Dan Lepard’s Black Forest chocolate cake

Getting the right balance of flavour, moisture and texture in a classic Black Forest chocolate cake is a precise art. Surprisingly, there's a lot to learn from packet cake mix ...Getting a rich chocolate flavour in a soft cake is a touch complex, as it requires tricks to keep the flavour intense while maintaining a delicate texture. I used to half-joke that my favourite was a ready-made packet cake mix with melted chocolate stirred through before baking. Packet mixes use modified starches such as tapioca to form a gel, making the cake moist, and will forgo butter in favour of oil to keep it soft when chilled.Now, when you try to take your favourite butter cake recipe and add expensive dark chocolate, it can often turn out horribly dry and heavy. The reason for this lies in the type of chocolate you use. If a chocolate contains 70% cocoa, it effectively contains 70% starch. So although dark chocolate appears to be fat – of the most delicious kind – it's only actually about 30% fat and the rest is starch. So adding that expensive chocolate is like adding extra flour, and bitterness, to your recipe. This is fine, just so long as you reduce the flour, and increase the sugar to balance the flavour. Continue...

Almond milk – Bondi Harvest video recipe

Chef Guy Turland talks us through how to make almond milk a delicious lactose-free alternative to milk, suitable for vegans, that's surprisingly easy to make at home. Originally a staple of medieval kitchens, almond milk has been growing in popularity. Get out your blender, whizz up a batch and try it on muesli Continue...