Mocha fudge celebration cake

Makes 10-12

For the fudge cake:

225g dark chocolate

225g unsalted butter

1 tbsp instant coffee in 125ml of boiling water

175g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

4 large eggs

200g caster sugar

200g light brown sugar

75ml buttermilk

/ Philip Doyle; developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy

For the mocha Italian buttercream:

Egg whites from 4 large eggs at room temperature

¼ lemon

220g caster sugar

60ml water

400-450g cubed butter at room temp

1 tbsp instant coffee granuals

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To serve:

Hot fudge sauce (see recipe below)

Chocolate shavings or cocoa nibs

1 Make the cake: preheat your oven to 160°C. Grease two circular 20cm cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper, then set these aside until ready to use.

2 Gently melt the dark chocolate and butter together, either in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water or in the microwave in 30 second segments. When the instant coffee is dissolved into the boiled water, add this to the chocolate and butter. Stir to combine and set aside to cool slightly (10-15 minutes).

/ Philip Doyle; developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy

3 In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

4 In another large bowl, beat the eggs and caster and brown sugar together with a hand mixer (or in the stand mixer with a whisk attachment) for five to seven minutes, until extremely light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to this and mix to combine.

5 Add the dry ingredients to this mixture and mix briefly, until just combined, and then add the buttermilk. Beat on high for 30 seconds to make sure everything is well incorporated.

6 Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake tins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, checking the cakes after 35 minutes. When baked, a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully remove them from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack.

7 When the cakes are cool, make the buttercream: wipe the bowl of a stand mixer with half a lemon (make sure the bowl is clean and dry before you do this). Add the egg whites to the bowl and, with the whisk attachment, whisk until stiff peaks are formed.

8 While the egg whites are being whisked, make the simple syrup: in a saucepan, combine the caster sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook the syrup for around five to seven minutes, or until it reaches 115°C on a candy thermometer.

9 When the egg whites have been whisked to stiff peaks, turn the stand mixer down to low. Carefully drizzle the hot syrup into the whisked egg whites. You want to do this slowly, in a steady stream, but also do this before the syrup becomes too cool. When the hot syrup is added, continue whisking for another five to 10 minutes, until the bowl has begun to cool down (the syrup will make it very warm for a few minutes).

Classic hot fudge sauce / Philip Doyle. Developed, cooked and styled by Janine Kennedy.

10 When the bowl has cooled down, keep the machine going on low and start incorporating the butter into the mixture, a little bit at a time. The addition of fat will cause the meringue to deflate, so don’t be alarmed. Just slowly add the butter, piece by piece. Eventually, once most of the butter has been added, the mixture will transform into a thick, glossy buttercream.

11 Add the instant coffee granules and vanilla at this stage. Increase the speed of the stand mixer to high and whisk for another one to two minutes, until everything is nicely whipped and well incorporated.

12 To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake plate and add a good dollop of buttercream on top. Spread it evenly over the cake and then place the other layer on top of this. Then add the remaining buttercream to the top of the cake and carefully spread it all over the top and sides to coat.

13 Decorate with shaved chocolate or cocoa nibs and, right before you serve, drizzle hot fudge all over the top. The cake layers can be made ahead and frozen, but the buttercream is best used right away once made. Once assembled, this cake will keep in an airtight container for up to five days (but it won’t last that long as it’s so tasty).

Black forest pavlovas

Makes six mini pavlovas

Black Forest Pavlovas. / Philip Doyle. Developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy.

For the pavlova:

4 large room-temp egg whites

¼ piece of lemon

225g caster sugar

2 tsp cornflour

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the creme chantilly:

300ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla

4 tbsp icing sugar

For the cherries:

300g fresh cherries

125g caster sugar

100ml water

1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with water to make a slurry

50ml amaretto liqueur

50ml amber rum

To serve:

Hot fudge sauce, to drizzle

/ Philip Doyle. Developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy.

1 Make the pavlovas: preheat the oven to 120°C and line a large baking tray with parchment. Set aside. Make sure the bowl of your stand mixer is clean and dry, then wipe the inside with half a lemon. Add the egg whites and whisk on high until soft peaks start to form.

2 Add the caster sugar, a little bit at a time, while whisking constantly. Do this slowly until all the sugar has been incorporated and the meringue has reached stiff, glossy peaks.

3 Add the cornflour and whisk to incorporate, then add the vanilla and whisk again.

4 Dollop six even amounts of meringue onto the prepared baking tray. Use a spoon to make a well in the centre of each one. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 100°C and continue baking for 90 minutes.

/ Philip Doyle. Developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy.

5 When the meringues are baked, turn off the oven and let them cool completely with the oven door closed (I make the meringues in the evening and let them sit in the oven to cool and dry out overnight).

6 Prepare the cherry filling: remove the pits from the fresh cherries and place them in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil.

7 Add the cornflour slurry to the boiling cherries and stir until thickened. Then add the alcohol (this is optional if you’re feeding children). Let cool completely.

8 Make the creme chantilly: place the double cream, vanilla and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until thickened. Refrigerate until ready to use.

9 Assemble: add some creme chantilly to each pavlova, then add a generous spoonful (or three) of cherries. Drizzle warm hot fudge over the pavlovas just before serving.

Mississippi mud tartlet

Makes six to eight

Mississippi Mud Tartlet / Philip Doyle. Developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy

For the oreo base:

20 Oreo cookies, crushed or blitzed in a food processor

40g melted butter

For the brownie layer:

110g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

125g butter

100g caster sugar

110g soft brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

60g plain flour

For the chocolate pudding layer:

150g caster sugar

40g cocoa

40g plain flour

2 egg yolks at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp flaky sea salt

500ml full fat milk

3 tbsp butter, softened

For the whipped cream:

300ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla

50g icing sugar

1 Make the Oreo base: preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a rectangular tartlet tin (with a removable bottom) with spray. Set aside.

2 Add the Oreos to a food processor. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Press these into the bottom of the tartlet tin and set this aside while you make the brownie batter.

3 Make the brownie batter: melt the chocolate and butter together (either in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or in the microwave) until smooth.

4 In a large mixing bowl, beat the caster sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs until light and fluffy – around five minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined. Add the flour and just stir enough to combine everything.

Mississippi Mud Tartlet / Philip Doyle. Developed, baked and styled by Janine Kennedy

5 This will make slightly more batter than you need, so spray another baking tin (or line with parchment) to bake any excess batter into regular brownies. Pour enough brownie batter into the tin to go halfway up the sides (you will need room for the chocolate pudding layer). Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

6 Let cool on a wire rack while keeping the tartlet inside the tin. Once cool, use the bottom of a juice glass to press the brownie down into the tin (so it’s more like a tart crust than a brownie). You want brownie going up the sides of the tartlet tin so the pudding layer won’t have anywhere to go.

7 Make the chocolate pudding: in a saucepan, whisk the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and sea salt to combine. Add the egg yolks and just enough milk to make a smooth paste. Add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth.

8 Slowly heat the saucepan on medium, whisking constantly, until the pudding thickens. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Stir until smooth. Cool completely.

9 Once cooled, add the chocolate pudding over the top of the brownie and smooth out with a spatula. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla.

10 Gently remove the tartlet from the tin and top with the whipped cream. Right before serving, drizzle with hot fudge. You want a chilled pie with warm fudge. Complete decadence.

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