Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Melt-and-Mix Chocolate Dessert Cake (Donna Hay) and Crème Anglaise / Custard Pouring Sauce with No Cream (Barefoot Contessa)

If I'm a mathematician, I'm going to say...

Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = a Beautiful Cake!

Obviously, I'm not... LOL!

However, I believe in this equation in this case as the combination of Donna Hay's one bowl chocolate dessert cake and Ina Garten's crème anglaise has worked really well for me.

Love love love this chocolate dessert cake served with crème anglaise. Besides my always favourite Donna Hay's melt-and-mix gluten free chocolate cake, this combination made another fantastic melt-and-mix chocolate cake from Donna Hay! This cake is extremely chocolaty and moist. It is extremely easy to bake. Extremely fail-proof... I would say! An extreme chocolate cake not to miss.

To balance the richness of this cake, Donna Hay has suggested cream and berries in her recipe but I insist ...
  • Something creamy but with lesser fat to worry... 
  • Something light but not thin to dilute the flavour of this cake...
  • Something sweet to match the bitterness of dark chocolate...
  • Something not too acidic, sour and fruity...
  • Something not too cold or icy like ice cream...
All because I want to have enjoy my cake with a comfort degree of warmness and this crème anglaise recipe by Barefoot Contessa is exactly the chocolate cake companion that I'm after.

Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = a Beautiful Cake?

What say you?...


It is school holidays now in Melbourne, Australia. For this reason, my family and I had decided to take this opportunity to have a Easter break from our normal routine. We will be going to Singapore and Phuket for the next two weeks. I apologise that I have left the ongoing Cook Like a Star, all star anniversary and Little Thumb Up, Orange event temporarily. I promise that I will be back in the end of April to conclude both events and hope to have your continuing participation while I'm away. See ya!

melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = A Beautiful Chocolate Cake
To bake this cake, all you need to do is melt...
... mix...
... and bake!
After baking: Can't test the cake with a skewer. It will look uncooked but is actually cooked!
Dust the cake with cocoa and it is ready to serve.
This is how I made the crème anglaise.
I will not forget to add vanilla into my crème anglaise :)
melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Look! This cake is so moist and chocolaty!
melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Need a chocolate cake for Easter? Yes, please! I like to bake this cake! 
Happy Easter!

Here are the recipes (with my notes and modification in blue)

Melt-and-Mix One Bowl Chocolate Dessert Cake by Donna Hay from LifeStyle Food

125g butter, chopped
375g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

(I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa)
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (35g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
5 eggs
cocoa, for dusting

Preheat oven to 170°C or 
150°C fan forced.

Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and either microwave in short bursts until melted or melt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Add the sugar, flour, milk and almond meal and mix to combine. Add the eggs and mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased 22cm round springform tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover the tin with aluminium foil and bake for 40 mins.

Uncover and cool in the tin. Dust with cocoa and serve with cream and berries.

Note: Using 2/5 of the recipe and a 14 cm round loose bottom pan lined with baking paper and its bottom well-covered with foil, I have baked the cake at 150°C fan forced for 40 mins.

Crème Anglaise by Barefoot Contessa mostly adapted from Food Network

According to Wikipedia, crème anglaise is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is typically a mixture of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavoured with vanilla. This lower fat version contains cornstarch / cornflour as thickener.

Make enough to serve one 14 cm cake
2 egg yolks
50g cup sugar (can reduce if you prefer it to be less sweet)
1/2 tsp cornstarch / cornflour
210ml scalded milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste or seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 tsp cognac, optional (I didn't add this because we were eating this with my 5 year old)

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 mins, or using a whisk by hand until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add cornstarch .

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour (or whisk in) the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't over-cook it (above 180°F) or the eggs will scramble!

For a smoother texture, pour the sauce through a fine strainer or process it slightly with a hand blender. Add the vanilla extract or paste or seeds and Cognac and serve with a cake.

Happy Baking

This post is linked to Cook like a Star, ALL Stars Anniversary organised by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake

Wanna cook or bake like Donna Hay, Barefoot Contessa, Jamie Oliver, Masterchef, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Curtis Stone, Nigella Lawson, Ree Drummond and Bill Granger? To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from their websites or cookbooks and link with us at this Zoe's, this Joyce's or this Mich's post for the whole of March and April 2014.

To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake. Cheers!

For more details, please see this.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their 5-stars cooking. 


  1. I see many Donna Hay in your baking posts, I agree they are all beautiful and delicious.. I like melt & stir cake, I have a confession, I don't use a mixer.. I have one, given by my sis as my house-warming gift, but it is still in the cupboard, unopened, til today.. I only use a whisk - max, in all my baking.. Else, it would just be a fork.. Ok, confession made..That's why I go crazy if I see any melt & stir cake recipes.. Happy holiday Zoe, go have fun, don't worry too much about blogging - for a while, yay!

  2. Ok, I am here for that first slice of chocolate cake, looks really sinful and delicious! Happy holiday to you:)

  3. Lovely! Lovely! I love this easy moist chocolate dessert. Gosh! I also think this is a choc month for me .... as I've bookmarked many choc recipes :D
    Enjoy your holidays with your friends and family!

  4. I can tell why your family loves chocolates so much! Mummy bakes great chocolate yummies!
    Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Oh my heavens, Zoe, you ARE a mathematician! I say beau-ti-ful!!! Not only because I adore one bowl cakes and chocolate, but because of you and the others I have been introduced to Donna Hay and her recipes simply blend together no nicely. I LOVE Ina too so what could be better?

