Special equipment: 2 (each 8-inch diameter) layer tins with removable bases, buttered.
Makes about 8 slices.
Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins with removable bases.
Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.
Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.
To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing.
While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
When you’ve done, you may need to add a little boiling water – say a teaspoon or so – or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.
I love to dot the top of this with sugar pansies – and you must admit, they do look enchanting – but there really is no need to make a shopping expedition out of it. Anything, or indeed nothing, will do.
I tend to keep my kitchen stocked with very good dark chocolate buttons (70 per cent cocoa solids) as this entirely dispenses with any need to chop chocolate before melting it. Do not dream of using normal confectionary ones (except just to eat, of course).
Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson's new cookbook FEAST.
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9. Opt for digital paintings. If you couldn’t find the right painting you want, a digital painting might give you what you are looking for. There are already paintings which you can merely print and frame. Although, it will be limited in terms of texture but it can still look good in your room. Some even buy posters instead and use it as wall décor. They look good when already framed. 10. Use your creativity. If you are an artist or at least have the passion for art, you can make your own painting or wall décor. Well, it doesn’t necessarily use paint. You can use whatever medium you like. You can even apply your crafty skills into it by creating a collage or a scrapbook like décor. Frame it and you now have a personalized wall décor. Getting decorations for your wall is both fun and exciting. But it will surely be more fulfilling if you will actually be the one to make it yourself. Yet, a real painting can still give a different burst of appeal to your living room. Aside from wall paintings, you can also try using wall sculptures as decorations. Even wall clock can add beauty to your walls. Get more home design tips here in Home Design Lover.
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5. Choose one that suits your personality. A painting also reflects the personality of the homeowners. So, do not just get any painting. Make sure that the message from the painting is right for your personality and that it will give a good impression to your visitors. There are many paintings you can choose from. For sure, you’ll find something that you’ll fall in love with and something that you can relate to your personality. 6. Match it with your interior design. Every home has a distinct interior design. Some opt for modern touches which is the current trend. Some also stick to classic and vintage designs where vintage decorative frames are used for paintings. Let it match the interior theme of your house in order to complete the look you want. 7.Research paintings. Do your homework by looking for various paintings in shops or even on the internet. This will make shopping easier for you. Also, you will be able to check on what paintings are available in the market that you could get for your home. Then take note of those designs that you liked. You might still be able to get them at a lower price. Or if you cannot find one that is exactly the same as the one you want, for sure you can get a similar painting. 8. Visualize room. Now think of how that painting will look like when it is already installed in your room. Does it look lovely? Or it might look awkward? Does it complement with the entire look or it doesn’t fit in at all? Visualize your room. If you think you got the right painting, then go get it.
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1. Decide on the kind of art you like. When buying a canvas painting or if you are currently choosing for a new painting, try to assess your taste. Which genre of art do you prefer for your decoration? Do you like abstract paintings? Or you might prefer those which are replicas of famous artists? Or you might want your own portrait as a wall décor? Think about how these paintings will look like on your wall and choose which one will best suit your interior. 2. Know the right size. Check on the size of the wall décor. See to it that it won’t be too large of too small for your room. You can also opt for smaller paintings and arrange them all in one area. This is great in creating accent walls. Size of the painting is important because it might spoil your room if the size is not right. 3. Choose colors for the canvas painting. Colors used in the painting will have a great impact on the entire appearance of your interior. So, decide if you want bright colored paintings to bring in a lively aura or you want it to complement with the rest of the colors you used to create a coherent look. Abstract paintings are great choices especially if you are limiting your choice in terms of colors. 4. Look into your budget. Getting a painting entails money. You have to look into how much you can spend for that. You can also try to do a survey first as to how much these paintings are. Some are really expensive but it will still be worth it once it is installed in your room. But there are also cheaper paintings you can find. It might be right for your budget.
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