Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
The second recipe for this month is Ina Gartens  Beatty’s Chocolate Cake chosen by Mary of Passionate Perseverence. This cake is one of my  favourite chocolate cakes, and I’ve made it ALOT. I already had this one on my blog, but because I like it so much it wasn’t a problem making it again.  My only problem is I’m lousy at icing or decorating a cake, I just don’t have what it takes to do it, so for this one I bought the  Betty Crocker vanilla icing and just added green food colouring until I got the desired shade, thanks Mary I never get sick of making this cake. I used a 21 cm square cake tin and baked it for about an hour.

2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:

30 min

Inactive Prep Time:

30 min

Cook Time:

35 min

8 servings


  • 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.


Roast Leg of Lamb




Roast Lamb


Serves 6


2 garlic cloves

2 sprigs of rosemary

Salt & Pepper

¼ cup Olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

1 leg of lamb


Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F

Place the garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper into a mortar and crush it with the pestle until you get a paste like consistency  then  add the olive oil & lemon zest, stir to combine set aside. ( you can also do this in a food processor).

With a sharp knife score the lamb, just don’t cut too deep, then rub the rosemary, garlic mixture all over the lamb, making sure you get into the cuts.

Put the lamb on a rack placed over a baking dish & bake for about 90 mins, the timing all depends on the size of the lamb, and how you like it cooked, lamb should be a little pink, but we like ours done just a little bit more. The lamb I used weighed close to 2kg/4lb.

Serve with your favourite vegetables, but one  of them has to be potatoes, baked, roasted, fried, whatever. Oh and gravy.


Birthday Sheet Cake (Ina Garten)

This cake couldn’t have come at a better time, it was chosen by Susy of  Everyday Gourmet for the Barefoot Bloggers.  It was fathers day here on Sunday so this is what my father got as a special surprise, he doesn’t like chocolate  frosting so I made his favourite cream cheese frosting with whole walnuts and sprinkled with some crushed walnuts. I also used orange zest instead of the lemon for a bit of a change and it tasted great. Thanks Susy for choosing a really yummy cake, this was the first time I’d made this cake, it was so popular with everyone that I’ve now made it 3 times this week, I used  the lemon zest and iced it with fresh cream and strawberries. Yummy choice.







For the cake:


  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:


  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M’s)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it’s thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.