• 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ c. heavy or whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ⅓ c. toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  1. In food processor with knife blade, pulse chocolate until finely ground. In 1-quart pan, heat cream to boiling. Add cream to chocolate; blend until smooth. Add butter; blend well.
  2. Line 9" by 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour chocolate mixture into pan. Refrigerate until cool and firm enough to handle, 3 hours.
  3. Invert chocolate block onto cutting board. Cut chocolate into 24 (or 12 for larger egg-shaped) pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (or oval for eggs). Roll half the truffles in hazelnuts; roll the other half in cocoa. Refrigerate up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
Prep: 40 mins Cook: 40 mins - 45 min Serves 14

  • cake release spray (available from Lakeland and amazon) or melted butter, for greasing
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • zest and juice 3 blood oranges (about 150ml juice)
  • 150g light olive oil
  • 280g self-raising flour
For the glaze
  • 140g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • zest 1 blood orange, plus juice of 1 ½ (about 75ml juice)

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease a 2.5-litre bundt tin with the cake release spray or butter.

Put the sugar, eggs and zest in a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk for about 10 mins until thick and pale. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour in the juice and oil, mixing until fully combined. Sieve the flour into the bowl and whisk until just combined to a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin, place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 35-40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 mins before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate has melted, pour in the blood orange juice and stir to combine. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool, then chill until the glaze is thick but still pourable. Once the glaze is at the desired consistency, pour over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle the orange zest over to finish. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days; can be frozen for up to 3 months.

By Edd Kimber, bbcgoodfood.

For the red velvet cake
  • 175g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g white caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp red food colouring paste (we used Christmas red from Sugarflair)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder (we used Green & Black's)
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 150g pot low-fat plain yogurt, loosened with 2 tbsp milk
For the fingers and frosting
  • about 3 x 114g boxes white chocolate fingers (we found them in Tesco)
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • small blob of red food colouring paste
  • 100g soft butter
  • 300g full-fat cream cheese, fridge cold (we used Philadelphia as it has the firmest texture)
  • zest 1 orange (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the cake, grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg, until fluffy and light. Beat in the colouring.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients for the cake, and sift half onto the creamed mix. Fold 
in with a spatula, followed by half of the thinned yogurt. Repeat, then spoon the smooth batter into the tins and level.
 Bake for 25 mins or until risen and springy when pressed lightly in the centre. Cool for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  3. For the fingers, line a baking tray with parchment. Cut one end from each chocolate finger. Mix 50g icing sugar, the milk and a small blob of colouring to make a thick, red icing. The icing needs to be thick to stay put; add a little more sugar if you need to. Dip the severed biscuit ends into the icing, let the excess drip off, then paint a red fingernail on the other end, using a small paintbrush. Leave to dry on the parchment.

  4. For the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the butter well until very smooth, then beat in the cream cheese and the zest (if using) until even. Sift in the remaining icing sugar, then fold it into the cheese mixture using a spatula until smooth. Don’t overbeat. Chill until needed.
  5. Sandwich and cover the top and sides
 of the cake with the frosting – you will only need a thin layer on the sides of the cake to stick on the chocolate fingers. Stand the severed fingers around the cake in a neat collar, pressing them lightly into the frosting. You’ll have a few left over to put on the top. Keep the cake in the fridge but enjoy it at room temperature.

  • few sweets to decorate, we used jelly hearts from a sweet shop (optional)
For the sponges
  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 500g plain flour
  • 500g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottle red food colouring (optional- a natural liquid colouring will not work; we used Scarlett Langdale)
For the frosting
  • 200g full-fat soft cheese, at room temperature
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
  2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make 2 more sponges or if you're lucky enough to have 4 x 20cm sandwich tins you can bake in a big batch all at once.
  4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

