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Pinch and a punch for the 4th day of the month.

NZ has been all about the cold winter blast over the last week. The farm has been amazing! I went riding in Woodhill forest tonight and when I finally managed to get to the top, the views over the Kaipara harbour were incredible, due mainly to the super clear skies.

Talking about the cold, what better time to bring you a winter warmer dessert than now.

This chocolate dessert is the most moorish sweet you can serve as it contains:

  • Chocolate
  • Heat
  • Caramel
  • Salt
  • Bubbling goodness

Chocolate cake

  • ½ vegetable oil
  • 250ml cream
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1¾ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup natural almonds
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ½ cup dried blueberries or similar
  • 300ml mascarpone

Preheat oven to 180*C. Lightly spray a 6-hole muffin tray. Place oil in a large mixing bowl and, stirring with a whisk, add the next 8 ingredients, one at a time in the order listed, until combined. Sift together cocoa and flour and add to the wet mix. Whisk well to combine (the mixture should be quite runny). Divide evenly between the muffin tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Place the cakes in a large casserole dish or baking tray with high sides.

Salted caramel sauce

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 100g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 150mls cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Pour the sugar into a heavy pan and allow to melt down over a low heat. When melted, turn up the heat and allow it to bubble until you achieve a nut-brown caramel colour. Carefully whisk in the butter a bit at a time. Now whisk in the cream and return to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, add salt to taste.

To serve

Pour the salted caramel sauce around the cakes and top with almonds, walnut pieces and dried blueberries. Place the dish on the stovetop and heat until the sauce is boiling. Boil the sauce for a couple of minutes then carefully remove from heat. Serve the cakes with lashings of the caramel sauce and a dollop of mascarpone.