Helen was my Pre-Primary teacher. I remember she had a birthday box that she would bring out when it was one of our birthdays. We were allowed to choose a gift and I remember choosing a kinder surprise, which would have to be one of my favourite chocolates, just for the surprise inside. This cake is just like that. It may look like a simple chocolate cake, no different to any other, but I assure you when you take a bite it takes chocolate to a whole other level.
There are three flavour options; plain chocolate, chocolate and espresso or chocolate, espresso and whisky. My personal favourites are the later two. The cake is deliciously moist and will keep well provided it's stored in an airtight container. The crumb is tender, though holds it's shape, which makes for beautiful slices to be served with cream (OMG- soo good). Have I also mentioned that it's a one pot wonder? It also works well as a whole cake or cute little bundts like the one we made above.
Helen's Chocolate Cake
Makes one cake or 22 mini bundts
Combine in a large pot and melt on the stove (low- medium heat), stirring regularly:
125g margarine, not butter
1 cup of water OR 1 cup of espresso coffee OR 3/4 cup espresso and 1/4 cup whisky
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda/baking soda
2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa
Then, take of the heat and allow to cool slightly before whisking in 2 eggs and 1 3/4 cup of self-raising flour.
For a cake: Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
For smaller cakes such as muffins adjust the time accordingly. For bundts, baking time is approximately 10-15 minutes.
So if your feeling a little spontaneous give this cake a go- it will be sure to surprise.
We would love to hear any flavour combinations you come up with.
Thanks for letting us share your recipe Helen! :)
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
So recently we brought you part one and here's just a little more of our time in Sydney. This city has so much to offer and I will definitely have to visit again. I loved the city's natural beauty, bustling, busy streets, street performers and of course the food.
|Awesome waves in Manly.|
|The perfectly manicured gardens of Hyde Park. Couldn't help but take a snap. |
Seriously massive cruise ships in Circular Quay.
|Rainbow of colour at Luna Park.|
|Love the Sydney monorail. Sadly though, it may soon be removed. :(|
|Gorgeous trees in China Town.|
|View from Centre Point Tower by dusk.|
|View by night.|
|Giant rubber duck by artist Florentijn Hofman for the 2013 Sydney Festival.|
|I mentioned street performers. There are many but two really stood out for me. The above photo is the entertaining and talented contortionist Bendy Em. How does she do that??! Another (not pictured) is the amazingly talented Jack Dawson. Mum bought his album after a captivating performance in Circular Quay and she has played it every weekend since (Not kidding!). Go check out his music, it's fantastic.|
Sorry about the many pics. I'll post photos of foodie highlights soon.
Hope you're having a lovely week. xx
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
So a couple of weeks ago (when might I add we were in the middle of a heatwave) our Nonna decided to make sauce. Now sauce making isn't a one man (or one Nonna) job, especially in an Italian household- it's a family affair and one which our Grandparents take very seriously.
So despite it being a 40° day we gathered around in Nonna's patio to make sauce. Ever since we were little our grandparents would allocate everyone a job. The adults of course had the more 'responsible' and 'serious' tasks, while the grandkids would be allocated random odd jobs like fetching water for parched relatives, or keeping the dogs occupied with way too many snacks. If we were lucky enough though, we would have the 'grown up' job of putting a small sprig of basil in the top of each bottle once it had been filled with sauce. We felt so responsible.
This year though the younger grandkids were at school and the all important basil garnish job was scraped. That got me thinking, was that job truly crucial, or was it just a lesson in responsibility? My younger self held hope that it was the former until Nonna informed me that the basil wasn't all that important! I was initially crushed until I realised that the small task of garnishing the sauce was important. It was a way for us to be involved and included in family traditions and for that I am grateful.
|Bottles waiting to be filled.|
|Filling the bottles with sauce.|
|Tomatoes ready to be placed in the machine.|
|The rejected tomato skins.|
So what was my job this year? I had the task of putting the bottle tops on the filled sauce bottles and fetching water for parched relatives. Not completely grown up, but getting there.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Recently, I made a glorious berry cheesecake for no reason. Now that I come to think of it baking for no reason is the perfect reason to bake. I had cream cheese in the fridge which I was meant to make a carrot cake with and I accidentally bought a mix of four berries when I turned away and reached into the freezers at Woolworths to avoid immediate frostbite to the face region. I was aiming for the blueberries.
Nonetheless, often the unplanned ones are the best. Baking stuff, that is.
Four Berry Cheesecake
300 grams of digestives or Graham crackers
150g of butter, melted
375g of cream cheese
1/2 cup of icing/confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of whipping or thickened cream
3 teaspoons of gelatine (dissolved in 1/4 cup of boiling water)
Zest of one lime
100g frozen berries - whichever you prefer
1/4 cup of water
Zest of one lime
2 tablespoons of lime juice
Place the biscuits you're using in the base into a food process and blitz into a fine crumb. Mix in the melted butter, either by hand or in the food processer. Press the mixture into the base of a springform tin. I pressed it up the sides as well but next time I'm definitely going for the more traditional cheesecake approach and leaving it just on the base. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to half an hour while you're preparing the filling and the berry topping!
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until it reaches a smooth consistency. Make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese and that it's all really well incorporated. You don't want to be enjoying a cheesecake and coming across a solidified blob of cream cheese that was sneaky and didn't want to be a part of a nice thing.
Once you've everything is perfectly combined, beat the cream into the cream cheese mixture on low speed.
Mix in the lime zest and then add your gelatine mixture. Pour the filling over the biscuit base.
For the topping, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until it boils. Carefully place spoonfuls of the berry mix on top of the filling and then, using a skewer, gently swirl the berry mixture through the filling.
Cover and refrigerate until set, either for 3-4 hours or even overnight.