This Chocolate Cake is made using a batter similar to a muffins mix and would work equally well as Chocolate Muffins. I am using Almonds in this recipe but you can use Walnuts to make the praline and you can add an Orange flavoured Liqueur to the buttercream instead of brandy if you prefer.
The Pot Roast is a one pot dish, it is great at this time of year.
Pot Roast with Balsamic and Dijon
2 – 3tbsp Vegetable Oil
4lb Pot Roast, ask your butcher to choose a nice piece for you
1 Medium Onion, chopped
80ml Balsamic Vinegar
2tbsp. Dijon Mustard
5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
500ml Beef Stock
2 Carrots cut into batons
1lb Potatoes, quartered
Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, season the beef with salt and pepper, add to the casserole and brown on all sides, remove from the pan and leave to one side.
Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft, add the balsamic vinegar, bring to the boil and allow to reduce slightly, stir in the Dijon Mustard.
Place the roast on top of the onions, add in the beef stock and the thyme and cover and place in the oven for 2½ to 3 hours.
Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot and cook for a further ½ to 1 hour until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
2oz Cocoa Powder
180ml Boiling Water
11oz Self Raising Flour
12oz Castor Sugar
7 Eggs, separated
125ml Vegetable Oil
1tsp Vanilla Extract
8oz Castor Sugar
1lb 2oz Icing Sugar
2oz Cocoa Powder
Preheat the oven to 180°. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin. Mix the cocoa powder with the water in a small bowl and leave to one side to cool. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the castor sugar, egg yolks, oil, vanilla extract and cocoa mix and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into the cocoa mixture in small amounts at a time until all the egg whites have been mixed in. Pour into the lined and greased cake tin and bake for 1 hour, remove from the oven, and leave to cool.
To make the praline place the sugar into a heavy based saucepan and cook over heat until the sugar is melted (do not stir) and turned golden brown. Add in the nuts and pour onto a tray and leave to cool. When cooled break into a blender and blitz to resemble breadcrumbs.
To make the butter cream beat the butter with a mixer until pale as possible, beat in the icing sugar and cocoa and finally the brandy, and allow to mix for about 4 minutes until smooth and creamy. The cake will rise really high so when cooled cut the cake into 4 layers and spread some of the butter cream onto each layer and spread the remaining buttercream over the sides and top of the cake and cover the sides with the almond praline.