Cinnamon and chocolate

I had some friends over for New Year’s Eve. We just wanted a quiet night, chatting and maybe playing on the Wii, as I think none of us really wanted to brave a night out at the local clubs (and judging from the broken glass paving the streets the next day I’m glad we didn’t).

So we ordered some pizzas, everyone brought drinks and I baked.

The first cake I made used another recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini – Yogurt Cake.

It’s a recipe I’ve used countless times since I found it, purely because of it’s versatility and simplicity. In the past I’ve thrown in handfuls of tart blueberries in the batter. I’ve also made a plain cake and served it with crème fraîche and blueberries on the side (yes, I have a thing for blueberries).

However this time I thought I’d make a more wintry cake and so I added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and half a teaspoon of ground ginger. On a whim, I also sprinkled the top with a mix of demerara sugar and more cinnamon.  The cake came out moist, as usual, but this time it also filled the kitchen with the lovely scent of cinnamon. It was like Christmas all over again!

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The cake is fine by itself but I imagine a small scoop of vanilla ice cream would go well with it. Then again, vanilla ice cream goes well with most cakes.

The second cake was a variation on the Brown Eyed Baker’s Best Brownies, which in turn was originally from Hershey’s.

Where the recipe states to use two eggs, I’d run out of eggs and so substituted the second egg with about two tablespoons of whole milk, in an attempt to make up the volume. As usual I replaced the cup of sugar in the original recipe with 150 g of soft brown sugar and finally, I chopped up about 150 g of milk and plain chocolate and folded it into the batter.

The results were delicious, especially when eaten warm.

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The brownies disappeared rapidly although I think it’s down to chocolate being a general favourite with my friends, rather than any spectacular baking skills. But the point of this is I’m glad my experiment with an egg substitute turned out so well. I doubt I’d be brave enough to do that with any other cake but I hope to one day reach a point when I can make up my own recipes.

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