A host of celebrity chefs including Deliciously Ella, Tom Kitchin and the Hairy Bikers have put their culinary skills to the test in support of Bowel Cancer UK's 'Be a Star, Bake a Cake' campaign. Each food guru has shared a unique – and delicious – cake recipe to help the public get inspired for the latest initiative, which aims to help raise money for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, taking place in April.
Vegans or those following gluten-free diets may want to check out Deliciously Ella's delectable sweet potato brownies, or for ultimate indulgence we recommend Rick Stein's sunken chocolate cake. Looking for something classic? Tom Kitchin has revealed his easy and delicious recipe for carrot cake, while Tom Aikens has unveiled a yummy-looking chocolate cake.
Whether you're thinking of baking cakes for the office or throwing a spring tea party with friends, you can get involved by recreating these mouth-watering treats and host your own bake sale to help raise money for Bowl Cancer UK – click through to check out all the recipes…
Deliciously Ella's Sweet Potato Brownies
Makes: 10 brownies
Ingredients:500g of sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)100g of ground almonds100g of ground oats12 medjool dates2 tbsp of melted coconut oil6 tbsp of pure maple syrupA pinch of salt
For the icing:2 tbsp of coconut oil1 tbsp of maple syrup2 tbsp of cacao2 tbsp of almond butter
1. Start by preheating the oven to 180C, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about twenty minutes, until they become really soft. Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates.
2. Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
3. Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about forty-five to fifty minutes, until you can piece the brownie cake with a fork bringing it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together!
4. While the brownies are cooling make the icing by simply melting all the ingredients together and stirring well, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up a bit. Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then spread the icing on top, dig in and enjoy!
Gennaro Contaldo's Pear and Chocolate cake
Fresh fruit is often added to cakes in Italy and I remember my grandma making a similar cake to this one using apples. It’s a great way of adding more fruit to your diet especially for children. Pear and dark chocolate go really well together and this makes a lovely cake for afternoon tea.
Ingredients:3 eggs150g caster sugar85g unsalted butter, softened300 self-raising flour, siftedSeeds of 1 vanilla pod3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks75g dark chocolate, roughly broken into small chunksZest of 1 small unwaxed lemonA little sifted icing sugar1 round cake tin 20cm in diameter with a loose bottom if you have one, greased with a little butter and lined with greaseproof paper
For decoration:100g caster (superfine) sugar1 tbsp unsalted butter2 pears, sliced very thinlyA little sifted icing (confectioners’) sugar (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the softened butter and continue to whisk until well amalgamated.
2. Fold in the flour, vanilla, lemon zest, pears and chocolate.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes – insert a wooden skewer, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
4. Then loosen, place on a serving plate and decorate with sifted icing sugar if desired.
Rick Stein's Sunken Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:225g/8oz butter225g/8oz good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces50g/2oz ground almonds60g/2¼oz plain flour6 medium eggs, at room temperature50g/2oz light soft brown sugar175g/6oz caster sugarIcing sugar for dustingDouble cream, to serve
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm (8in) clip sided cake tin with baking paper.
2. Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and rest it over a pan of barely simmering water. Leave until melted, then stir until smooth. Remove and leave to cool slightly.
3. Sift together the ground almonds and flour. Separate the eggs into 2 large bowls. Add the light brown sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until pale and creamy. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture and the almond and flour mixture.
4. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and then whisk in the caster sugar, a little at a time, to make a soft meringue. If it's too stiff you will find it difficult to fold into the rest of the cake mixture. Fold it in with a large metal spoon, pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the cake, still comes out a bit wet. This cake is best if slightly undercooked. Remove and leave it to cool.
5. Carefully remove from the tin and pull off the paper. Cut into wedges, dust with icing sugar and serve with some pouring cream.
Taken from Rick Stein's 'Food Heroes' and published by BBC Books.
Eric Lanlard's Lemon meringue cupcakes
These cuties are a mixture between a lemon sponge cake and a lemon meringue pie.
Makes: 12 muffinsPreparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 15–20 minutes
For the cupcakes:100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened100g (3½oz) golden caster sugar1 vanilla pod, split2 eggs100g (3½oz) self-raising flour, siftedFinely grated zest of 1 lemon75g (2¾oz) ready-made or home-madeLemon curd
For the meringue:2 egg whites100g (3½oz) caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC)/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.
2. For the cupcakes, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand whisk, until pale, fluffy and well combined.
3. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until both are fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the sifted flour and lemon zest until well combined.
4. Spoon the cupcake batter into the cupcake papers. Add 1 tsp of lemon curd to the top of each cupcake.
5. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are pale golden-brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.
6. Meanwhile, for the meringue, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the sugar, whisking continuously, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
7. When the cakes are cooked, turn off the oven and preheat the grill to its highest setting.
8. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag with a small plain tube and pipe some in a spiral on top of each cupcake. Place the cupcakes under the hot grill 2 minutes to colour (or you can use a kitchen blowtorch to toast the meringue).
Recipe taken from Home Bake by Eric Lanlard published by Mitchell Beazley© photography, Craig Robertson.
The Hairy Bikers' Chocolate and Orange Soufflés with Grand Marnier sauce
This is a classy number. Dark chocolate and orange are a favourite combo and you could also make these with orange-flavoured choc. You’ll need four 150ml ramekins or six smaller ones.
Ingredients:25g butter, softened, for greasing1 tbsp caster sugar, for dusting150ml whole milk100ml double cream150g dark chocolate, broken into piecesGrated zest of 1 orange3 large eggs, separated75g caster sugar15g cornflour15g plain flour10g cocoa
For the Grand Marnier sauce:300ml orange juiceJuice of ½ lemon100g sugar2 tbsp Grand Marnier
1. First prepare the ramekins. Rub softened butter over the insides of the ramekins, then use a pastry brush to go over it with upward strokes; this helps the soufflés rise. Dust the insides with the sugar until well coated. Leave the ramekins in the freezer until you need them.
2. Put the milk in a saucepan and warm it almost to boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. In a separate pan, heat the cream and when it is blood temperature, remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate.
3. Let the chocolate melt completely, then beat until thick and glossy. Stir in the orange zest and set the mixture aside to cool.
4. Whisk the yolks with 50g of the sugar until creamy. Sieve the cornflour, plain flour and cocoa into a bowl, then sprinkle this mixture over the egg yolks and sugar and beat until smooth. Pour the milk over the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly, then tip it all back into the saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the mixture has thickened to a custard, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool, whisking regularly to make sure it doesn’t develop a skin. Beat in the chocolate and cream mixture.
5. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up. Whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage, then start beating in the remaining sugar a teaspoon at a time until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture a third at a time, folding it in with a metal spoon as carefully as you can so you don’t lose too much volume and incorporating it fully before adding the next lot.
6. Divide the mixture between the ramekins, making sure each is filled to the top, then scrape a palette knife over the top to make it perfectly flat. Run your finger around the rim of each ramekin to create a small groove round the top. This will help the soufflés to rise evenly.
7. Put the ramekins on the preheated baking tray and bake for 16–18 minutes (depending on the size of your ramekins) until well risen with a slight wobble in the middle. You should get a good rise of at least 3-4cm.
8. For the sauce, put the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat a little and simmer for a few minutes until it is syrupy – it will thicken a little more as it cools. Stir in the Grand Marnier, a tablespoon at a time. Serve the soufflés immediately with the sauce on the side to pour into the centre.
Recipe from THE HAIRY BIKERS' CHICKEN & EGG by Si King and Dave Myers, published by Orion in hardback at £22, eBook £12.99. Photography credit: Andrew Hayes-Watkins
Tom Kitchin's Mini Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese topping
Makes: 12 cakes
Ingredients:A little butter for greasing190g plain flour1½ tsp baking powder½ tsp bicarbonate of soda1 tsp ground cinnamon¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg95g desiccated coconut4 free range medium eggs135ml vegetable oil190g soft dark brown sugar400g peeled carrots, grated
Topping:270g cream cheese230g icing sugar, sifted160g unsalted butter, softened1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 tsp of vanilla extractFinely chopped carrot and grated orange zest to finish
1. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment. Sift the flour with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl. Stir in the desiccated coconut.
2. Using an electric mixer or electric hand whisk, whisk the eggs, oil and brown sugar together until fluffy and thick. Using a large, metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour and coconut mixture until just combined. Finally, add the grated carrots and fold in gently.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it evenly and into the corners. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a fine skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the topping, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla seeds or extract together, using the mixer or electric whisk, for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and white.
6. Cut the cake into bite size helpings and pipe a generous dollop of the cream cheese mixtures on top. Finish with a sprinkling of finely chopped carrot and grated orange zest.
