Life lessons

Cakes glorious cakes

Anyone else been improving lock down with eating and baking? My problem is I’m a terrible baker. In two words, Lewy describes my baking as “well intentioned”.

When my Nan reads this she will tell me to give him a clip round the ear and a run round the table! Luckily for Lewy, we happen to have a fabulous and very patient friend who’s a chef.

Nick, known in Bristol for his award-winning roast dinners, is the king of naughty and extravagant homemade treats. He even makes homemade doughnuts and fish and chips. WOW.

Nick has generously been donating his evenings to give us online cooking classes. Giving up his Saturday nights, he’s walked us through luxurious recipes so that we can brighten up our lives in lockdown and treat our neighbours to glorious cake. Nick has kindly offered to share his recipes with you too, check out his baked lemon cheesecake and dark chocolate mousse gateau recipes below.

Top tips: use a handheld electric whisk (he spent A LOT of time waiting on us to mix by hand!) and a removable bottomed cake tin lined with baking paper.

Baked cheesecake


160g hobnobs
80g butter
500g cream cheese
110g caster sugar
5 eggs
60ml lemon juice
250g sour cream
Grated dark chocolate


  1. Bash the biscuits into crumbs using a food processor or put them in a bag and plonk them with your rolling pin.
  2. Melt the butter and mix into finely ground the biscuits.
  3. Line the base of your removable bottomed cake tin (or ceramic dish) with baking paper. Then pour in the biscuit mix and squash it down flat with a spoon or jar.
  4. Preheat oven to 150c (gas mark 2).
  5. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth (use an electric whisk if possible or by hand).
  6. Add one egg at a time beating until fully incorporated.
  7. Grate the lemon zest before juicing them and add both into the cream cheese mix and beat. Then fold in sour cream until deliciously smooth.
  8. Pour the batter onto the biscuit-lined tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Alert: The cake is only ready when it has a very slight wobble! Bake for more time if needed until it passes the SLIGHT wobble check.
  9. Leave to cool but first grate some dark chocolate on top.
  10. Share with your neighbours and enjoy with a cuppa!

Dark chocolate mousse gateau


3 eggs
125g caster sugar
50g flour
25g cocoa powder
75g butter

280g double cream
2 eggs
50g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate

100g dark chocolate
25g butter
(25g cream optional)


  1. Prep: Heat your oven to 180c (gas 5) and butter and line your baking tin (removable bottomed if possible) with baking parchment.
  2. Sponge: whip the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy (tripled in volume). Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder – be careful not to knock out too much air. Finally fold in the melted butter, do this in two stages to make sure it’s fully incorporated. Pour it all into your baking tin and smooth it over, then pop it in the oven for 20 minutes until it’s springy and you can poke a knife down the middle and pull it out clean. Then leave it to temptingly rest and cool.
  3. Mousse: first whip your double cream into soft peaks (don’t over whip). Next melt the dark chocolate over boiling water. While your chocolate starts to melt, separate the two egg whites into a bowl and whip into soft peaks, then gradually add the icing sugar until you get a silky meringue. Timing is key – as soon as the chocolate is melted put it into a big mixing bowl with the whipped cream and fold in the whipped egg whites. Add in the two egg yolks, mixing the mousse until it’s super fluffy and delicious. Then cool in the fridge.
  4. Gateaux building: slice your cooled sponge into two layers. Pop the first sponge layer into your bottom lined cake tin. Then spoon the cooled mousse mix evenly on top. Add the top sponge and pop to the side while you knock up the ganache.
  5. Ganache: break up the chocolate and stick it in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl melt the butter, then pour it into the chocolate bowl and stir it until you get a scrummy melted mixture. Add cream if you wish to be extra naughty. Then pour over the top of your sponge.
  6. Final steps: cool your cake in the fridge. When it’s ready, use a knife to loosen around the edges of the cake tin. Then remove the tin and marvel your creation. Deliver a slice to next door, then tuck right in!
Sharing two glorious cake recipes following online baking classes with the fabulous Nick Hutchings.
Get a slice of that!

Hope you have fun trying out these delish treats and sharing them with friends and family. Thank you so much to Nick for cheering us up on lock down and helping to make our neighbours smile. They eagerly await this blog post with the recipes!

Nick and I tasting cocktails and cake pre-lockdown in the Lock Up (Bristol).

1 thought on “Cakes glorious cakes”

  1. Lovely to see a post on Cosmic Pear again – a good topic too at this time!

    Iā€™m going to do the cheesecake – thank you šŸ˜˜


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