When she’s not busy studying, 29-year-old Medical Neuroscience student Samantha Nicholls loves to cook. She’s often busy with assignments but she finds the time to cook dinner at least four nights a week.
This rainbow-haired cook has a large archive of her own foodie tips and student-friendly recipes on her blog, ThatRedheadSaid, but says she enjoys making cakes and pastries most because you can really get creative with them.
She shared her recipe for her truly indulgent Chocolatea Cake, a dense and gooey treat. The idea for this culinary creation hit Samantha when she received some tea samples, and it combines the classic mid-afternoon pick-me-up of tea and chocolate in delicious cake form. Samantha says this cake is best enjoyed with fresh strawberries and raspberries, and some hand-whipped cream if you want to splurge.
- 225g soft unsalted butter
- 200g plain flour
- 375g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 100g best quality dark chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250ml boiling water
- 1 everyday brew Teapigs teabag
- 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin
First, get your jug and cover your teabag with boiling water. Leave this to infuse for at least 15-20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees or gas mark 5. Line the loaf tin with baking paper. This is very important as the cake is on the damp side, you won’t be able to get it out otherwise!
Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to beat well. Don’t worry if it feels a bit grainy, it does smooth out!
Melt your chocolate either over a saucepan or in the microwave. Once it has cooled to a lukewarm temperature, fold this into the mixture with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over-work it.
Go back to your tea, remove the teabag and squeeze whatever remaining flavour you can from it. The recipe calls for boiling water, so give your very strong tea a minute or so in the microwave to get it as hot as you can.
Add the flour and tea to the mixture alternately using a tablespoon and fold with a wooden spoon. You will be left with a rather liquid looking batter, so don’t panic! Remember, this is a damp cake. Pour your cake mixture into the loaf tin.
Bake for 30 minutes at the pre-heated temperature before lowering the oven heat to 170 degrees or gas mark 3 for 15 minutes. Your cake will be springy in the middle, and a cake tester will not come out clean.
Leave your cake to cool in the tin on a cooling rack before removing it. Dust with icing sugar.
This recipe is, of course, best enjoyed with tea!
If you have a recipe that’s too good to keep all to yourself, please get in touch. We will be running recipes weekly, with a different Brighton based foodie sharing their skills each time.