Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have hit the 100 post mark, and I want to take this opportunity to say "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You" for reading (and commenting on) all my efforts (bad and good!!) - I really appreciate your time and positivity.

For this momentous (!) occasion I have baked (well decided to blog about) two chocolate cakes.  The one above is from (no prizes for guessing) Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache:  Pistachio Hazelnut Chocolate Cake - I made this cake to bring to Son #2 at Irish College - but they weren't allowed food in the rooms, so it double jobbed as Mr BVG's birthday cake (waste not want not!!!!!!)  I changed quite a bit with the method on this cake and it came out very well despite my messing!  Moist with an almost Nutella-ish hit - this was an excellent cake and the icing was worth breaking the rules for, a really luxurious chocolate hit.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

100g         Hazelnuts - finely ground in food processor.
3               medium eggs
180g         light Muscovado sugar
300g         very finely grated courgette
120g         rice flour
60g           cocoa powder
2 tsp         baking powder
1/4 tsp      salt

Preheat oven to 180 C
Prepare brownie tin (20x20cm) with baking paper*

Whisk the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Grate the courgette and blitz the hazelnuts (you can add 1 tbsp of the rice flour if they clump)
Add the courgettes to the egg mixture, combine well.
Now add the ground hazelnuts, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and combine carefully and thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Icing

50g        butter, cubed and cold
50g        icing sugar, sieved
1 tbsp    boiling water
25g       cocoa powder

Whisk the butter until pale and softened.
Add the icing sugar and water - whisk until it becomes a paste.
Whisk for as long as you can stand!!! The longer you whisk it lighter the icing will be.

When the cake is completely cold spread liberally with the icing.


*Originally Harry calls for two sandwich tins, I prefer a thicker sponge (it also means you use less icing... clever or what?!!)

I have been saving this cake for my 100th post, I think I just might be in love ..... it is right up there with Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake and her Malteser Cake, it is everything you want in a chocolate cake - dense, decadent, delicious - this cake is the business!!

I apologise for the photo - not exactly inspiring, but the original over on Judy's blog gives a much better idea of the dizzy taste heights this cake reaches.  I brought this cake to K's house (where we had a fantastic dinner - I have begged recipes and will blog about them soon).  The cake was the perfect end to such a wonderful meal - K served it with whipped cream and strawberries (yummmmm) - then we headed off to dance the night away at Mamma Mia, nights don't get much better than that one!

I am selling this cake on taste alone, but there is another wonderful aspect to it .... it uses kidney beans instead of flour (yes you did read that correctly!!!!) - this might freak you out and put you off trying it, but please give it a go anyway, it's gluten free, high fibre and fantastic!!

Judy serves the cake with a White Chocolate Mousse which I also did the first time I made it (and it is delicious - a good one to have in your repertoire) but I actually think the plain whipped cream is even better as it allows the cake to shine.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
originally from Eating Well, Living Thin

1           can kidney beans (410g)
1 tbsp    strong coffee (made up not coffee powder)
1 tsp      vanilla extract
70g        cocoa powder
1 tsp      baking powder
1/2 tsp   bread (bicarbonate of) soda
1/4 tsp   salt
100g      softened butter
250g      sugar
5            eggs

Preheat oven to 170 C
Prepare a 9"/10" round cake tin with butter/baking paper

Puree the beans, coffee, vanilla and two eggs until smooth. (I used a stick blender) Set aside.
Sieve the cocoa, baking powder, bread (bicarbonate of) soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy.
Beat in the bean mixture, until combined.
Finally beat in the cocoa mixture until very smooth.
Pour this mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.

I have changed Judy's method slightly - it's what worked for me.

I really hope you enjoy this cake - I think it's really special.

Here's to the next 100!


Srividhya Ravikumar said...

congrats dear and cake looks yummmmmmmm..

Mr. P said...

100 posts? I am on 99. Well done. My hundredth is going to be fail pies!

Lucie said...

Congrats BVG - it has been a pleasure to read all of your posts and be a part of your world. I am so pleased to call you a blogging friend. Here's to the next 100 posts! Love Lucie x

Lilly Higgins said...

Wow! Well done!I'm a disgrace, I started in january but only have 53 done so far! That flourless chocolate cake sounds amazing. I love the idea of using kidney beans so I'll definitely give it a go. Congrats again and keep up the good work! x

Anonymous said...

Happy 100! Here's to another 100 more. I love reading to see what you've come up with.

Rose H (UK) said...

Congratulations on your reaching century!
I'm enjoying my cyber-slice with a nice cuppa :o)

Unknown said...

congrats BVG! I love your posts and I really enjoy being part of the gang... it all feels very special. I'm on 97 already and didn't even think about it till i saw your post... it really is something to celebrate and be proud of... I think I may cook a huge cake to celebrate x

Georgina Ingham | CulinaryTravels said...

Congrats on reaching the 100 post mark ... quite an achievement. Too gorgeous cakes as well.

Anonymous said...

Yum to both of those cakes! Though, I think if I had to pick a favorite, it'd be a first. I love the hazelnut flavor in baked goods. I'd have been so disappointed if I was your son. I never heard of not being allowed food in a dorm. Happy 100!

Anonymous said...

Happy 100 and congrats! Thanks for the recipes. I want to make both of them- chocolate AND health food, hmmmm definitely intrigued! x

Brownieville Girl said...

Thanks guys :-}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Chef Dennis Littley said...

congratulations on your 100th post! thanks for the wonderful recipes!

Jutta said...

Congratulations BG! Have very much enjoyed reading about all your cooking adventures.

Julie said...

Congrats on you 100th post! The kidney bean cake sounds interesting!

Coby said...

Congrats BG, may the next 100 give you (and us vicariously) as much joy and pleasure:D

Do you think the coffee is a must in the flourless cake? I just don't do coffee, but I fear it's a must in a cake such as this? What are your thoughts please BG?

Brownieville Girl said...

Thanks all.

Coby, no I would just leave out the coffee (I did the first time I made it as son #2 doesn't like it) - just use a tiny bit more vanilla.

Choclette said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. I'm amazed with all the baking you do this isn't your 1000th. As usual you have come up with some deliciously unusual cakes to celebrate. Can't wait to try the kidney beans. Look for ward to your next 100.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!!! I love your blog and enjoy reading about your wonderful goodies. You have definitely inspired me! The two cakes sound devine, but I wouldn't expect anything less. Can't wait to read the next 100:)

Kat said...

Congratulations and the cake looks wonderful. If you get a chance please visit my blog as I am having a nice giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi... I'm your newest follower.

shahana said...

Congratulations! The cake looks really yummy!

. said...

Happy 100th Post!! i hope i'll be able to do that some day! keep bakin! cath :)

Saffy said...

Happy 100th and wishing you many, many more :) Lucky Mr BVG is all I can say!!!

Maria♥ said...

Happy 100th and looking forward to the next 100!


Bigarade said...

congratulationnnnssss!!!! well done!
i am so happy for you :D
i love this blog!