Chocolate Cake and Chapel Down

Most chocolate cakes these days are heavy and rich.  This one is rich, but the cake is light, the richness is in the glazing.  This cake recipe works really well as a double layered cake, but I made it as just one layer and made a rich chocolate glaze. But if you want a double layer cake you could fill it either with a chocolate ganache or a fresh cream and sprinkle with icing sugar.  Or if you really are a chocolate lover make double layer, fill with ganache and coat in the glaze…


110gms Self raising flour

3 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

110gms butter

2 eggs

110gms Sugar


Grease a small round cake tin and line tin in baking parchment paper.  Heat oven to 180degrees on fan bake.

Cream butter and sugar, beat eggs and gradually mix in to butter and sugar to make sure you don’t split the butter.

Sieve together flour, baking powder and Cocoa and fold into butter mix.  Add 2 tbsp of boiling water and mix gently.  Pour into cake tin and spread  evenly.

Cook for 25-30min – until top bounces back and skewer is clean.

Chocolate Glaze:

1. Mix together: 2 Tbsp Sugar & 110mls thick double cream, Boil sugar and double cream in a pan.

2. cut finely 100 gm dark chocolate and put in a bowl with 20gms of butter

3. Add boiled cream mixture to dark chocolate and butter and mix until smooth

4. Let it cool slightly and then pour over the cake and spread evenly over top and around sides.

Decorate however you like!


Chocolate cake and Chapel Down

Chocolate cake and Chapel Down


Dreaming of the rain and rhubarb preserves…

Alice’s Kitchen has been closed for 12-months and things are about to heat up!  As I sat in an airconditioned conference room in Chicago this morning, looking out at the dreary wet weather I began to scheme …and dream of the rhubarb growing in the vege patch.

I am in Chicago for work, well for my day job.  I am feeling desperately homesick and can’t wait to get home.  Spending a week with strangers takes it’s toll and as i sit now in the hotel bar with a glass of Savignon Blanc, I am planning Alice’s return.

Those of you who have followed Alice’s Tea Garden from the beginning know that my main focus was on the Tea Parties, but as life has changed, I have moved out of London, I am going to spend more time on helping others to create the best tea parties.  This will mean I am going to start posting more details about recipes, menu suggestions, matching teas with your menus and quirky themes to consider for your afternoon tea parties.

I am going to do more of the ‘pop up’ event style parties as it is easier for me to plan and manage these events around my calendar.

So for those people of Chorleywood and the  Chalfonts… look out soon for summer parties… a great way to meet some new local people and an alternative weekend afternoon in the garden.

Now i digressed.  What i was telling you all was that i was dreaming of my Rhubarb, and then out pops Hugh today with a great article on preserves… what better way for me to use my rhurbarb than a Rhubarb chutney.


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's gooseberry curd

Image courtesy of the Guardian…http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/21/preserve-recipes-fearnley-whittingstall