I'm not sure who gets more excited about these chocolate ripple cakes more: me about making them, or my family about consuming them. Either way, this mutual excitement makes the process even better.
Chocolate ripple cake has such a welcome place on the Australian Christmas dessert table. It's also something that's quick and easy to make and a process I'm familiar with. It's ideal when made a day in advance and needs no finishing touches before serving. That made it a perfect candidate for our Christmas feast. This cake was one of the two main desserts I made for Christmas, alongside the macarons and pudding truffles for nibbles.
This version featured the familiar chocolate poinsettia on top, but I gave the joconde sponge a little twist.
There's little around the house that remind me that Christmas is coming as well as the sign of my poinsettias beginning to bloom. Around mid-Spring their leaves begin to turn red, reminding us that December is not far away. Despite their traditional use in Christmas floral displays, the brightness of the red remind me of everything I love visually about the festive season. Red is my favourite colour. I love it's vibrancy, it's warmth and its festivity. While my Christmas tree decorations are always blue and silver, but my place settings are always red and gold. Red reminds me of time with family and loved ones, sharing joyful conversation over good food.
It wouldn't be Christmas without poinsettias. It wouldn't be Christmas dessert without edible poinsettias.
Just what every Christmas needs…
Last week I went out to dinner with mine and my boyfriend's immediate family to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. We went to one of my favourite local restaurants, Azurea's and had a lovely time together. While Azurea's have a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts themselves, I wasn't about to let go of an excuse to bake! Between mine and his family, everyone's preference for cake is many and varied, so choosing one is always a difficult task — someone is always not going to be happy! I eventually settled on this cake I had been wanting to try for quite a while now.
Last Thursday was my sister's 21st birthday. It was a given that I was going to make the cake. I told her with a week to go to have a think about what sort of cake she wanted. She had no idea. It's harder to think of ideas when you're not a baker – you're much less aware of the possibilities.
A few days out I became resigned to having to work it out myself. Almost as soon as I came to this resolution, she piped up with, "I know what I want! A chocolate ripple cake!"
". . . really?" I replied.
My heart sunk a little. I'd been looking forward to the opportunity to create something whimsical, test some new skills, have some license to create. Of all the things I could make, she chose the easiest cake in the entire world.
Well, the birthday girl has to get what she wants. But, me being me, I couldn't stop at making just any old ripple cake…
Death By Chocolate…
Every year when Father's Day rolls around, I often find myself looking to reinvent my family's favourite mudcake recipe, as mudcake is my dad's favourite cake. While my family are more than content to keep demolishing their favourites, I get bored of repetition and am often looking for new skills to learn. So this year, I started trying to come up with something out of the ordinary. Given how picky my dad is, this is a harder task than usual. If it's not mudcake, his next favourite is a fruit cake, but almost no one else in my household likes fruit cake.
I found a middle ground to strike. Pears are one of my dad's favourite fruits. Like me, he prefers them really soft. Our perfect pear is what others feel is overripe. A cake involving poached pears was going to be a hit.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
I hope you all had yourselves the most fantastic Easter imaginable, filled with love, great company, and of course – chocolate.
One of my favourite excuses around Easter is the ability to bake the most indulgent desserts. And when it comes to indulging, you can't go much further than this mudcake.
I've baked this flourless chocolate cake a few times. You've seen it for Father's Days and for Birthdays. This cake is so delicious and so loved I'm constantly looking for excuses to revisit and reinvent it.
I've done the Basket thing for Easter quite a lot, so I decided to step away from that and go for a nest instead.
Would you care for an egg?