Happy New Year and best wishes for an awesomely fit 2012.
If you’re doing lots of training at the moment, it’s really important to keep up your intake of vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrate and protein. This cake is a good excuse to do just that… Upside-down cake or virtuous tarte tatin, this perfect autumn post-run treat is fool-proof, incredibly easy to make and highly nutritious. It is also really impressive served warm, as a dessert, accompanied by a dollop of cr
It’s a fairly tough week
Triple Chocolate Cake- Recipe for a perfect treat
As athletes, we do need a certain amount of fat in our diets, although of course it is important that we don’t over do it. Fat is important for transporting fat-soluble vitamins around our body and for releasing energy from carbohydrates, but too much fat will prevent us getting enough essential calories, vitamins and minerals from the carbohydrates and protein necessary for energy and muscle health.
My theory is that if you avoid processed foods as much as possible, you will automatically cut out unnecessary saturated fats from your diet – take a look at my training diet page.
There are three main types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Most foods contain a mixture of these:
Unsaturated fats – omega-3 and omega-6 are actually good for us! They can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and may even play a role in improving mood and brain power. These foods generally come from non-meat sources – avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds, cold-pressed vegetable oils etc.
Saturated fats, on the other hand, tend to come from animal sources – butter, the juicy bit of fat on your steak, the clotted cream on your apple crumble, cheese, fats found in processed foods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries. We all know that we should keep these fats to the minimum as they can raise blood cholesterol and are not heart-friendly. An easy way to do this is to avoid processed foods and enjoy butter and cream etc in moderation (spread butter thinly rather than in great big slabs, for instance!)
When it comes to celebrations, I’m afraid to say that saturated fats are on the menu big time in my house. My son was 14 yesterday (but not as tall as me yet!) and I made him a triple chocolate cake to die for (quite literally if you ate it every day, but I do believe in a good treat once in a while, otherwise what is the point!). This makes a great dessert too, especially accompanied with strawberries or raspberries to take away a bit of the sweetness….possibly perfect as a treat after a really long and tough workout to replenish glycogen stores too. The white chocolate cream in the middle is light and airy and a fantastic contrast to the rich dark chocolate cream icing.
Here’s the recipe – the raspberry arrangement on the top is a 14 – not very clear in the photo!
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 180g self-raising flour, sifted
- 50g cocoa, sifted
- a splash of milk
White chocolate filling
- 250ml whipping cream
- 225g white chocolate
Dark chocolate icing
- 300g dark chocolate
- 100g unsalted butter
- 70ml double cream
- Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin and preheat the oven to 180C
- Make the sponge – Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy and then gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and the cocoa. The mixture should drop off the spoon – you may need to add a little milk to loosen the consistency if it is little too stiff. Pour into the tin and bake in the oven for 45 mins until nicely risen and springy to the touch. Leave in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Make the white chocolate icing. Chop up the white chocolate into little pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the cream almost to the boil and then pour onto the white chocolate. Stir really vigorously until all the white chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth then place in the fridge to cool. It will become quite firm when it is chilled. Take the bowl out of the fridge and then whisk until the cream becomes nice and light.
- Make the dark chocolate icing. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and then stir in the butter and cream. Cool, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens up.
- Slice the cake into three layers. Spread the white chocolate icing onto each layer and sandwich together. Cover the top and side with the dark chocolate icing.
- Decorate the cake with raspberries, or chocolate curls, or perhaps a dusting of icing sugar (or all three if you like!)
- It is best to store this cake in the fridge.