Last week I was getting over a nasty chest infection and didn’t have much energy. I spent about 9 consecutive nights sleeping on the sofa as it was the only place where I could sleep propped up on the sofa. I still didn’t sleep very well though and my back was in agony. I had to take time off work which I don’t like doing. So the last two weeks I just wasn’t myself!
Thankfully I’ve been able to recover with it being the Easter holidays and have been back in the kitchen. My son is currently working on a media studies film project and has had friends over to help him with filming. My daughter has been on hand to help out with the make up and special effects and good old mum here has been the transport and the catering manager!
Last Friday it had been a horrible day for filming. So when they finished after filming in the mud and the rain, I thought they deserved a chocolatey treat. But what could I give them?
In the end I found the perfect recipe to adapt in Mary Berry’s latest book “Foolproof Cooking”. I’ve had the book since it first came out but not made anything from it. The recipe is called “Bonfire Chocolate Traybake” and it looked perfect for feeding a crowd. Although being April it’s the wrong time of year for Bonfire Night but as Mary says in the recipe introduction: “Being a traybake it cuts into squares and is so perfect for packing into a box and sharing with family and friends at an event such as Bonfire Night,” Mary’s recipe was also plain and didn’t need any decorating or icing. I chose to add icing on mine, though.
The traybake was very simple to put together. I used my trusty Alan Silverwood traybake tin which was simply greased with Cake Release. I didn’t need any baking parchment to line the tin.
Mary’s original recipe uses dark chocolate but I used two 100g bars of Lindt Salted Caramel chocolate which I melted along with some butter. When this was done, I weighed out some caster sugar and mixed this in with the melted chocolate mixture. This was then left to cool down then I added three eggs one at a time into the bowl. Afterwards it was time to add the dry ingredients. To keep the cake moist the cake is flavoured with ground almonds which are added at the same time as self raising flour and baking powder. I could imagine the addition of ground almonds would also give a lovely flavour, as well as helping the cake to keep longer.
A very quick mixture to make up and one which didn’t have a list as long as your arm of ingredients. Before long it was ready to be spooned into the tin and baked. It didn’t take long to bake at all, only about 25-30 minutes.
The traybake smelled heavenly when it came out of the oven. I know Mary Berry said the recipe didn’t need icing but I wanted to give it a finishing touch. So as the cake was cooling I made up a chocolate icing using a bar of melted plain chocolate and melted butter. This was quite runny on its own so I chose to add some icing sugar to thicken it up a bit. I had stocked up on some of my favourite Sugar and Crumbs Salted Caramel Icing Sugar so I added 60g or 4 tbsp of it to the mix. It thickened up beautifully and spread well onto the top of the traybake. I cut the traybake up into portions and then to finish, sprinkled it with some gold sugar crystals I had in my baking cupboard.
When my son and his friends finished their filming, they were tired and hungry so a chocolate traybake square hit the spot for them. As the traybake kept well it got eaten over the next few days bit by bit.
A wonderful recipe that could be adapted and not just for any time of the year. I would love to try this with different chocolate flavours. I bet a mint or a chocolate orange one would be delicious.
Love Sam xx