Thursday, 24 April 2014

Whittards white hot chocolate cake.

Followers on Instagram will know that I'm quite fond of finding just a little time in the day for a tea break and a little something sweet! I don't think I am alone in this at all! It's one of those simple pleasures that many can relate to! 

I am a chocoholic, so more often than not that is my chosen treat. But when I can I do love to indulge in a bit of baking!

Now I'm certainly no Nigella! But just for fun thought I'd blog the recipe & then the usual suspects who ask me can have it to hand easily :) I have a family who can be pretty harsh critics; especially the hubby! When I make a cake that they all love I know it's a winner! 
The key to a good cake is that it has to be easy to make! Especially with young children around; who needs the stress of difficult baking for something that is meant to be a treat?
So trust me when I say this is a very easy recipe!!

I am a huge fan of Whittard's' white hot chocolate. Every Christmas it's on my wish list & it usually is kept 'just for mummy'. But recently I tried a cake recipe that used coco powder & I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like. The result is lovely & everyone loves it! My hot chocolate supply is diminishing, although now I don't mind so much :)

Ingredients -

200g unsalted butter
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g whittards white hot chocolate powder
Milk if needed.

For the icing

200g icing sugar
100g white chocolate

Or for a more luxurious version a white chocolate ganache - 
200g white chocolate
Cream to your preferred consistency

Method -

A huge fan of the chuck it all in method, so I'm afraid not astonishing instructions.
Our oven is old and not brilliant, it isn't even a fan assisted oven; so feel free to adjust your temp.
I preheat to 200'.
Line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Put the butter in an oven proof bowl and let gently melt in the oven.
Weigh out the flour, sugar & coco powder. (Sift if you wish) place in mixing bowl.
Add two eggs & stir in, then add the melted butter and really fold in until well mixed.
If mixture is too firm you can add a touch of milk here, but you do not want an overly runny mixture.
Pour into the prepared cake tin.
I level out the mixture by shaking the tin backwards & forwards & side to side.

Bake for 5-10 mins. But keep an eye on it. Take the cake out and at this point it should be golden on top. Then I cover with foil to prevent burning and return to the oven for another 20mins.
This is probably the trickiest part of the cake to be honest. As I say our oven is not brilliant so I just make sure I catch it turning gold in time & then I do keep checking it with a skewer until it is cooked.
One day I'll time it perfectly, no doubt with a nice new oven I could have it timed to precise minutes :)

I keep the cake in the tin and allow to cool.

For the icing -

In a bowl over a pan of hot water gently melt the white chocolate. 
In a mixing bowl add a little water to the icing sugar & stir. You want a thick gooey icing not thin & runny. 
Once the chocolate has melted add to your icing sugar and mix well. It should look so good at this point that chocolate fountain springs to mind & you just want to eat it as it is!! But trust me be patient it'll be worth it (plus leave a bit on the spoon to lick off - best of both worlds ;) )
Pour all over the cake. Again I shake it to level out & ensure as even a coverage as possible.
Place in the fridge & allow to cool.

When icing is set firm (if you can wait that long) cut & enjoy!!

This cake lasts two days in our house if it's lucky, so I cannot advise you anymore than that. But I would have thought in the fridge it could last 2-3 days?!

I'd love to hear from anyone that gives it a try!

Take care & enjoy XX

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Welcome to my blog!

To be honest I am not technically minded at all - just getting this simple page as it is so far has taken months and many tantrums ;)  I am a traditional pen and paper girl and prefer anything that can be done by hand, over the machine alternative every time!! So why start a blog?..

As a thirty-something stay at home mum, to three littles and a wife to a big little, I became a bit overwhelmed with my roles. As a young adult I studied lingerie design, surface pattern design and textiles. It's all I've ever really known, I most definitely did not study how to be a parent & wife. I felt I was beginning to lose 'me'. 

I adore my family! We are all so unbelievably lucky to be happy and healthy and they will always be my priority. But I decided that 2014 was to be the year that I would really launch my creativity again! Because being a Mummy doesn't mean that you have to give up the dreams you had before!

I have however allowed my life to influence my creativity. Maybe one day I will return to lingerie and the design of lingerie fabrics, but for now as my life has led me towards little people that's where I will concentrate for now ;)

On the 31st March 2014 I launched my Etsy shop
I love making things for my children and so many Mums tell me they wish they could make things too! This led me to my main idea for box sets that would make crafting easy for any one to do. 
Each of my "baby boxes" & "girlie kits" come with everything you could need for each activity (apart from the iron but there's regulations against that!!) I'd like to think that they are very thoughtfully compiled. They include only quality components, fabrics and embellishments and feature original design pieces.
I can't help but make, so hand appliqu├ęd items will always be available, and custom orders are always welcome!
More pieces will always be launched, with plans in the future for wedding related kits, art work and stationery pieces too.

As well as my little business I have no doubt I will blog about my family too, my interests in photography, florals, travel, baking, and of course lingerie!! I hope that you enjoy my journey and watching my life and hopefully business evolve!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoy my story you can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest - all with username 'ABOEdesigns'.