One of my favourite locations for family photography in Dublin is Dollymount Strand. It is a great place for children where they can have lots of fun, explore and run wild and free. This is the place where you do not have to worry about any misbehaviour or tantrums. I...
The best lockdown birthday cake
For more than 6 years I have been searching for the best chocolate cake and I can finally say that I have found it! So delicious and so easy, moist and not too rich. All I had to do was to google chocolate cake by Donal Skehan. Click HERE to see the original recipe or see below our smaller variation (as we are still in the lockdown and it was only four of us, I made a smaller version).
Here is what I used:
100g self-raising flour
2 spoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
75g brown sugar
2 medium eggs
75ml sunflower oil
1 spoon honey
For the chocolate filling:
50g unsalted butter
200g cream cheese
2 big spoons icing sugar
1 spoon cacao powder
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, soda, cacao powder and sugar).
Whisk shortly the rest of the ingredients (oil, milk, honey and eggs).
Add to the dry mixture and whisk shortly or until all incorporated and nicely smooth (I used a hand whisk).
Poor the mixture to the cake tin. Don’t forget to grease it (I always put a baking paper/parchment at the bottom of the tin. I used a round cake tin – 18cm.)
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, check with a skewer or tap at the top so it is not too soft. Also do not over bake it – I think this has been my problem for years 🙂 then the sponge is just too dry. The cake might rise a bit but I would not worry too much about it, you can simply cover it with the icing.
It could be a bit tricky with the butter, I almost always get the little butter lumps in the icing instead of nice smooth mixture. I have read somewhere that the key is to have the butter at room temperature and the other cream cheese not too cold too.
Beat both the butter and the cream cheese until nicely soft, sift the 2 spoons of icing sugar and the cacao powder into the mixture and beat well until smooth. Spread the icing on the top of the cake (optional you can top it with some sprinkles or whatever your children like – it is a birthday cake after all). Ideally chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving and then enjoy 🙂
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Have you been thinking about booking a photo shoot this year? Here are some questions that you might have as well. Are you working at the moment or have you been affected by the lockdown? As my services fall under non-essential services, my standard photo sessions are...
"Michaela Mac Donnell came to our house one sunny Sunday morning and spent a few hours with us capturing our life as a new family. She is such a lovely person and so easy to work with. It was like having a friend in the house as opposed to a stranger and she just observed us and took photos, with as little intervention as possible. Her use of natural light, beautiful composition and ability to capture the best of us meant I got exactly what I was looking for and far more beyond that. Thank you Michaela."
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