  • 100g butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • green food colouring
  • sprinkles, for decorating (we used sugar snowflakes and mini Smarties)
  • 8 lollipops or cake pop sticks, to serve
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with a circle of baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter in a big mixing bowl with the sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until it looks creamy. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one. Sift the flour and cocoa together, add to the bowl with the milk and stir everything together until smooth. Spoon into the cake tin and use the back of a wooden spoon to spread the top to make it as flat as you can. Bake for 20 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean, with just cake crumbs stuck to it, not wet batter. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
  3. Remove the cake from the tin and use a serrated knife to cut it into 8 wedges. Turn each one so that the round, outside edge is facing you, and push a lollipop or cake pop stick through the middle of the outside edge. Remember to leave enough of the stick poking out for you to hold.
  4. Mix the food colouring and icing sugar with enough water to make an icing that is a bit runny, but still quite stiff. Try drizzling a bit on a spare piece of paper; you want it to stay in strips, not run all over the place.
  5. Spoon some icing over each cake wedge (you can cover it completely or drizzle lines across them in a tree shape). Decorate with sugar snowflakes and mini Smarties, then lift onto a wire rack and leave to set completely (this will take a few hours). Iced cakes will keep in the tin for up to 2 days. The un-iced cake can be frozen for up to 6 months. Defrost completely before cutting and decorating.

  • 200g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eating apples, grated (approx 100g each)
  • 300g mixed sultanas and raisins
  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the bottom of a deep, round 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. Beat the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl (electric hand- beaters are best for this), until pale and thick. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the fruit until evenly combined.
  2. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hr or until the cake is dark golden, springy to the touch and has shrunk away from the tin slightly. A skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean when it’s ready. Cool completely before decorating. Will keep, wrapped in an airtight container or iced, for up to a week, or can be frozen un-iced for up to a month – defrost fully before decorating.

For the crust
  • 85g butter melted, plus extra for tin
  • 140g digestive biscuits, made into fine crumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar, granulated or golden caster
For the cheesecake filling
  • 3 x 300g/11oz pack Philadelphia cheese, or other full-fat soft cheese
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 284ml carton soured cream
For the soured cream topping
  • 142ml carton soured cream
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper. For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
  2. For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200C/conventional 240C/gas 9. In a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle twice.
  3. Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk. Continue by adding the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the 284ml carton of soured cream until smooth, then measure 200ml/7fl oz (just over 3⁄4 of the carton). Continue on low speed as you add the measured soured cream (reserve the rest). Whisk to blend, but don't over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.
  4. Brush the sides of the springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling - if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife - the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C/conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4 and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
  5. Combine the reserved soured cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.

Course: Dessert | Servings: 10 | Prep. time: 20 min | Cook time: 50 min
  • 1/2 Cup of butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup of white sugar + 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 Cup of all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 Teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/3 Cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 Cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 Cup of cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoon of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 Cup of icing sugar
  1. Start by making the cake. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Cream 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Separate eggs and reserve the whites. Add egg yolks to the sugar mixture; beat until creamy.
  3. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and baking powder; add alternately with milk to egg yolk mixture. Coat berries with 1 tablespoon flour and add to batter. (if you have frozen blueberries, make sure to thaw them before mixing them in the cake batter, if not, they will make the batter hard and cold and it will be hard for you to mix).
  4. In a separate bowl, beat whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until cake tests done.
  6. To prepare frosting, combine cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and dash of salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Make sure your cake has completely cooled before icing it.

Taste the intriguing flavors of chocolate and strawberry in every bite. Frozen pound cake and canned frosting make these sophisticated-looking mini sweets a snap to prepare.

  • 1 10 3/4 ounce frozen loaf pound cake
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 16 ounce can chocolate frosting (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry liqueur or amaretto
  • 18 fresh medium strawberries

  1. Cut cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices using a serrated knife. (You should have 12 slices.) Spread one side of half of the slices with strawberry jam. Top each jam-covered slice with a plain cake slice, making a sandwich. Cut each sandwich diagonally to form three triangles. You should end up with 18 mini sandwiches.
  2. For icing, cook and stir chocolate pieces over low heat until melted. Add frosting, stirring to combine. Stir in strawberry liqueur or amaretto. Heat and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until mixture is melted enough to coat cakes. Remove from heat.
  3. Insert a 2-or 3-prong long-handle fork into the side of the bottom slice of one cake. Holding the cake over the saucepan of icing, spoon on enough icing to cover the sides and top. Place the frosted cake on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining cakes, reheating icing, if necessary. Let stand for 30 minutes or until icing sets.
  4. Before serving, transfer cakes to a serving platter and place a strawberry on top of each serving. Makes 18 servings.

Total time: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + chilling

  • 2-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • Fresh raspberries
  1. Combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until set. Place pan on a wire rack (leave oven on).
  2. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla just until blended. Pour into crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. For glaze, in a small heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Add food coloring if desired. Transfer to a small bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Spread glaze over cheesecake; garnish with raspberries if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Two leaves of mint,