Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Most Marvellous Chocolate Cake Bake Off !

Every Domestic Goddess should have a favorite chocolate cake recipe, however for a long time I have been wondering what the price per slice difference is in cost from each supermarket?  Is the price between say Waitrose and Aldi huge?  Double?  Or perhaps Tesco and Sainsbury prices are more similar than I think. More importantly perhaps is which ones taste better?  Do more expensive ingredients mean a better tasting cake?  Or are we simply paying for the experience of shopping in a lovely environment?

I am certain a chocolate cake would show up the best quality ingredients. .. the freshest eggs, the creamiest butter and the richest chocolate!

Well I’ve decided  we should answer theses questions on 1st April LIVE on the BBC Radio Kitchen Garden show at 10am at 22-36 Kettering Road Abington Square northampton NN1 4AH

Eight cakes are being made, each one from the own brand ingredients from all the major Supermarkets Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco’s, Morrisons, Asda, The co-op, Lidl and Aldi and Marks and Spencer.

The cakes will be judged independently at Most Marvellous on the  Kettering Road in Northampton by William Sitwell, the editor of Waitrose Kitchen with some help from Helen from Fuss Free Flavours .. it’s tough job  .. but someone has to do it !

Take Part

Four of the cakes have been signed up for  .. but there are 5 still left  .. If you would like to participate please let me know by emailing me and indicating which supermarket’s own brand you would be willing to bake. .. it is important that you don;t let on which supermarket you are baking from as the judges will have no idea as they taste the cakes ! 

Places are very limited so please let me know ASAP.

The cakes must be made using stand mixer ..  so they are all made in the same way and presented on a white plate, with the receipt in an envelope stuck on under the plate, with the full cost of the cake and a price per cake.. so we can make quick comparison at the end.

 There will tea and coffee and lots of wonderful things to see and buy in this retro emporium  & cafĂ©, and we’ll have a definitive answer live next Sunday for the Most Marvellous Chocolate Cake bake off !

Or simple come along anyway  ... 

Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

Now I’m guessing vinegar, cream cheese and sea salt aren’t the kind of ingredients most people expect to find in a chocolate cake. You have to trust me on this one – I don’t do sickly sweet chocolate. Instead, this cake is deep, rich and resonating with dark chocolate and fruity raspberry tones. It’s straightforward to make and a real showpiece, so if you have people to impress, this dessert will do just that.

Serves 10
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Suitable for freezing Yes before decorating

For the cake

250ml milk
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
160g dark chocolate,
100g butter
30g cocoa powder
300g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
125g dark muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
Pinch of sea salt

For the icing

125g dark cocoa chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
50g butter
75ml double cream

For the filling
150ml double cream
70g cream cheese
1 medium punnet of fresh raspberries

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Grease a 24cm round, deep cake tin and line it with baking paper.

2 Mix the milk and vinegar together.

3 Melt the chocolate  and butter using a bain-marie or a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients  and mix well.

4 Pour in the milk mixture and beat with an electric hand whisk until it is well-mixed and forms a smooth batter.

5 Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour, or until it is firm in the centre. Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the centre; it comes out clean, it’s ready; if not, then return the cake to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes and repeat the test.

6 Cool for 10–15 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

7 Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie or in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Stir well until smooth, then beat in the cream. Allow this to cool a little, but not completely; it should be thick and yet still viscous.

8 Whip the cream and cream cheese together for the filling, taking care not to be too thick.

9 Cut the cake in half through the middle, place the bottom half on a cake stand or plate and cover it with the cream cheese mixture.  Arrange the raspberries on top of this, then place the top half of the cake on the raspberries. Pour the icing over the top. 


  1. You have MAIL Vanessa, and YES please! Would love to do this!

  2. Oh, oh, oh. What a fabulous cake Vanessa and such a fun thing to do. I wish I lived nearer too!!!! Mind you, I don't have a stand mixer either. Great idea, it will be so interesting to find if there is any difference between them. I think you are the best baking ideas generator ever ;-)

  3. Looking forward to taking part. Thanks x

  4. Cor - what a sumptuous cake. I don't do sickly sweet chocolate cake has to be really dark and moist (which this looks like it is).
    Wish I could join you for this - espcially as Helen is there too! Happy baking and tasting.

  5. Fab idea, and thrilled to be taking part and baking a cake for this. Can't wait!

  6. This cake is one of the most decadent chocolate cakes in the world - can't wait to see all the delicious entries :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

  7. This is a most marvellous chocolate cake - no doubt about it. What a wonderful opportunity to be able to cook one of those supermarket brands - just wished I lived closer!

  8. Ooh what a great idea! Think I'm a bit too far away to take part, but I'll be watching for the results with interest!

  9. What a great idea, it'll b,e really interesting to see who comes out on top. Great recipe much more interesting than the average chocolate cake. GG

  10. Oh my, that looks utterly stunning.

  11. What a fantastic idea for a challenge, I will be following the progress and wondering how soon it is until I can make your wonderful chocolate cake for myself! xx

  12. Wow - this cake looks AMAZING! Wish I could be there!

  13. Enjoyed making and eating this cake after listening to the kitchen garden show. Its a delicious cake, the cream cheese and seasalt seemed surprising ingredients but they give it a really deep flavour and its not oversweet. Pleased to hear Morrisons did so well, they are an excellent supermarket although Waitrose has to be my favourite!

  14. This is by far the best looking and yummy chocolate cake. Can't take my eyes off that cake and I still mindlessly still scrolling for it. Looks really good! I love chocolate cakes and I definitely can't wait to try this one.


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