Chestnut & Cinnamon Coffee Cake

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It wasn’t up until a few years ago that I tasted chestnuts for the first time, now its a staple treat for me this time of year. Once I see them gleaming in their dark brown satin like shells I have to buy them.

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I like to roast them in the oven, peeling back the hot shell, burning my fingers in the process,  but I don’t mind because there are chestnuts to be eaten.

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As soon as I saw a recipe for a Chestnut coffee cake in a recent issue of Bon Appetit I knew it had to be made. I wasn’t planning on making any changes but things can change as your mixing your ingredients together, ideas come to mind.

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Chestnut and cinnamon make an appearance together in this snackable style cake. Both flavours work a treat together, throw in some chocolate and almond and you’ve got yourself a yummy slice of cake to accompany your cup of coffee with.

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Cinnamon is my favourite spice, I adore it’s slighty spicy, yet sweet warming essence and when I first started making this cake I only planned on adding it to the almond based streusel, but like I said ideas come to mind.

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As well as cinnamon in the streusel I also added some to the batter along with a dash of sweetly intoxicating Cinnamon extract. Do try it if you haven’t already, it will have you entranced.

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A damp cake flecked with cinnamon and a deep rippling chestnut filling is what will great you when you slice into this cake. The chestnut filling is a sticky, chocolate, sugary concoction. I used vacuum packed chestnuts for this cake, these go into a skillet or frying pan with brown sugar and water. Cooking the chestnuts like this will give them a glossy, sweet coating.

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Once you’ve sugar-coated your chestnuts you then sprinkle them with a little more brown sugar and some cocoa powder. The cocoa powder adds a nice little chocolaty-ness to the dark ripple. Now you can’t have a coffee cake without a streusel and this streusel is thick, crumbly and down right delicious. It’s an almond based one which gives a lovely nuttiness to cake enhancing the chestnut filling.

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Once baked the streusel sets giving you a firm outer shell to your cake. No pieces of crumbling streusel, it clings to the cake contrasting with the soft inner crumb. Talking about the crumb, here you have a light, airy cake it doesn’t clag together in your mouth its fluffy and full of scrumptious flavours.

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Looking for a way to incorporate chestnuts into a little autumnal baking, then look no further. This cake is wonderful if you’ve never baked with chestnuts before like myself. Now all I need to do is find more recipes to incorporate my favourite holiday nut into.

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Yields – One, 9 inch round cake.

Ingredients

{streusel}

  • 85 grams (1/2 cup) Ground almonds
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) Caster sugar
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) Plain flour
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 55 grams (1/2 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature

{filling}

  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) Vacuum packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Light brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder

{cake batter}

  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) Caster sugar
  • 240 grams (2 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Pure cinnamon extract
  • 250 ml (1 cup) Sour cream

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175C (350F) and butter the bottom and sides of a round, 9 inch springform cake tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter this too, set aside.
  2. To make the streusel topping all you need to do and place all the ingredients into a medium size bowl and rub together using your finger tips until small clumps form. Cover and place in the fridge.
  3. For the filling place the chestnuts, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and the water into a skillet or frying pan. Cook until the chestnuts are sticky and have absorbed the juices. Transfer to a small bowl and coat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  4. To make the cake batter, place the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together until you’ve got a smooth, creamy and fluffy batter. This should take between 5-10 minutes. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.
  5. Whilst your mixture is creaming together you can place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Again scrape down your bowl. Add the cinnamon extract and sour cream, mixing until fully incorporated. Scrape down your bowl with your spatula.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixing until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give a final stir by hand using your spatula. Scrape half the cake batter into your cake tin, smoothing over the surface then scatter over the chestnut filling. Scrape over the rest of the batter, again smoothing the surface before sprinkling over the streusel.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the outer ring. Leave to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

* Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

* This cake will last for up to 3 days stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid.

* Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Black Zinger Cupcakes

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Black Zinger, who could resist a name like that. I couldn’t so I’ve chosen it for the last recipe from The Cake Slice Bakers Current Book, Great Cakes – Carole Walters. Since last November we’ve been baking a recipe each month from this book and this month see’s the last recipe from the book. As this was the final month we’ve been given free reign over the book, baking whatever we see fit.

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I wanted to theme my bake on Halloween. I love this holiday but here in the UK it’s barely celebrated which is a shame as it’s such a fun holiday. These cupcakes are a simple treat to make for any Halloween party where all you need to jazz them up is some edible glitter, Halloween themed cupcake wrappers and some themed sprinkles.

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I’ve loved baking from this book, every recipe I’ve tried has been a complete success and I’ll definitely be using the book frequently. It lack’s in photo’s but is packed full of scrumptious recipes. The recipe I choose for the cupcake base makes in my opinion a superb choice for any chocolate cupcake. It’s bakes wonderfully with a moist crumb, flaky topping and has a smooth surface making piping icing on very easy.

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So what is black Zinger? A dark chocolate cake loaded with black pepper! A lovely, warming sensation will erupt upon your taste buds after eating one of these, you may think pepper would be gross in a cake but it works wonderfully. Try it for yourself, you won’t regret it.

