One of the challenges I have had over here is developing new ways to cook some of my favourite recipes that I enjoy from back home . . . the same ingredients are not always available here . . . and I have had to figure out substitutes for a variety of ingredients.
Not always an easy thing to do . . . like molasses for instance. I learned very early on that dark treacle is NOT molasses . . . it may look like molasses, but it tastes a lot stronger and does not make a very good substitute at all. I made the mistake of baking a batch of my gran's molasses cookies with it during my very early days over here. Highly inedible . . . seriously! If you mix it with an equal amount of golden syrup, it makes a very good substitute however, and in fact, I think it even tastes better than molasses. Trust me on this.
There are some things that you just can't find a substitute for no matter what. Things like certaian cake mixes for instance . . . or jello pudding mix. (This is a powdered dessert that comes in both cooked and instant varieties. You mix it with milk and you get a thick custard type of dessert. There is a multitude of flavours but the three most popular are vanilla (natch), chocolate, and butterscotch.) I tend to make my cakes and puddings completely from scratch these days . . . there is no convenience food here that is the same. But . . . once again, the end result tastes far better than the mixes. (No surprise there!!)
One of our favourite desserts has always been this fudge cake, created from using a cake mix. Once baked, you poke holes in the cake, all over the top . . . and then you pour a chocolate fudge pudding over it to cover. The fudge sauce fills all the holes in the moist cake, creating little tunnels of delicious fudge throughout the cake. With whipped topping slathered over top, it is a very taste tempting, hip widening, taste treat delight!
One must adapt though to one's circumstances and failing to have such a thing as a butter cake mix over here one just has to make a cake from scratch . . . and then one has to make the chocolate fudge pudding from scratch as well . . . and to heck with cool whip . . . I'd ruther have real whipped cream any day.
The result??? A Fudge cake that surpasses the original in every way. It's not even all that hard to bake, as the cake is mixed together in one bowl by dumping all the cake ingredients into the bowl and beating them together. What could be easier than that?
The fudge is very simplistic as well. It's just sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk folks!) with a bar of dark chocolate melted into it. Much, much scrummier than chocolate pudding mix.
Sometimes the simplest of things ends up being the best things of all. This will have your family and guests slavering for more . . . it's incredibly fantastically delicious! The only down side is that you have to eat it all up on the day . . . NOT a problem. Again . . . trust me on this! My hips don't lie . . .
*Refrigerator Fudge Cake*
Makes one 9 by 13 inch cake
Imagine a deliciously moist buttery cake, filled with little tunnels of fudge and slathered with whipped cream. DEEEElicious!
8 ounces of soft margarine (1 cup)
8 ounces caster sugar (1 cup plus 2 TBS)
4 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
8 ounces self raising flour ( 1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBS)
2 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
1 (14 ounce) tin of sweetened condensed milk
100g bar of dark chocolate (72% cocoa solids) (4 ounces)
500ml of double cream (2 cups)
dash of vanilla
1 TBS caster sugar
Grated chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch nonstick cake tin. Dust lightly with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.
Measure the margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla paste, flour and baking powder into a bowl. Beat well until thoroughly blended. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until well risen and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Set on a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the pan.
Place the condensed milk and the chocolate (broken into bits) into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture smooth. Set aside to cool.
Once the cake and the fudge mixture are completely cool, take a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake, using the end and making sure that you don't punch the holes right through to the bottom. I try to space them about every two inches apart, alternately, in rows about an inch apart. Take the fudge mixture and stir it a bit to slacken it and then spread it over the top of the cake, allowing it to sink down into the holes, and spreading it evenly over top of the cake. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about half an hour.
Whip the cream along with the vanilla and sugar until it forms soft peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake evenly. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before serving.
Optional: Garnish with some grated chocolate