Happy New Year! I hope you and your loved ones had a fabulous festive season and saw in the New Year in style. Our December didn't turn out quite as we'd planned! Instead of indulging in lots of Christmassy activities, our house was overtaken by builders and the most incredible amount of dirt and dust. I spent most of the time in DIY shops with the kids in tow buying building materials and bribing my boys to behave, before we all got sick. Spectacularly. My youngest got the sick bug in the middle of Christmas Eve night (big style) and my cough which had persisted for the whole month turned into severe chest pain that saw me in the local hospital having x-rays. Apparently 6 weeks to recover and I'm feeling it :( Still, our Christmas spirit rallied throughout and the whole family did a fab job of making sure we all had a great time. Needless to say, I needed to hang up my baking apron and take a little break from the world of blogging for a few weeks!
My family indulged me with lots of brilliant new cookery and baking books for my birthday and Christmas so I've buried my head in them looking for lots of inspiration. I'd love to tell you that we're all fighting fit now but it's going to take a little longer. We've been housebound again for the last few days so I decided to raid my pantry and fridge for supplies and try a deliciously yummy recipe from Molly Yeh's Molly On The Range. I'm a huge fan of her blog so when she released her first cookbook at the back end of last year, it went firmly on to my Birthday/Christmas list. Not only is her book highly entertaining - much of it reads like a memoire, including the recipes, and she's only 27!! - but she has lots of fun and interesting recipes within. She has also just become one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Food and Drinks which is no mean feat!
I made a batch of her Chocolate Chip and Tahini Cookies last November and was grateful I'd stashed a supply in the freezer as they're a big hit when we have a cookie craving! I found the remnants of tahini in the fridge and decided to create some mini Chocolate and Tahini Cakes from her new book. The cake is lovely and moist and the taste of tahini is an unusual addition - it has a kind of nutty flavour. Then the frosting is really beautiful and smooth and I love the hint of cinnamon throughout.
The cake batter is so simple to make -- basically you mix the wet ingredients into the dry, whisk in the boiling water and pop it in the oven. it couldn't be simpler. The recipe is Molly's but I scaled the ingredients down to make a smaller sheet cake so the quantities have changed and she works in cups whereas I prefer to work in grams. You could turn this into a layer cake very easily by scaling up the cake and icing recipe and it would be a beautiful addition for Sunday lunch or afternoon tea.
So while we amble gently into the New Year with the aim of getting fighting fit before the start of school next week, I hope you have made all your New Year's resolutions and are enjoying the start of a brand new fresh year!
"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S Lewis
chocolate tahini cake with tahini frosting
adapted from molly yeh's molly on the range
Chocolate Tahini Cake Ingredients
- 110g plain flour
- 155g caster sugar
- 55g cocoa
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 115ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 30ml grapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 80ml boiling water
Tahini Frosting Ingredients
- 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 125g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan)
- Grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin
- In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together
- In a separate bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients (except the boiling water)
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir them until they're well combined
- Whisk in the boiling water
- Pour the batter into the baking tin and then pop it in the oven for around 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in its tin and then transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool completely
- When the cake is cool, either divide the cake into squares or using a circle cutter, cut out small rounds (the cake may start to crumble a little so you could pop it in the fridge to chill before cutting if you prefer)
- To make the icing, beat the butter and tahini until smooth
- Then add the icing sugar and mix thoroughly until smooth
- Finally, add the salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix again
- I piped the buttercream onto the top of each cake but you could use a palette knife if you prefer
- And enjoy!