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With everyone going back to school on Monday, I turned to this classic British school treat for inspiration. This simple Chocolate Sponge/Chocolate Custard duo seems to be a favorite of every school going child in British public schools. Adapted from Delicious, the soft, springy chocolate sponge coated in thick chocolate custard is the kind of dessert I would have wished for in my school lunch box as a kid. I can almost picture myself eating this, making a mess with the gooey custard cream on my school uniform but wearing a big, happy smile on my face. How I miss those carefree school days!



For the Chocolate Sponge

125g unsalted butter, room temperature

100g golden caster sugar

25g soft dark brown sugar

2 medium free-range eggs, beaten

125g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder

25g dark chocolate, grated

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

60ml whole milk, warm

For the Chocolate Custard

250ml whole milk

1 large free-range egg

1 tablespoons golden caster sugar

1 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons corn flour


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a square 20cm cake or brownie tin.

  • Beat butter until soft then add in the sugars. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.

  • Sift over flour, baking powder and cocoa, then carefully fold through along with grated chocolate.

  • Add vanilla extract and enough warm milk to create a smooth mixture with dropping consistency.

  • Pour into the tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. For the custard, heat the milk until almost boiling.

  • Whisk egg with sugar, cocoa and corn flour in a separate bowl and then pour hot milk over the top.

  • Whisk well, then return to a clean pan. Cook mixture over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly.

  • Cook until it forms a custard that thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Set this aside to cool.

  • Turn out the chocolate sponge on a cutting board. Cut into 8 equal squares with a serrated knife.

  • Pour a generous amount of the chocolate custard over each square of chocolate sponge. Serves 8.

Bonne rentrée à tous!

One of the yummiest birthday cakes I have baked this year, this delicious mango cake is the perfect centerpiece for a birthday on a hot summer day. The slices of fresh mango paired with the tangy blend of mascarpone and cream cheese atop a delicate sponge cake is a real delight to the taste buds. The Australian Women’s Weekly Cake Baking, from which the recipe is taken, has many more fantastic offerings I need to have a go at. For now, I’d carry on with my brother’s birthday celebration and indulge some more of that irresistible homemade cake.



For the Sponge Cake

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour

1/4 tsp baking soda

For the Mascarpone Filling

250g cream cheese

200g mascarpone cheese

90g unsalted butter

1 tsp coconut extract

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

2 small mangoes, peeled

1/4 cup shredded coconut


  • Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

  • Beat eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer for about 8 minutes until thick and creamy.

  • Triple sift flour, corn flour and baking soda together. Fold it into the beaten egg mixture until combined.

  • Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the cake springs back to touch.

  • Turn out cake onto a clean towel or sheet of baking paper and cool to room temperature before decorating.

  • For the filling, bring cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Beat them along with the mascarpone.

  • Add the coconut extract and the icing sugar in 2 batches, beat until fluffy. Slice the peeled mangoes thinly.

  • Cut the sponge cake horizontally into 2 halves and sandwich with the mascarpone filling and mango slices.

  • Frost the sides and top of the cake with remaining filling and garnish with the mango slices and coconut.

Inma of la Galletika was our September 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she did bring us something decadent and delicious! Very popular in Central and South America, the Pastel de Tres Leches – Three Milk Cake – is a super moist, light, airy and delicious sponge cake soaked in the three kinds of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). Tres Leches is a very light cake, especially if made without butter, with many air bubbles in its crumb. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

This recipe slightly adapted from an interview given by one of Mexico’s best Pastry Chefs, Paulina Abascal to the magazine Revista Secretos de la Pastelería Caserais. My first Tres Leches cake was very similar one that I made for my mother’s birthday last year. The toasted coconut and maraschino cherries topping was a huge hit with everyone which is why I decided the repeat the same for my September Daring Bakers challenge. If you’ve never made this cake before, you’d be really sorry to miss this delicious opportunity.



For the Vanilla Sponge

5 large eggs, separated

½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140gm) all-purpose flour, sifted

For Three Milks Syrup

1 can (14 oz) (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12 oz) (340 gm) evaporated milk

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (about 35% fat)

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons (10 ml) rum (or other flavoring)

For the Topping and Filling

2 cups (500 ml) of whipping cream (about 30% fat)

½ cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (125 gm) sugar

Canned or fresh fruit, to fill and decorate the cake


  • Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prepare a square 9”x9” (23x23cm) pan or 9” (23cm) round pan.

  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 – 5 minutes with an electric mixer.

  • When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches. Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes until pale and creamy. Stir in vanilla.

  • Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.

  • Fold in flour little by little in the form of rain. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Once cool, split the cake in half, flip the top of the cake and place it on a base. Poke using a fork holes all over the cake.

  • To prepare the three milk soaking liquid, place condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream in a medium saucepan.

  • Add cinnamon stick, bring mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Once it is cool, add rum or any other flavoring you are using.  Gradually brush all the milk soaking liquid over the cake.

  • It is best to rest the cake in the fridge overnight to complete the soaking process. Whip the cream till soft peaks form.

  • Then add sugar, little by little, continue whipping until stiff peaks form about 2 minutes. Store in fridge until required.

  • Layer whipped cream on the bottom layer and cover with canned or fresh fruit. Decorate top layer with more cream.

  • Garnish with more fresh or canned fruit. It is better if the cake has time to mellow in the refrigerator at least one hour.

  • The finished Tres Leches cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if well covered. Makes 12 generous servings.

Daring Bakers September Challenge – Tres Leches Cake

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