Beatty’s Chocolate Cake (Ina Garten)



                   Place frozen mousse between the cake



                  After frosting the cake, I’ve decorated with

                  strawberries & dusted with icing sugar


This is another Ina Garten recipe I love, it’s one of the most moistest chocolate cakes I’ve made.  The filling in this cake is the frosting, but I’ve replaced it with a  chocolate mousse for something different. I also made one cake using a 25cm or 10 inch round tin then I cut it in half & placed the frozen mousse between the 2 pieces then frosted as the recipe says. 

 Butter, for greasing the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups good cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


Chocolate Mousse




2 teaspoons powdered gelatine

2 tablespoons of hot water from just boiled kettle

200gm dark or milk cooking chocolate, broken up

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

1 ½ cups thickened cream, whipped

6 teaspoons sugar



Put the gelatine in a small bowl & add the hot  water, mix until gelatine has dissolved, set aside to cool a little.

Put the chocolate into a bowl, then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, (don’t let the bowl touch the water ) until chocolate has melted.

Now pour the chocolate into another bowl & add the egg yolks & gelatine, whisk quickly.

Put egg whites into a bowl & whisk until soft peaks form, gradually add the sugar a teaspoon at a time, whisk until sugar has dissolved.

Fold the whipped cream  into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the whipped egg whites.

Pour into individual dishes or into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

NOTE: If you want to use this recipe in my Ina Garten chocolate cake recipe,  line the same cake tin you used to bake the cake with plastic wrap & pour the mousse into it, cover with plastic wrap & place into the freezer until firm.

Potato Bake

Potato Bake

Serves 6-8


 2 kilos of potatoes, sliced thinly

600ml bottle of cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

¼ cup of fresh chives, finely chopped

2 cups grated tasty cheese

Salt & Pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, cream,  garlic, thyme, chives, 1 cup of the cheese, salt & pepper to taste until all the ingredients are coated with the cream.

Place into an ovenproof dish, with your hands press down on potatoes until the cream comes to the top.

Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top.

Bake for about 40 mins or until potatoes are soft when poked with a skewer, and cheese is golden.

Apricot Upside Down Cake

Apricot Upside Down Cake



1 large tin of apricot halves, juices drained

125g unsalted butter softened to room temp

125g sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

This recipe is so easy you don’t need a mixer, I just use a rubber spatula


Preheat the oven to 180 degree C

Place the apricot halves on the bottom of a paper line cake tin, mine was a 20x20cm square tin

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla until light & fluffy

Combine the flour & baking powder together then add to the butter & egg mixture, mix to combine

Place the mixture over the apricots, the cake batter won’t cover the apricots, but it will spread during cooking.

Place into preheated oven & bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Let it cool in the tin for about 10 mins, then turn onto a cooling rack & cool completely before serving. Serve with cream.

*If you only have Self raising flour you can use that & leave out the baking powder

You can also use any fruit you like, I’ve made it with tinned pears halves, pineapple rings & sliced peaches.






3 tablespoons fine bulgur wheat

Juice of 1-2 lemons

5 bunches of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

10 mint leaves, finely chopped

5 medium tomatoes, cut into small dice

4 green onions, white & green parts, finely chopped

Salt & pepper

Olive oil


Place the bulgur wheat into a bowl & pour over the lemon juice, set aside to soften

Put the parsley, mint, tomatoes & green onion into a bowl, add the bulgar wheat & lemon juice, salt &pepper to taste.

It’s hard to say exactly how much olive oil to add, so pour in a little at a time, then mix all the ingredients together, (by hand is the best way) if it feels too dry add more,  taste as you go & adjust the seasoning or lemon juice.

The tabouleh is best made at least a couple of hours beforehand for all the flavours to mingle with each other, I make mine the day before.

This  recipe fed about 20 people

Grilled Herb Shrimp (Ina Garten)

Grilled Herb ShrimpIna Garten would have to be one of the best cooks on telly for me, everything of hers I make works perfectly, I follow her recipes to a T and they never fail me, this is one of them that we love, you can prepare them up to 2 days in advance. They are easy and delicious.


  • 2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Combine all the ingredients and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Skewer the shrimp. I use 3 or 4 shrimp on a 12-inch skewer for dinner. Heat a grill with coals and brush the grill with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Grill the shrimp for only 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

Note: I leave the tails on when I’m peeling the shrimp.

Pork Schnitzel




                      Crumbed Schnitzel


                      Fry until golden brown


                      Serve with Veg


1 cup of Flour

2 Eggs + Salt & Pepper

1 to 2 cups of Breadcrumbs

½ cup Parmesan cheese or any hard cheese you like

4 thinly sliced pork schnitzel




Place the flour, eggs with the salt & pepper & breadcrumbs into separate bowls, mix the cheese into the breadcrumbs

Dust the schnitzel with a little flour then dip into the egg, let the excess egg drip off, then dip into breadcrumb & cheese mixture coating all over.

Put enough in your pan to cover the bottom, fry schnitzel for about 2 mins on each side or until golden brown.

Serve with your favourite veg.

Note: If you don’t like pork, use either veal or chicken they all taste great.