Tag Archives: chocolate

Quick “Pantry Brownies”

These are so called because the ingredients are ones I pretty much always have in the pantry.  So I can whip them up at a moment’s notice – and do very frequently – when I need a quick and easy treat for the Small People and their friends, or for a school bake sale or an unexpected visitor.  One pot, one baking tray and a whisk makes it all even easier.   They would probably keep for a few days in an airtight container but they never ever last that long.  Using a rectangular baking tray of approximately 23x33cm, I cut these into 24 brownies. You could probably jazz them up with nuts of your choice or chocolate chunks if you have them on hand.  Try and use good quality Dutch process cocoa.


300g unsalted butter, cubed
500g caster sugar
150g Dutch process cocoa
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 eggs, lightly beaten
150g plain flour
Icing sugar, for dusting

Making them

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan forced.

In a pot on medium heat, place the butter, sugar and cocoa, and whisk gently until butter is all melted and it is well combined. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and salt and combine. Add the eggs and combine well. Finally add the flower and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

Line your tray with baking paper and tip the mixture into the tray, giving it a gentle shake so that it is evenly spread.

Bake until just set (check after about 15 minutes).

Remove from oven and using the baking paper lift onto a wire rack to cool. Cut using a serrated knife to desired size and dust with icing sugar.

Today’s Cake – Neil Perry’s Chocolate and Ricotta Cake

I liked the look of this when I saw it in Good Food, so had to give it a try.  As this has very little flour (cornflour), the texture is more like a mud cake.  I skipped the candied fruit (not a fan) but a dash of Grand Marnier or similar would work well.


9 egg yolks
365g icing sugar, sifted
12 egg whites
150g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
45g cornflour dark chocolate shavings, to serve

Ricotta filling
250ml double cream
500g ricotta
150g icing sugar, sifted
100g mixed candied fruit, roughly chopped

Chocolate butter cream
250g butter
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp milk

Making it
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and sugar 2 x 23cm round cake tins.
2. Whisk the yolks and 240g icing sugar to ribbon stage.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and 125g icing sugar to soft peaks.
4. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the yolks, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
5. Before they are completely combined, add the cocoa and cornflour and fold in gently.
6. Divide the mixture between the cake tins.
7. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C and bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool, then turn them onto racks to cool completely.

For the filling
1. Beat the cream until stiff.
2. Purée the ricotta and icing sugar in a food processor, adding the fruit towards the end.
3. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the cream.

For the butter cream
1. Beat the butter with an electric beater on high speed for 8 minutes, until pale and creamy.
2. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for 3 minutes.
3. Add the milk and beat again until well combined.

1. Split the cakes in half horizontally.
2. Spread a bottom layer with one-third of the filling and repeat with 2 more layers. Top with the remaining cake.
3. Top with the remaining cake.
4. Spread the top and sides of the cake with chocolate butter cream and finish with shavings of chocolate.