Can I have one before tea and one after tea? – JD, 5
I think baking is a becoming bit of an addiction for me. If I haven’t had the scales out for a few days, I get twitchy. Am I alone?
Well, this week has seen me get myself a serious baking fix by making four dozen Christmas themed cake bars for JD’s school event.
As these cakes will be eaten by the children (the last lot were for the grown ups), I opted for chocolate and avoided fruit, alcohol and nuts. The sponge has quite a strong vanilla flavour with the occasional kick of chocolate chip and the frosting is a favourite of mine as it’s light, sweet and creamy.
Here’s what to do to make your own – as I needed lots of cakes, this recipe makes 48, but if you’re feeling less ambitious, just divide all the amounts by four.
For the chocolate chip loaves:
- 800g self-raising flour
- 800g caster sugar
- 600g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 240ml water
- 200g milk choc chips
- 48 cake cases, we used ASDA’s mini loaf cake bakeable cases
For the icing:
- 1,040g icing sugar
- 600g unsalted butter
- 200g plain chocolate
- Piping bag and star nozzle
For the decorations:
- Whatever you fancy, we used these ASDA’s iced Christmas decorations.
- In a very large bowl, beat together the caster sugar and soft butter until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
- With a metal spoon stir in the flour and water and stir until fully combined
- Fold the chocolate chips into the batter and divide evenly between the 48 cases
- Bake on a tray at least 1 inch apart at 200C (180C fan assisted) for 20 minutes, then leave on a rack to cool completely (we made the sponges on day 1 and frosted them on day 2)
- To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar into a very large bowl
- In a smaller, microwavable bowl, cube the butter and microwave on high for approximately 60 seconds. It will go very soft and some of it should have turned to liquid
- Pour the butter into the sugar and beat with an electric whisk, starting on the slowest setting and working up to full speed until you have a well-combined, light icing
- Melt your dark chocolate in a new bowl – either over a pot of steaming water or gently in the microwave
- Start beating your icing again on high speed while slowing adding the melted chocolate
- As soon as it’s well combined and light, stop beating
- Spoon into the piping bag and pipe a wiggly line down the middle of each cake
- Finish with the decorations of your choice