    I'm delighted to hear you and your family will be taking a mini vaca. Good for you Zoe. Have a glorious time and enjoy every single moment. We will "see" you when you return:) In the mean time, I will be dreaming about this scrumptious looking cake!

  6. Hi Zoe,

    Oh Zoe, you make me melt same as your choc cake! :)

  7. Great Mathematics wud give great results.....a gorgeous super moist and yummy cake :)

  8. Absolutely STUNNING! Especially that closeup shot with the custard! Makes me want to run to the kitchen and start baking, this instant! Love this!

  9. You have made quite a few beautiful chocolate cakes, now i can't decide which one to try :))

  10. This IS a beautiful cake! As a math teacher, I totally approve of that equation.
    This looks so good! I can almost smell it from here!

  11. Wonderful!
    It's a magic and delicious cake!

  12. Zoe, this is so chocolaty! The shiny chocolate batter itself is so mesmerizing :)

  13. wow !! eyes jsut got stuck at the closeup image . so so soo moist !!! loved it

  14. this looks so decadent!!!! u keep tempting me with all ur lovely chocolate bakes... this is so good, I can literally dig my teeth into it...

  15. The cake looks so moist.. and sauce sounds amazing! I should probably put this cake on to my endless list :)

  16. Hi Zoe, the cake really looks good and the addition of the custard just makes it all the better!

  17. Droolworthy cake, hard to resist and am sure i cant stop just with a slice.

  18. This looks so wonderful! I will put this on top of my 'must make' recipe list, seriously! I like those cloth pins, very cute! Have a great trip and I can't wait to hear all about it.

    About my 'Triple layered apple tart' I forgot to mentioned in step #4 - combined shredded apple with 80g of sugar - part when I first published. I corrected and re-posted the next day. Thank you so much. You're so sweet!

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I have bought a Japan-made mandolin slicer from ebay to cut apples in perfect matchsticks... Now, waiting for it to arrive. Can't wait to bake this recipe!

  19. Your equation is not quite right - here is my version: Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa + Zoe = a Beautiful Cake :-) Looks delicious.

  20. Hi Zoe , love chocolate and this is a must make . Have fun on your mini Vacation ... that's the way to make fond memories sweetie ... we will be here waiting to hear about your vacation . Have a grat time and thanks for sharing :)

  21. My li'l pumpkin loves chocolate cake. I should've made this one for her bday. It looks devilish!

  22. What a decadent and beautiful cake!

  23. OMG, your chocolate cake looks so moist inside! I'm sure it's heavenly!

  24. Mhhh my mouth is watering..

  25. Have a fun trip! Thank goodness you left us this great cake to munch on while you're gone, so we won't starve. ;-) Really nice -- thanks.

  26. This is my all time favorite Donna Hay cake but never thought of serving it with creme anglaise!

  27. This cake is incredible, Zoe! So rich and decadent, and stunning pictures as always :) Have a wonderful vacation!

  28. OMY dear Zoe this cake look absolutely amazing!! love this so much and this melted chocolate:)))

  29. Hi Zoe, reading your post is always a challenge and inspiration for me. Wow so many steps and instructions to follow in baking a beautiful cake ... well, really inspired me. Wishing you & family a blessed Easter holiday!

  30. This looks absolutely divine - so luscious and rich!

  31. Such a beautiful cake Zoe...love the intense color of the chocolate cake...delicious with the vanilla crème anglaise. I have been looking for the vanilla bean paste but have not seen it anywhere..
    Have a wonderful weekend :D

  32. This cake looks sinfully indulgent, that last photo killed me :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  33. Se ve absolutamente rico y bello su postre fabulosa crema,abrazos

  34. Hi Zoe,
    You're always so creative when come to chocolate cake.
    This is such a beautiful cake!

  35. Oh YUM! If dusting it with the cocoa wasn't good enough, the final touch with the crème anglaise is just... "can I have a slice? can I? can I?"

  36. Zoe, I am so tempted by your description and your cake, since you said not to be missed then I shall not miss heeheehee...

  37. WOW! So inviting & decadent ! My kinda cake for sure ! YUMMMMMMM

  38. Love Miss Hay too :)
    Beautiful bake and happy holiday Zoe :D

  39. You are quite the master of chocolate cakes! I've never seen a cake look so moist!

  40. Your cake looks sooo rich and sinful! I love the crème anglaise. Sounds like a perfect match. Great job, Zoe!

  41. This cake looks stunning, its crumbliness is perfect :D
    Delicious idea of the custard as well!

    Choc Chip Uru

  42. wow! what a combination. Looks amazing, Zoe. wish I can have a slice..

  43. I can smell the deep dark chocolate….so delicious

  44. Zoe, your chocolate cake looks so sinfully delectable!! Every chocolate lover's delight! :):) And I love the creme anglaise too!

  45. Mmm another delicious chocolate cake recipe, wouldn't mind a big bite :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  46. What a lovely cake here,I have been missing for sometime,inviting you over to my space :)

  47. I don't understand how I missed this post....
    it's so ME!
    Hope you had a happy Easter, Zoe. xxo

  48. How delicious! Gosh, i'd like to try it...im starving at it!
    Love the recipe, and the cake too haha :)
    have a nice day, dear

  49. Zoe, your chocolate cake always look so sinful! ^^ and the chick's clip is so cute, I like the last photo...it looks like they are fighting :DD

  50. This chocolate cake looks beautiful Zoe! Love how decadent it is and the creme anglais sauce sounds fantastic with this decadent cake :)


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