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I didn’t want too sweet an icing topping these cupcakes so I shied away from the seven minute frosting and swiss meringue buttercream. I’d never tried a sour cream icing before and seeing as sour cream isn’t too sweet I thought this would make a great topping for my chocolate based cupcakes.

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Turns out I was right, these two go together perfectly. A thick chocolate sour cream icing which has the texture of a chocolate ganache, just not as rich. The sour cream really helps reduce the sweetness and another factor in reducing the sweetness of the icing is to use all dark chocolate, not half dark half milk as the recipe suggested. I used a 85% cocoa solid dark chocolate.

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I love glitter, who doesn’t and when I learned of edible I bought quite a few, all in different colours. For my Halloween cupcakes I used two colours. Sparkle Range Graphite Halloween Non-Toxic Glitter and Sparkle Range Hologram Black Non-Toxic Glitter. I love the way these two colours glisten and gleam together, perfect ghoulish shades. For the cupcake wrappers I used these fun Cobweb Cupcake Wrappers , they really make a difference to a simple cupcake wrapper and enhance the chosen theme.

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These cupcakes are hard to resist, eating two within one day is proof of that, taste testing is a must and I didn’t want to let you guy’s down with an average recipe. I shall be keeping these recipes in mind when it comes to future cupcake quests.

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This cake recipe will yield around 24 cupcakes, maybe more depending what sized cupcake cases you bake them in. The icing only iced half of these cupcakes, so I suggest possibly making the recipe for the icing twice. I haven’t tested the recipe doubling the quantities so I can’t say how it would turn out.

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Next month will see the launch of The Cake Slice Bakers new book and we are currently still recruiting new members. Drop me a comment if your interested, we’d really love to have you . All you need to do is love cake and we all love cake right?!

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If you want a quick, easy, fun and most importantly yummy cupcake recipe for Halloween then give these a try, you don’t need any fancy decorations just a few items which can be used again. An addictive chocolate cake and icing with a lingering warmth, perfect for a chilly All Hallows Eve.

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Now let’s see what the other Cake Slice Bakers have chosen for this our final bake of this years book!

 

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Yields – 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients

{cake}

  • 185 ml (3/4 cup) Hot water
  • 1 tablespoon Espresso powder
  • 170 grams (6 ounces) Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 240 grams (2 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) Vegetable shortening
  • 400 grams (2 cups) Caster sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Cold water

{sour cream chocolate icing}

  • 85 grams (3 ounces) Dark chocolate, 85% cocoa solids
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Sour cream
  • 180 grams (1 2/3 cups) Icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons Honey

Method

{black zinger cake}

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C (350F) and line two, 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake cases and set aside.
  2. Add the hot water to a medium size bowl and stir in the espresso powder. Add the chocolate and honey, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, setting aside also.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment soften the butter for a few minutes, scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the vegetable shortening mixing for a further 3o seconds. Start adding the sugar, spoonful at a time letting it get incorporated before adding the next spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to cream together until you have a smooth, light and fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl again.
  5. Add the eggs, one at time mixing well before adding the next and once all have been added scrape down your bowl again. Add the chocolate mixture followed by the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture in the three additions alternating with the ice water. Once everything has been mix together give it a final mix with your spatula, ensuring everything has been fully incorporated.
  7. Spoon your batter into the cupcake cases filling each 2/3 full and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the cake tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes before transferring to the wire rack to cool completely.

{sour cream chocolate icing}

  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the sour cream.
  2. Sift in the half the icing sugar and stir to combine, add the hot water stirring to combine then add the rest of the icing sugar mixing to combine. Finally stir in the honey. If the icing is too runny simply pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up then pipe onto your cupcakes and sprinkle with the glitter and Halloween themed sprinkles.

Notes

* Both recipes are adapted from Great Cakes by Carole Walters.

* Any left over cake can be freezed to make cake pops at a later date.

* These cupcakes will last for up to 3 days stored in a cake tin with a  tight-fitting lid.

* Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

 

Sweet and Savoury Sunday #84

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Welcome to week #84 of Sweet & Savoury Sundays!
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Calling all bakers who love baking cakes! I’m looking for new members to come and join a baking group that I run called The Cake Slice Bakers. Basically what we do is bake our way through one book for a year, then blog about our chosen cakes. We only take new members once or twice a year, depending how keen you are to join and this is the time of year where we open the window for new members. Our chosen book for our new baking year which starts in November is Southern Cakes by Southern Living. If anyone is interested in joining or wants more information then drop me a message. We’d love to have you!
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Once again thanks for all your entries last week, we’d love for you to link up all your recipes, crafts and DIY projects again with us, tell all your friends to link up too :) Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
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So what are you waiting for, join us now and let’s have some fun!!
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Let’s get this party started!!
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After you’ve viewed my favourites this week, make sure to stop by Cupcakery to view their favourites as well!
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Baking In Pyjamas Favourites:
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 link party 84 favourite 1
Chocolate Cloud Cake – A Sweet Muddle 
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 link party 84 favourite 2
Homemade Marshmallows – Malted Caramel Swirl by The Gold Lining Girl
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link party 84 favoutie 3
Peanut Butter Fudge Cookie Cups by Just About Baked
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Most viewed link this week
link party 84 most viewed
Chocolate Babka by The Wordy Baker 
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