Chocolate Cake like your Grandma used to Make

So I have to start this post with a disclaimer: I don’t ever remember my grandma making cakes. My mum assures me that she did, and regales me with tales of amazing pavlovas made by whipping the eggs and sugar on a giant plate with a knife, but have no memories of this whatsoever. The cake I am going to tell you about is the kind of cake I imagine my grandma would have made.

The chill of winter calls for simple food and after browsing through my cookbooks again I stumbled upon my CWA cookbook. An oldie but a goodie. And no requirements for crazy fancy or difficult to find ingredients which is a huge saving on my time poor days. Having said that, I did use two rather special ingredients that were not necessary but definitely added to the final cake. These were some particularly indulgent cocoa and chocolate sprinkles that I bought on a trip to Josophans chocolate shop in Leura, Blue Mountains.

I have a thing about cocoa powder. I used to be a staunch Bourneville user until I realised how much lighter in colour it and the Nestle cocoa powder was compared to other brands. While expensive, Josophans’ cocoa powder drew me in with its rich, dark colour and I knew it would be a winner in any recipe.

I had intended to make this cake and bring it in to work for morning tea but I was turning into the driveway at work when I realised that I had left it at home. Along with my sanity it seems.

So, there was nothing else for it but to serve it as a particularly tasty morning tea on Saturday morning. Remember, when there’s chocolate cake involved the glass is always half full people! It was lightly chocolatey and moist. Definitely not the super rich chocolate hit of other cakes ive made but just right for morning tea. Simple yet satisfying.

Now I know that this photo is grainy, but I wanted to show you the tea I drank with this cake. It was Wedgewood Earl Grey that I was given as a present for Christmas. It was absolutely delicious! One of the best Earl Greys i’ve tasted in a long time.

mmmmmmmm…. chocolate cake…..

So, my lovelies, are you as forgetful as me? My terrible memory has been well documented in this blog. What is the silliest thing you have forgotten and did it turn out ok in the end? Tell me a story to help me procrastinate from doing my marking!

Recipe – Kim’s Chocolate Cake – From the CWA Cakes Cookbook


2 cups self raising flour

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl

2. Add the sugar, milk and eggs and beat well

3. Add the melted butter and beat for another two minutes

4. Pour into a tin (recipe does not specify, use your common sense!) and bake in an oven at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour

Icing Note:

You can use your favourite chocolate icing for this cake but I used the Donna Hay Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting that you can find here. Enjoy!

Another Day Another Dollar – OR – How to Break Out of the Monotony of Work

So work has been super crazy and super stressful. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough get going….

to the fridge, where often tasty treats are lurking.

Lets see, yoghurt, peanut butter, cheese, jelly…

hang on. What kind of jelly is that?

Co-workers mug jelly!

Ok so i’ve been watching too much The Office and i’m not particularly original. But that didn’t stop many laughs being had when my co worker arrived on Monday to find his mug encased in a pool of strawberry ┬ájelly. After a particularly stressful week/term/endless haze of stress I felt like something needed to be done to relieve my office of all the pent up pressure that has been accumulating. So, A and I snuck in with…

four packets of jelly, a giant bowl and a mug

We made the jelly according to the instructions on the packet

Immerse the mug

and top it up with more jelly. Leave it to set overnight and BAM!

Workplace prank.

Who said you had to be sensible all the time? Spending so much time around adolescent boys has clearly adversely affected my adult sensibilities. But, at the end of the day it’s always best to be young at heart. So, while this most has little culinary merit, it includes two of the best ingredients for a happy life

Jelly + Fun

And what could be better than that?

So, dear readers, what have you been up to in my absence? Played any pranks lately?

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Did you ever read this book when you were little? It’s fantastic because it tells it like it is. Some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. You know the ones, where you wake up late after sleeping through your alarm, all the hot water is gone and you still need to wash the suds out of your hair then you stub your toe on the vanity while poking yourself in the eye with your mascara wand. Then you get to work and you have an extra class to supervise, its raining and blowing a gale and the kids are all cranky and crazy-like. You forget your laptop and run out of petrol.

So thats not exactly how my day went, but it’s pretty damn close. If you include hitting my head on the car as I got in in the morning. Man, that HURT!

All through the day I was scanning my brain for something warm and gooey to make for a dessert. A little something that I had all the ingredients for and would definitely put a positive end to my day. I had a flashback to the Masterchef Tarte Tatin which would do me a favour by 1. being totally tasty and 2. using up some left over apples and a lonely sheet of puff pastry.

But I forgot, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And unfortunately, the only thing that can end a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is going to bed and waking up the next day. What should have been a fairly quick and simple dessert turned into… well..


Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Burnt sugar, old, weird pastry and general failure.

At least there’s always the promise of tomorrow… and a foolproof cup of hot milo.

So, my lovelies, what do you do to try to turn a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day around? And does it succeed?

Broken Rules – Hot Cross Buns After Easter

Im the first to admit that I play it pretty safe. I figure that most rules are there to make life easier and keep me safe. I don’t like to cross the road against the lights, I don’t break the speed limit, I always put I before E except after C. However, I am also the first to admit that there are certain rules that are absolutely made to be broken. I like to wear odd socks, I frequently miss deadlines and I eat Hot Cross Buns whenever I damn well like. Not just at Easter. Want to know why?

The answer lies beneath this enormous thesaurus.

Oozing Chocolate Hot Cross Bun French Toast

I got the idea from Kitchen Wench when I was browsing around Easter time for some different ideas for Hot Cross Buns. However, with the craziness that inevitably comes with Easter and the end of school holidays, I didn’t get around to testing this one out until after Easter was over. But boy was it worth it. Worth it enough to justify the baking of Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns well after Easter has ended. I guess if I don’t bake them with a cross, they don’t necessarily count as hot cross buns?

And the recipe is so ridiculously easy! Slice your buns lengthways three times. Scatter some choc chips between the slices, squish under something heavy (e.g. the weight of the entire English Language) and dip into your french toast mixture.

Fry it so that it is crispy and caramelised on the outside, and soft and gooey on the inside

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with double cream. Why would you bother with anything less than double?

mmmmmm…. gooey….

And the best part is, if you make a whole batch of choc chip buns, you can make this for breakfast every day for a week. What could be better than that?

You can find the recipe here.

So, my lovelies, what rules do you like to break?