Origin of dish:
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Type of cooking:
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (serves 8):
For the cakes:
Method: 1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven, 350ºF, gas mark 4).
125g (4oz) butter or margarine, softened
200g (7oz) light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
350g (12oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
5.25ml (1½ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
1.25ml (½ tsp) salt
250ml (9fl.oz) low-fat buttermilk
For the topping:
150g (5oz) icing sugar
37.5ml (2½ tbsp) cocoa powder
Chocolate strands or silver balls, to decorate
For the filling:
150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
250g (9oz) icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
2. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.
3. Put the cream the butter or margarine and sugar together in a bowl and mix until pale and creamy then beat in the egg.
4. Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into another bowl. Gradually add spoonfuls of the flour mixture along with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition, to make a smooth, thick cake mixture.
5. Using a 5cm (2in) diameter ice cream scoop, drop 6 to 8 scoops of the mixture on to each baking tray, spaced well apart to allow for room for spreading.
6. Bake in the oven for 12-14 mins until risen, slightly cracked and firm to the touch. Cool for 5 mins on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Now make the topping - Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and gradually mix in 5tsp of warm water to make a smooth, glossy spreadable icing.
8. Spread thickly over the peaked side of half the cooled pies, smoothing the icing with the back of a knife.
9. Sprinkle with your favourite cake decorations and leave on a wire rack for a few mins to set.
10. For the filling: Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition, to make a smooth, spreadable icing. Add a few drops of vanilla to flavour.
11. You can use a spoon to add the filling or pipe using a piping bag with a plain ½cm (5mm) nozzle over the flat sides of the remaining pie halves, or alternatively, spread thickly.
12. When the iced pie tops are set, carefully sandwich them on to the filled pie halves and serve.