Tom Aikens' Chocolate Cake
Makes: One 8" cake
Ingredients: 240g unsalted butter240g 70 per cent chocolate83g cocoa powder175g egg yolk245g egg white200g caster sugar + 15g for icing
1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a bain-marie. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder. Allow to cool.
2. Whisk the egg yolks with 200g of caster sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg whites with 15g caster sugar to a very soft meringue, taking care not to whisk it too dry.
3. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture until marbled. Fold the soft meringue into this mixture, in two batches, taking care not to over mix.
4. Weigh 660g of batter into each tin.
5. Bake at 160C in a fan assisted oven for 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out almost dry.
6. Let the cakes cool completely before spreading each cake evenly with 350g of the left-over batter.
7. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
8. Once out of the oven, allow the cakes to cool. When the cake has cooled, dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar.
9. Carefully remove from the tin and pull off the paper. Cut into wedges, dust with icing sugar and serve with some pouring cream.
Photo: David Griffen
Mark Greenaway's Chocolate and marmalade fondant, salted marmalade caramel, honeycomb
This recipe is delicious served with some homemade ice cream or even some of the shop bought stuff. At the restaurant we serve this dessert with macarons and burnt white chocolate, these are optional but delicious extras. Serves six.
Ingredients for salted marmalade caramel:300g caster sugar100g butter20g sea salt80g Mackays Orange, Lemon and Ginger Marmalade200ml double cream
Place the sugar in a heavy based pot and stir over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the salt and stir thoroughly. Add the butter and marmalade and stir until incorporated. Mix in the cream.
Ingredients for honeycomb:Butter, for greasing315g caster sugar125g liquid glucose50g honey60ml water15g bicarbonate of soda
1. Grease a 20cm square tin with the butter. Mix the sugar, liquid glucose, honey and water in a pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted.
2. Once completely melted, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel or until it reaches 147C on a sugar thermometer, turn off the heat, tip in the bicarbonate and beat in with a wooden spoon until it has all disappeared and the mixture is foaming. Scrape into the tin immediately but be careful as the mixture will be hot.
3. The mixture will continue bubbling, leave it to set for about 1 hour and the honeycomb will be ready to snap into chunks.
Ingredients for chocolate and marmalade fondant: 50g white chocolate50g dark chocolate125g caster sugar125g butter70g Mackays Orange, Lemon and Ginger Marmalade4 eggs155g plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Melt the chocolate, sugar, marmalade and butter together over a Bain Marie and remove from the heat.
2. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Gently fold in the flour. Divide the mixture evenly between 6 dariole moulds greased with butter and sugar or 6 ring moulds lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 9 minutes and serve immediately.
Mark Greenaway is the Chef Patron of Restaurant Mark Greenaway on North Castle Street, Edinburgh. Twitter: @markgreenaway Website: markgreenaway.com
Brian Turner's chocolate and hazelnut cake
Ingredients:8oz dark chocolate6 eggs4oz ground hazelnuts1tbsp strong coffee10oz caster sugar2oz ground almonds4oz sieved apricot jam4oz dark chocolate2oz unsalted butter1tbsp double cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Grease a cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking parchment.
2. Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix. Drain the beetroot then put the beetroot in a food processor along with the eggs and the olive oil and blitz until smooth.
3. Make a well it the centre of the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, beat in the beetroot mixture, a bit at a time to form a smooth batter. Add the chopped chocolate and combine well.
4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool.
5. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Wendi Peters' Lettuce, walnut and raisin cake
Ingredients:200g, plain Flour2 tsps, Baking Powder1/2 tsp, Bicarbonate of Soda1/4 tsp, Salt1 tsp, Ground Mixed Spice1/2 tsp, Ground Cinnamon200g, Light Brown Sugar150 ml, Vegetable Oil3 med Eggs2 tsps, Vanilla Extract140g, Iceberg Lettuce (finely shredded)100g, Raisins60g, Walnuts (chopped)Icing sugar to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180C (170C fan). Grease and flour a 20cm by 30 cm tray bake baking tin (shallow). In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar and mix well, removing any lumps.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the veg oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour onto the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the lettuce, raisins and walnuts and mix until everything is evenly combined.
3. Spoon into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until it springs back when lightly touched in the centre or a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool and then remove from tin.
4. Make up some runny icing with icing sugar and water and drizzle over. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts to decorate.