Australian Chocolate Cake
My friend Bronwyn gave me this recipe. I don’t know if it’s truly Australian or just her own family recipe, but it’s a great cake. Deep and chocolately with an almost brownie-like gooey texture and speckled with juicy pieces of fruit. It’s also very simple to put together, you don’t need a mixer or a whisk.
There are no eggs, which makes the sponge more brittle than a Genoese for example – so be careful getting it out of the tin. (My first attempt cracked in several places and I had to repeat.) Leave it to cool in the tin and then turn out gently onto a rack. I iced it with a simple icing-sugar and water icing, but you can leave it plain.
Our Senior’s Lunch Group this week was a Farewell Party for one of our volunteers who’s been with us all through our lockdown audio conference call sessions. She’s helped us keep our spirits up in difficult times with her humour and sense of fun – thanks Tricia! We had a lively session of party games – guessing the number of matches in the box, the number of marbles in the jar and the weight of a bag of rice. We then tried to guess the smells in 6 little pots I had prepared – it’s much more difficult than you might think. We recognised lemon, and the smoky smell of whisky, but coffee and vanilla scents stumped us, and so did the fresh smells of chives and mint. Try it yourself, it’s a great group game and quite amazing how you can’t quite name a familiar smell. And a good use for those little hotel pots of jam that you brought home and washed out and now don’t know what to do with.
Makes 16 pieces Timings: 90 minutes, then cooling and icing.
Icing: 200g icing sugar, mixed with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of coffee granules and 3 tablespoons of water
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22cm square cake tin or other large cake tin. You could also use a loaf tin if you are making a half quantity.
Put the water, cranberries, butter, sugar, cocoa and ground spices into a saucepan and heat to boiling. Stir well to combine. Leave to cool to blood temperature – if you take the next steps when it’s too hot, the flour will cook in the hot butter and the cake won’t be so moist.
Mix the teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water and stir well to dissolve. Pour this into the chocolate mixture, add the flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add the chocolate pieces and stir again.
Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake about 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin and turn out carefully onto a wire rack before icing.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.