» Where foreign and local combine

Mini Chocolate Cakes and Spiced Compote


Like any large city on this planet, London is a multi-cultural place. The road where I live alone probably houses somewhere above twenty different ethnicity’s in the six block walk to my apartment.

Due to this, most of the friends I have made in London are all people who have moved here, either from New Zealand or somewhere in between our location now. This allows for similarities when one’s homesick or finding something tough. Everyone has a level of sympathy for going through tough times thousands of miles away from home and people’s kindness comes a little easier when you are in such a situation.

More than that though, they’re people who want to see and experience things as newcomers, much like me. Musicals, events and general conversations generally involve how to make the most of our time in this city, even if we are here indefinitely and time seems to be on our side.

Every week is about trying to do something or see something that London has to offer, which more often then not, completely overwhelms one with choice.

With weather now beginning to close in, the next few months will be filled in lots of museum visits and theatre stops enjoying the indoor activities while the darkness shrouds outside for longer hours and winter makes itself comfortable. Ensuring we all remember we are living in one of the greatest cities on earth and no amount of rain could damper our plans to enjoy it.

If you still have plums at hand, this compote could be made without chocolate cakes to accompany, but they do pair together well. Especially if you warm the chocolate cakes slightly, melting the frosting and topping with warm compote and a drizzle of fresh pouring cream.

Mini Chocolate Cakes with Plum Compote
Makes 12

1/2 cup sunflower oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons warm water
2 plums, cubed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 clove
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and greaseproof a medium muffin tin.

Place the sunflower oil, sugar and eggs in a bowl and until well combined and smooth. Add in the milk and mix until well combined.

Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold until well combined.

Spoon 2 tablespoon amounts into each cup, the mixture should reach 2/3 way up the tin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Remove and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and cooling on a rack. Slice the tops off to even, discard (or eat).

In a bowl sift the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and warm water. Ice the cooled cakes smoothly. Set aside to harden.

In a saucepan, place the plums, sugar, clove and cinnamon on a low heat and simmer until the plums begin breaking down. Remove from heat.

Just before serving the cakes, spoon over a tablespoon of the compote.

Serve slightly warmed with a drizzle of pouring cream if you wish.

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