Tag: cake

Mathieu’s fruit cake

Fruit cakes remind me of a box of jewels, the kind of gems you would win as a child at a fun fair. It looks like a chest filled with all the ingredients to make a rum-loving pirate happy. It’s an old-fashioned cake suitable for any occasions, especially tea parties. I usually love dreamy cream cakes, but I decided to give my friend Mathieu a chance and rediscover his version of a fruit cake. Mathieu loves baking all sorts of cakes and this happens to be one of his favourite. Rum ‘bathed’ candied fruits and raisins are the key ingredients, soaked for forty-eight hours to get the full flavours.

We had a lovely afternoon tea-time snack, out in the garden with friends and family – perfect summer weather, feeling lazy and happy. The cake turned out beautifully, light, slightly glazed on top with roasted almond flakes. Slicing the cake is the fun part, with all the candied fruits sparkling in the sunshine – it matched my mood and the girls dresses.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

200 g plain flour (sifted)
100 g caster sugar
125 g butter
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
40 g ground almond
1/2 lemon zest
10 g vanilla sugar
150 g mixed candied fruits
100 g candied cherries (halved)
30 g dried dark raisins
Rum (enough to cover the candied fruits)
A handful of flaked almonds
Apricot jam (to spread 15 minutes before the end)
1/2 tsp lemon juice

With Selma and my daughter Louise.

My godson Oscar (left), and my son Hudson.

Combine the candied fruits, raisins and rum (enough to cover the fruits) in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for at least 48 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°/180 C. Grease the bottom and sides of a cake mould/ loaf pan with butter and dust all over with ground almond. Tap off excess and set aside.

Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, ground almond and melted butter – mix well. Drain the soaked candied fruits and raisins – reserve rum mixture. Add the reserved rum, candied fruits, halved cherries, raisins and lemon zest to batter. Mix gently. Pour batter in mould, smooth top with rubber spatula and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on cake mould depth. Fifteen minutes before the end of baking time, take out the cake and glaze the top lightly with apricot jam (mixed with 1/2 tsp lemon juice) using a brush (make sure not to break the almond flakes). Continue baking. Insert into the middle of the cake a toothpick – when it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Unmold cake onto a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

Cake pops

I recently started doing these for my son’s birthday in March, then I carried on doing them for my daughter’s birthday last week. They look so pretty and delicious, it’s an irresistible attraction for any occasion.  You can make any variety of cake pops – the classic one are shaped round like a small golf ball, but you can pretty much make them in any shapes you like.  I bought a very cute cake pop mold in the shape of a cupcake, you can order one at   They always end up being the main attraction at a birthday party, and you can cover them in a plastic wrap (like the ones they ahve in lollipop candy stores) and tie it up in a pretty ribbon – perfect gifts for your little guests when they leave the party.

Here’s the recipe for a standard cake pop made with chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake
Candy sticks
Chocolate icing
Chocolate for melting (dark, milk, or white – it’s your choice!)
Colourful sprinkles, dried coconut etc… for decorating
Polystyrene or cardboard box to stick the pops

Bake a chocolate cake (any cake will do, even leftover cakes).  When the cake is cooled crumble it all up. (If you wish to only use half of your cake you can keep it in the freezer for next time).

Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate icing (either bought from store like Betty Crocker), or even better home-made chocolate frosting (see recipe).  Add enough so the consistency is not too moist so you can roll the dough into small balls.

Put your chocolate balls on a plate or a Tupperware and leave it to cool and harden in the fridge for 30 minutes.  They will be firm and easy to work with.

When the balls are ready, melt the chocolate of your choice in either a microwave-safe bowl or in a casserole over boiling water.  Once melted, dip the tip of the candy stick in the chocolate and stick it in the center of the chocolate ball.  Then proceed with the entire pop cake.  Dip it gently until all covered and wait a few seconds to let it drip.  Repeat with remaining cake pops.  Stick each cake pop in the polystyrene or cardboard to let them drip and dry, and decorate to your liking with multicoloured pearls, dried coconut and candies.  Let it stand in the fridge or a cool place for 15 minutes if possible.

Oreo cookie cupcake pop

This is so good & simple!

2 packs of Oreo cookies

Cream cheese

Chocolate for melting & dipping

Cupcake cake pop mold (see picture)

Crumble the Oreo cookies in the food processor along with 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese (I use kiri or Philadelphia cheese).  Be careful not to process the mixture too fine – I like to keep the Oreo cookies chunky so you can see the white and brown of the mixture.

Take enough dough to fit in the mold and press firmly till you achieve the desired shape.  Once finished, put the cupcake pops on a parchment covered plate and store in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Do the same as above for the chocolate melting.

When ready, dip the tip of the candy sticks in the darker chocolate (milk or dark – it’s your choice) and stick it in the center of the base of the cake.  Then proceed in the dipping – make sure to only dip the part that is the base of the cupcake.  Then let it drip a few seconds and proceed with the others.  Once finished melt the white chocolate and add a few drops of your favourite colour (pink for me!).  Dip the top part of the cake in order to achieve a ‘cupcake’.

Stick each cake pop in the polystyrene or cardboard to let them drip and dry, and decorate to your liking with multicoloured pearls and candies.  Let it stand in the fridge or a cool place for 15 minutes if possible.

Chocolate cake à la crème de marron (chestnut cream)

For chestnut cream and chocolate lovers, this is the business! This cake, so popular with my family and friends, is rich in chocolate flavour with an underlying taste of chestnut vanilla cream. Pure satisfaction.

Perfect for any occasions, I baked it for my husband’s birthday today!

435 grs tin sweetened chestnut purée (available in most supermarkets)
140 ml double cream or crème fraîche
50 grs butter (softened)
5 egg whites
80 grs caster sugar
300 grs dark chocolate , melted
6 tbsp plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 150C

Mix the chestnut puree with the double cream/crème fraîche and butter. Melt until smooth. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl and gradually add the caster sugar (when the egg whites start becoming firm) to make a meringue mixture.
Mix the chestnut mixture with the chocolate and flour and fold in the meringue mix. Spoon into a lined caked tin (24cm approx.) and bake for 50 minutes. Let the cake set at least 1 hour. I usually bake it well in advance so it becomes like ‘velvet’ in texture by the time I serve it. Serve with whipped cream.