Emergency cake needed

IMG_0810 (600 x 450).jpgIt was all going swimmingly this morning until we accidentally owned up to being married. Having gathered a forest’s worth of paperwork yesterday, we then failed to complete the online form at the Turkish government’s new e-visa website, because the site wasn’t working. No surprises there then.

We sheepishly presented ourselves at the immigration office in Kaş this morning, dragging our paperwork behind us and, luckily, the extremely kind man on the desk did it all for us while we waited, facilitating this by post-dating a fictitious appointment for tomorrow. While helping him fill in the form, I accidentally said ‘yes’ when he was hovering over the ‘marital status’ box. We only got married two years ago – we’ve been together for a very long time now, but we didn’t want to rush into anything…

We were duly dispatched to the tax office to pay the bill for our new visas and, upon return to the immigration office with our receipts, the poor man was looking very uncomfortable. He’d just come off the phone from a higher echelon, as some kind of alarm had been triggered when we’d ticked the ‘married’ box. Apparently we should have told the authorities we’d got married and we are now being fined.

As I was the one grappling with the online form until midnight last night (and failing anyway), I think Robin sensed I was getting close to hysteria, and very bravely offered to suffer the notary’s office this afternoon to get the marriage certificate translated, then we can pay our fines in the morning and the visas will be issued (İnşallah, as they say here).

In the meantime, I am soothing myself by making a cake to take to my friend’s house this afternoon, where Linda and I are going to have our hair cut. We are incredibly fortunate that one of our friends is a retired stylist and colourist from Daniel Hercheson, one of London’s top salons. He is not allowed to work, so only cuts friends’ hair and we try to reward him as best we can with cakes and nice dinners for the freezer. The system works extremely well, though I haven’t tried it in the London salon – might turn up in Conduit Street with a fruitcake and a jar of homemade pesto and ask for a cut and blow dry…

I’m using up a jar of bitter chocolate and hazelnut spread (like grown up Nutella) that our house-sitters left behind at Easter. Neither of us really like it – we’re definitely Marmite people – so a gooey cake seemed a good ending for it.

Chocolate, hazelnut and cinnamon cake

Cuts into 12 – 16 pieces

You will need a 20cm x 20cm (approx) square baking tin, lined with baking paper

175g softened butter or soft margarine (at room temperature)
175g brown sugar – any sort, I used Demerara
3 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (or milk is fine)
6 heaped teaspoons chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella – dark is best)
50g chopped hazelnuts
Extra brown sugar for sprinkling

You can make this in a food processor, but as long as your butter or marg is soft, a bowl and a wooden spoon or fork work fine (less things to wash up).

Put the butter/marg in a mixing bowl (nuke in the microwave if not already very soft) and add the brown sugar. Beat with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Sieve in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and cocoa and mix well until smooth. Finally, stir in the yogurt or milk.

Put about half of the mix into your cake tin and spread evenly over the base of the tin. Dollop the six teaspoons of chocolate hazelnut spread over the mix, fairly evenly spaced apart (it will spread, so don’t get too technical, but try to keep it a fair bit away from the edges).

Using a spoon, dollop the rest of the mixture on top and spread it very gently with a knife, covering the chocolate hazelnut spread, as evenly as you can – again, don’t get too hung up on it, this is not a great work of patisserie. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top and finally give them a good dusting of brown sugar.

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Here it is ready to go into the oven

Bake for about 1 hour or until the centre of the cake feels firm to the touch. If it is still wobbly in the middle but getting too brown on the top, just cover with foil and then give it another 5 to 10 minutes. (Mine was ready after an hour).

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Close up of the Nutella oozing out of the cake – a dieter’s nightmare



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