17/04/2007

Chocolate Crumb Cake

(serves 4)

150g soft margarine
1 tblsp honey
1 medium (approx 410g) can apricots or peaches, drained
50g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
100g dark cooking chocolate
75g self-raising flour
75g breadcrumbs
4 tblsp milk (or soya milk)

Method:
Heat the oven to 180C.

Beat the honey with 25g of the margarine, then spread over the base of a greased 1-litre ovenproof dish.

Using a wooden spoon, beat the rest of the margarine with the sugar (you can use the same bowl) until light and fluffy. Beat in half the egg, then the rest. Melt the chocolate gently, either over a pan of hot water or in the microwave (being very careful not to let it overcook), then add to the mixture with the flour, breadcrumbs and milk. Fold it all together with a metal spoon until well-mixed.

Roughly chop the drained fruit, and put in the pan. Then spoon the cake mixture of the top and smooth it down. Put in the oven, and bake for about 45 minutes until it feels firm to the touch (up to an hour, if you use a deep dish).

After about ten minutes cooling, you can turn the cake out onto a serving dish, or simply serve it straight from the cooking pan.

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Chocolate crumb cake is a fairly frugal recipe that goes extremely well with home-made ice cream. Use any breadcrumbs - we use the blender to turn leftover crusts or bread that's getting stale into crumbs, and then keep in the freezer for stuffings or other recipes such as this one. Of course, you may get a slightly odd taste if your crumbs are from bread made with chili or cheese!

If you want to add to the fibre and nutritional value, you can use self-raising wholewheat flour, or ordinary wholewheat flour with about a teaspoon of baking powder.

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