1 tsp red food coloring gel (this is preferred over liquid food color)
For the frosting:
190g unsalted butter, at room temperature
340g cream cheese, at room temperature
450g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the MIKA oven to 170°C. Grease two 8-inch square pans and line the pans with parchment so that it comes up the sides as well.
Beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition, beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Stir the white vinegar and food color together and add this to the cake batter on low speed, but mixing until blended in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and spread to level.
Bake the cakes in the MIKA cooker oven for about 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 20 minutes then turn them out to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat the butter until fluffy, and then beat in the cream cheese until well blended and smooth. Add the icing sugar in 2 additions, beating first on low speed and then increasing. Beat in the vanilla.
To assemble the cake, place the first layer of cake on your platter or plate and spread a generous amount of frosting on the top. Top this with the second cake layer and frost the top and then the sides. Use your spatula to create any swirls or patterns you wish, and then chill for at least 2 hours before slicing to serve.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
175g plain flour
45g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
60g unsalted butter, melted
85g dark brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsps pure vanilla essence
175g dark chocolate chips
Serving suggestions: strawberry jam
Preheat the MIKA standing cooker oven to 180C.
Line the muffin tin with paper liners and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the butter, brown sugar, milk, oil and vanilla.
Quickly fold the wet ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula. Just before the batter comes together, fold in the chocolate chips but do not mix the batter too much or the muffins will be tough. Divide the batter among the muffin cups (60ml of batter per muffin). Bake until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the tins, cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm with jam.
4 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise through the root (about 8 ounces)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
/4 cup chicken stock, plus 1/2 cup more if needed
Preheat the MIKA 0+10 STANDING COOKER oven to 220°C. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Preheat a large frying pan over the burner on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Working quickly, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter, swirling it around the pan. Add the chicken, skin side down. Add the shallots, cut side down and not overlapping. Cook until the chicken and shallots are browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the shallots and chicken, nestle in the rosemary sprigs, and then carefully pour in the chicken stock.
Transfer the ingredients to a pan into the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the shallots are tender, 12 to 14 minutes, removing the smaller pieces of chicken first as they become cooked. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate.
Check the frying pan with the shallots to make sure the stock has not evaporated; if less than a few tablespoons remain, add 1/2 cup more stock of water. Reduce the pan juices over medium heat until about 1/2 cup of liquid remains, about 2 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with a wooden spoon to thicken the pan sauce until it coats the spoon. Remove the rosemary and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and shallots and the rest onto the plate.