June 5, 2011

Chocolate cake for afternoon tea

I woke up this morning craving chocolate cake. This is weird for me because I am usually about all things savoury- cheeses, cured meats, pickles, olives....etc. I remembered reading the kitch's blog a month or so ago and she posted about her delicious family chocolate cake, so the first thing I did was jump on to see.

There is was, a great big chocolate cake, slathered in sweet, sweet icing- exactly what I was after! It all went pear shaped when I read the ingredients to find I was lacking in one ingredient....an ingredient I knew I couldn't possibly make the cake without- LARD! or as my dear friend Kitch puts it, shortening.

I'd just been out to do my weekly shop and picked up some chocolate, butter, eggs and icing sugar.....didn't think of lard. It is silly really because so many American recipes call for it when baking. Why American recipes I hear you ask? I'll tell you why, no Australian cake has ever been as moist and quite as awesome as our American friends and I know shortening has a lot to do with it (but I just forgot).

Feeling a little defeated while staring at that deliciously, massive cake on my computer screen, I decided to look for another recipe. The first 5 all told me to use lard/shortening....dammit!
I mentioned to Nic I was having trouble finding just the recipe I wanted when he informed me chocolate cake wasn't his first choice so perhaps I could make something else? This is when I responded with,

'Nice try buddy, but it's not about you......it's all about my cravings today!'

Just when I thought all hope was lost, I remembered a cookbook I had stashed away in the depths of my cookbook bookshelf.

Jackpot people!

Not only did this recipe not contain lard, but I instinctively bought some honey that very morning with no rhyme or reason and honey was one of the key ingredients.

The recipe is very simple and has never failed me. It always turns out moist and has a fabulous frosting to slather all over it.
I'm sure you all know what the boys and I did this afternoon while sipping a mug of tea.
I will make Aunt Lee's chocolate cake...I've just got to search for some shortening.

Recipe from The Complete Book of Baking

Family chocolate cake
3oz dark chocolate buttons
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
2 oz dark chocolate buttons
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degree and grease a 7 inch cake tin.
Place chocolate and honey into a small heat proof bowl over a saucepan of water and melt. Once melted, cool.
Cream butter and sugar then add cooled chocolate mix and beat together.
Add eggs and beat until well combined.
Sift all dry ingredients together then stir the dry ingredients a little at a time, alternately with vanilla and milk.
Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Once cooked turn out onto a wire rack and cool.

Frosting: place chocolate and water in a saucepan and slowly melt over low heat.
remove from the heat and stir in the butter, keep stirring until butter has melted then beat in the icing sugar.
Keep beating until smooth then pour over the top of cool cake and spread evenly.


Mal streeter said...

Well done Milly, dad wants some!

Camilla Baker said...

You are more than welcome....the boys would love to eat cake with you both!

Susie said...

My first job out of college was selling Crisco Shortening, which was the #1 selling item in the grocer in 1985. You see it in many recipes, but Americans also use lard (very rarely) which is rendered pork fat. The terms don't interchange much here, and finding good quality lard is quite difficult. Many bakeries here also use shortening in their icings to make them fluffy and keep them stable, not this girl though!
The cake looks scrumptious, wish I had a little piece for breakfast!

Camilla Baker said...

Your totally right, they are completely different but in Aust Crisco in the solid form isn't as easy to find as it is in the States, so I was kind of being a bit slack with my research. I think lard is also becoming harder to find- damn this healthy living all the time!

Bryan said...

I am not much of a sweet person either but this looks AWESOME! I can still find lard around here (ha you healthy food people) I just have to look at the specialty grocers (read Hispanic grocery stores)