add the vanilla extract and give another quick whizz with a hand held or stationary mixer.

Add one egg and beat until all combined, fold in 2-3 tbsp of your 250g of flour and once again mix. Repeat this step until all your eggs and flour are used; just remember to keep scraping down those little floury slopes on the edges of your bowl and keep mixing until well combined- you dont want any streaky parts of egg or flour!

Separate your batter into two separate bowls, one will be your mocha and the other will become your scrummy chocolate cake... Try not to eat all the batter... I  promise that even though it tastes good with a spoon now, its ALOT better when cooked!

Add your mix of the instant coffee with water into one of the bowls and mix until evenly combined and no streaks.

Because your adding extra liquid, it might need a touch more flour to stop separating and curdling. Just add a smidge if needed until fully combined.

For the chocolate mix, stir the milk and cocoa together before folding evenly into your other bowl of creamy, cake mixture.

Now for your broken chocolate! Add 100g of the chunks to the coffee batter, and the other 100g to the chocolate, this will mean that even though your cake is marbled, the chocolate will be well mixed instead of just in one part of the loaf.

I would recommend chopping chocolate instead of using chips. The chips usually melt into the batter, where-as chunks are always like sturdy diamonds in the cake- they give alot more chocolately substance!

Find your loaf tin, and delicately, gently, caress a huge spoon full of each batter; one at a time into the tin, layering it like in what ever pattern you fancy as you go until all the mix is used. Finally grab a skewer and drag in a slight spin through the cake, but only once (you want the marbelled and spiralled approach instead of blending your choca mocha flavours!)

Pop into the oven for 1 hour-1.15, it might need covering with tin foil if it gets a little brown so keep an eye!  Make sure the cake is cooked all the way through with a cocktail stick or a skewer and leave to cool down completely. 

Once cool, you can either take it out of the tin and eat the whole thing there and then- (I've found it pretty lush warmed with some vanilla ice-cream as all the little chocolate chunklets melt... devilish!)
Or as I have, melt 150g of milk chocolate in a microwave, stirring occasionally so it doesnt burn, and poor on top.

It might be wise to put this into the fridge or in a cool place until it hardens-  unless you like the chocolate on the face approach...!

 (It wasn't just the cake that went down well with my flatmates....molten chocolate is always a winner!)

 Tuck in. Treat yourself, (whether you do or don't have exams) make yourself a cup of tea and have five mins to relax with this little beauty of a loaf.

Simple. Quick. And ohhh so moreish! Good luck if you're revising- not long until it's over!

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