A Simple Chocolate Bar Cake

My kids always have something sweet in their lunch box. I’m sure some mums don’t agree with this, providing only wholegrained, raw food, pure & natural options. But I’m more of an ‘everything in moderation’ sort of gal. And, I’m quite comfortable with sweet, particularly when it comes straight from my kitchen.

Here’s one of my favourite, quick and easy, lunch box recipes – simple chocolate pound cake. And…it freezes really well too!

Chocolate Pound Cake
from taste.com.au

2 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
150g butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 eggs

Chocolate frosting
50g butter, chopped
1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 17.5cm x 27cm (base) slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing 3cm overhang at long ends.

Combine sugar, butter, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and 1 cup cold water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes or until mixture doubles. Transfer to a large bowl. Cool for 15 minutes.

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Add flour and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until pale and smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn, top side up, onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make frosting: Place butter, caster sugar and 2 tablespoons cold water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Gradually add butter mixture. Stir to combine. Cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until frosting thickens. Beat with a wooden spoon until spreadable. Spread cake with frosting. Serve.

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I cut this into squares that fit perfectly into the boys’ lunchboxes and then pop it into the freezer in an airtight container leaving a little space between each piece so they don’t freeze together.

Super Easy Birthday Cup Cakes

Late this afternoon my nearly 10 year old decided he’d like to take cupcakes to school tomorrow for his class to celebrate his birthday.

Cringe….I love baking but it was time to prepare dinner not whip up a batch of cakes.

But then I found this super easy recipe where it’s just a matter of adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring and adding to the cupcake papers.

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I like to use a mini ice cream scoop to neatly and evenly transfer the batter from the bowl to the cupcake paper.

Here’s the recipe. You’re going to want to keep this one up your sleeve!

Classic Cupcake
from taste.com.au
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
125g butter, melted, cooled
2 x 59g eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Queen Natural Vanilla Essence

Icing:
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12 x 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan. Alternatively, line holes with paper cases. Combine flour and caster sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.

Add milk, butter, eggs and vanilla to flour mixture. Using a large metal spoon, stir gently to combine.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Make icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add water. Stir until smooth and well combined. Spoon icing over cakes.

The recipe indicated that this recipe would make 12 cupcakes. I doubled the mix and ended up with 36 medium cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes. That’s plenty for all the kids at school plus a few for us to enjoy at home.

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Last Minute Lunch Food

After a weekend devoted to sewing (and relaxing), not cooking, I realised I had very little to put in the kids lunchboxes.  I quickly thought through some options for things to make quickly. The winner was picklets.

I mixed 1 cup of self-raising flour with a tablespoon of caster sugar. Then in a separate bowl I whisked 3/4 cup of milk with one egg. Then I combined the two.

Finally, I cooked three or four at a time for a couple of minutes each side in a greased frypan.

They ain’t the prettiest looking things but with a spread of strawberry jam they are indeed a lunchbox treat.

Chocolate Fudge Bars

I love to cook, and I always try to make the time at the start of the week to prepare a home-made biscuit, cake or healthy treat to include in the boys lunch boxes. But, this week I really didn’t want ‘step 1’ of the recipe to be ‘cream the butter and sugar’. I was after a more melt and mix approach.

The Women’s Weekly “Chocolate Fudge Bars” was the perfect recipe. I’ve made these many, many times over the years and they are always a hit. Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Fudge Bars
from AWW The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits or online

 
1 cup plain flour
½ cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1 tablespoon cocoa
185g butter
½ teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Icing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
30g butter
1½ tablespoons hot water
coconut
 
Sift dry ingredients into bowl, add melted butter and vanilla, mix well.

Press mixture over base of greased 28cm x 18cm lamington tin.

Bake in moderate oven 20 minutes. Cool in tin.

When cold, ice with Chocolate Icing, sprinkle with coconut. Cut into bars when icing has set.

Chocolate Icing:
Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small bowl, add melted butter and water, mix until the icing is smooth and glossy.