When I signed up for Romance Cooks I figured I'd do a recipe from my latest release, like a lot of other contributors. Then I remembered my latest release is a sci fi novel, and the most notable recipe in it is mopane caterpillars, reptile eggs and salad....how about we have some Space Cake instead?
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You will need:
self-raising flour (if you can't get self-raising, use plain and add a spoonful of baking soda)
200g dark chocolate
50g white chocolate
200ml double cream
mini white chocolate stars
8" cake tin
6" cake tin
a sheet of acetate
Take four large eggs. Weigh them. Remember that weight.
Weigh out the same weight of butter, sugar and self-raising flour.
Purists mix everything by hand, but I'm lazy like that :) Put your butter and sugar in a mixer and cream together.
Add a spoonful of flour, and one egg. Blend until completely mixed. Repeat until you've mixed in all your eggs.
Pour into a bowl and carefully fold in the rest of your flour, being carefully not to knock too much air out of your mixture.
(if you're more of a cake mix person, congratulations, you've just made a cake from scratch! Seriously, the rest is just tarting it up)
Mix a heaped teaspoon of instant coffee with hot water until fully dissolved. Add to your cake mix, along with two heaped tablespoons of cocoa. Mix thoroughly.
Grease your cake tins, pour in the mix, and turn your oven to medium. My oven doesn't have any numbers on the dials, thanks to the previous tenants in this flat, but it turns out 99% of food can be cooked at 'low', 'medium' or 'high'. The big tin will take longer to cook than the small tin, so put that on the top shelf.
Cook for about twenty minutes. To check if they're done, you can either use a skewer - insert it in the deepest part of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done - or listen to it. A cake that's still cooking will crackle quietly. A cake that's done won't.
While it's cooking, make a sugar syrup by dissolving 150g sugar in 150ml water over a gentle heat. If you want a more 'grown up' cake, add some chocolate or coffee liqueur to the syrup after taking it off the heat.
When the cake is done, remove from the tins and leave on a baking rack to cool. Use a pastry brush to soak the tops of both cakes with the sugar syrup. This makes them super moist!
While the cakes cool, make your chocolate ganache by heating the cream until it starts to bubble. Take it off the heat and add the dark chocolate, broken into a small bits, stirring constantly until you had a delicious thick, smooth ganache.
Moon time! Make a bain marie by balancing a small pyrex bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Add two thirds of your white chocolate and let it melt. Take the bowl off the heat and add the rest of the white chocolate, stirring until fully incorporated. Doing it this way tempers the chocolate, meaning when it cools it should be glossy, melt in the mouth, and when you break it there should be a satisfying snap. Use a palette knife to smear the melted chocolate onto the acetate. Draw a crescent moon shape into it with a knife point while still liquid. Cool in fridge.
I didn't have any acetate, so I tried stretching cling film over a baking tray. It wasn't 100% successful. You can get special acetate with designs printed on in cocoa butter, if you want your moon to be super fancy.
Ice the larger cake all over with ganache. Put the smaller cake on top and ice that too.
Sprinkle with white chocolate stars.
When your moon has solidified, place on the top tier.
Enjoy your chocolate space cake!
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When a theft goes wrong and Jared finds himself under arrest, his daring escape results in an extra passenger. Richard Kuiper the Seventh does not appreciate being magnetically handcuffed to a common criminal, even if he does enjoy the chance to indulge his sexual appetites guilt free.
Hiding out with some old friends of Jared’s while they attempt to unlock the handcuffs, a bond grows between the two men that’s more than magnetic, but Jared’s initial mistrust comes back to haunt him. When the cuffs are removed Richard storms off, straight into a trap, and now Jared must decide what he’s willing to risk for a man he’s barely known for a week: his life, certainly, but his heart? He’s never risked that before.
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