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?
Last Friday was my boyfriend's 29th birthday. One of his greatest culinary loves in life is custard. So when I was brainstorming ideas for a nice-looking, fondant-free cake that pandered to his tastes, I just knew it had to involve custard.
Celebratory photo spam and recipe after the jump…
Dad's 57th birthday was on the 1st of November. He's not much of a sweet tooth, but he does love mudcake. I had him over for dinner and made him his favourite meal; beef osso bucco. I decided last minute to throw together a cake for dessert.
So I revisited the recipe shown here, but baked it as a single cake this time.
Jump in the mud…
Baking is fun at the best of times, but when it’s for charity it is so much more fulfilling. My boyfriend works for IBM, and currently he is on a project in an ANZ office. One of the ANZ offices he is located at decided to host a Big Cake Bake fundraiser for the Red Cross. I was more than happy to oblige when asked to do a cake, and more than happy for the excuse to make a cake I’d been wanting to do for a while.
Take a walk through the forest…
When my sister’s birthday approached she requested one thing: for a cake that involved mousse. Challenge accepted!
This would have to be one of the most last minute celebratory cakes ever. I mean, I literally woke up on Father's Day, went "Oh, I should make dad a cake", realised I had 3 hours before he was coming over, and I was cooking him a beef osso bucco that was going to demand my oven for an hour and a half.
Quick, think, think, what do you have in the house? Chocolate. Strawberries. Dad loves mudcake and strawberries. WIN.
So I went digging through my usual chocolate cake books to try to find a moist chocolate cake recipe. I have tried so many chocolate cakes, but always fail to find the one. You know, that one chocolate cake that is so rich and moist that you can feel coronary failure approaching just thinking about it?
I got what you usually get when you totally rush a cake; something that was not very aesthetically pleasing. But who cares when you get a cake that tastes so good?
Once upon a time, I used to bake every week for my Uni friends. These days, I’m lucky if I get the chance to bake once a month. The funny thing is, you’d think the less you bake the more ideas you would have, no?
Well. When the final presentation for my Communicating Science and Technology session came around, I thought I should bring along some cake to out end-of-class pizza party.
Aaand that’s about where the thought ended. I have been completely uninspired lately.
Hence, this last-minute rush job:
Pictures and moar…