One of the things I really enjoy doing when I return home to Bournemouth is baking.
Baking is one of those things that can be instantly cathartic and bring back thousands of memories, and it can be done together, or alone.
My niece, Ava, is one of the craziest three-year-old children I’ve ever experienced, and this is saying something, as I am an aunt to 6.
Ava, of whom is fondly known as Kevin, enjoys baking a lot. So, I always wait for her to finish nursery until baking can begin, because I too want her to grow up with the same love of baking I do.
I began baking at the tender age of 10 whilst in Los Angeles.
At Christmas, I was gifted an Easy Bake oven, and I made mini-chocolate brownies, in my mini brownie tray – it was epic.
I was also given an awesome and very hefty baking bible, the title of which escapes me, but that aside, it’s where my love of baking began.
The first thing I made was ‘Chocolate fudge brownies’, and they became an instant sensation in the Lovell household.
The brownies have a shiny top, due to the way the butter and sugar are melted together, that gets covered in a light dusting of icing sugar, when looked at admirably, it can be likened to a chocolate mountain with bumps of white and milk chocolate chunks poking out as the peaks.
The best way to eat these brownies?
Fresh from the oven, with your family, and a nice glass of milk.
Ava and I baked a heart shaped chocolate cake, with chocolate marshmallow frosting, chocolate Aero Bubbles and (scruffy) chocolate hearts.
- 3 large eggs
- 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
- 175g (6 oz)caster sugar
- 175g (6 oz) softened butter
- 1½ level tsp baking powder
- 40g (1½ oz) cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp warm/hot milk.
(I always double the recipe because I use a larger tin as I have lots of people to bake for)
- Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4.
- Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl. I just put it into my KitchenAid, because I’m both swaggy, and lazy.
- Put the cocoa in separate mixing bowl, and add the milk a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Add to the cake mixture.
- Turn into the prepared tins, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins, or until shrinking away from the sides of the tin and springy to the touch.
- Leave to cool in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
Step 5 is REALLY important, as if you do not allow the cake to cool, your icing will melt off… it won’t be pretty, it won’t be fun, but it might still be tasty.
ICING – I mean, I don’t call it icing, I call it frosting, because I learnt my trade from American books… I CALL IT FROSTING!
- 60g unsalted butter – at room temperature
- 250g icing sugar
- 200 rich milk, or dark chocolate – whatever floats your boat (melted). (Can add extra depending on taste)
- 150g Marshmallow Fluff.
- Aero Bubbles for decorational purposes… Also optional.
- Put butter into bowl.
- Add icing sugar gradually, as if you add it all at once you’ll be left with a white mess!
- Add melted chocolate, beat until smooth.
- Add Marshmallow fluff.
- Allow to stiffen a little,as it may be a little runny, before frosting your cake and adding deocorations, only a little though, as once the chocolate begins to set it will be too stiff to use.
- Add Aero Bubbles as you wish.
- Eat, drink milk, and please, please be merry!