It’s been a case of chocolate galore where work’s concerned here at Butterfingrrs. There’s something so magical about chocolate whether it’s white, milk or dark – we all have our preferences but whatever the case, as long as it’s chocolate, few of us can stop from reaching out and filling our stomachs with it. Unless of course, you’re one of the extremely rare people in this world who’s allergic to chocolate. Even vegans who say ‘No!’ to dairy have their own versions of chocolate because really, who can live without it?!
Sometimes we need chocolate simply to satisfy a craving…
A plain light Chocolate Sponge with decadent Chocolate Ganache to help the week go a little smoother…
Or for a birthday celebration where the Minions might make the birthday girl smile…
But the cake beneath will make her tummy smile wider!
And if you’re lucky, you get TWO cakes for your birthday which means double the Chocolate and double the Cake!
Some days though, we may prefer our dose of chocolate to come in bite-sized delights that we can savour over a few days. Alone. Or with company. But preferably alone so that no sharing is needed.
Like with these Hazelnut Macarons filled with Creamy Chocolate Ganache.
I just about ran out of ganache and found myself stuck with three shells so my lightbulb moment insisted I use Nutella making this triple stack a double Chocolate-Hazelnut flavour bomb!
I thought my past week was hectic but this week is even more gruelling. So far, I think I’m managing my time well so I’m a happy bunny. I also managed to find some time to visit CMY (@chewcreates), one of my good friends from our secondary school days. She’s really into water painting and calligraphy, so she engages heavily in them during her time off work. She’s amazing at what she does and I really think she could, and should, do something more with her creativity if she ever gets tired of her work.
Anyway, I’ve been eager to pick up a few simple floral brush strokes for my cakes since I’ve started enjoying painting on buttercream. So I asked CMY if she’d like to teach me some basic painting techniques. Of course, painting on paper is not quite like painting on buttercream but to me, it’s about getting the technique down pat and then slowly trying to transfer that skill onto cakes.
While my final go at painting roses and leaves looked far better than the ones I did at the beginning, they’re still a world away from the gorgeous ones CMY seems to paint so effortlessly.
Before I left, she ladened me with some watercolour paper, a set of brushes and some paint to ‘Go home and practice!‘. I was touched by her generosity not just with these items, but also with her time. She refused payment for anything and so, I gifted her in the only way I know how – CAKE!
I find that older people tend to equate chocolate to being sweet and sinful. At the same time, I know that she has two nephews who are often around her home especially in the day, both of whom are below the age of 5. And little kids being little kids, say chocolate and you hear a resounded ‘YAY!’, anything else and you’ll likely get a ‘nayyyyy…’.
Which is why I opted to bake her and her family a Chocolate Chip Mascarpone Loaf Cake. It’s easy to slice up and chocolate chips are nowhere as guilt-inducing as a full-on chocolate cake now it is?
I had some mascarpone cheese leftover from the Italian Breakfast Cake I baked, and I also had some beautiful Vanilla Beans that I’d yet to use. So, Vanilla to flavour the base of the cake in order to charm her parents, and Chocolate Chips scattered within the cake to curry favour with the young ‘uns.
Chocolate Chip Mascarpone Cake (Makes 2 small loaves)
1/2 Vanilla Pod, Seeds scraped out
120g Mascarpone Cheese
160g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
75g Chocolate Chips, and a little extra to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 170 deg C and line baking tins.
- Cream butter with sugar and vanilla seeds.
- Add eggs one at a time, creaming well after each addition.
- Whisk in mascarpone cheese to combine.
- Incorporate flour, baking powder, and salt in mix until just combined.
- Gently fold in chocolate chips and split batter evenly into baking tins.
- Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top and bake for 35-40min until golden brown, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from tins.
The classic flavours of Vanilla and Chocolate wrapped within this cake transported me back to childhood when the only flavours I knew were vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I was never much of a strawberry fan because it always tasted a bit too fake for me. Of course, children these days have a lot more educated palates with preferences for cakes ranging from the ubiquitous chocolate to the more foreign lychee rose. Still, this cake won my heart over by its simplicity, its understated richness from the mascarpone, and its moist, fluffy nature that had me at hello when it came out of the oven, and left me yearning for more when all that was left of it were itty bitty crumbs.