Thursday, 8 January 2009

Let them eat cake

I'm a bit behind, but the boys are back at school today so time to get back into the old routine. This last week has been great - no having to be out of the door by 7.30am, no driving back and forth to kindy, no uniforms to iron... And they boys have loved it, too, playing outside for hours on end enjoying the wonderful weather (cold but sunny). Their favourite game at the moment is 'bouken' (explorer), and they pack a bag with some snacks and grab their ninja swords and a torch each before setting off for their den (in the rice field at the front of hour house). I check on them every half hour or so, but amazingly there seem to be very few squabbles and I hardly see them during daylight hours.

I'm actually feeling quite rubbish at the moment with a sinus infection (it's reeeealy painful!), hence me not posting for a couple of days, so as M is having a little nap at the moment I thought I'd ignore the housework and try to catch up a little. I've got a few recipes to post today, so hopefully I'll get this done before she wakes...

First up, I did some baking for yesterday's mini-concert. I actually baked two recipes, however one was a disaster so didn't get served! Had a 'discussion' with K last night about the oven - he has no idea how frustrating it is! Of course, I am obviously using it wrong (according to him). I demonstrated how, after pre-heating the oven to 200c, I could comfortably stick my (wet) hand inside. He's starting to believe me, I think. Anyway, I'm rambling. Cakes!

Chocolate-marmalade Cake

125g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g marmalade
150g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour

Gently melt the butter in a pan then add the chocolate and remove from the heat, stirring until smooth and melted. Add the marmalade, sugar, salt and eggs and give it a good mix before beating in the flour. Pour into a prepared 20cm round tin, and bake at 180c for about 50 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.

I was warned that this cake looks rather plain, and it really did (and that's why there's no photo). If your making it for guests it definately needs a bit of sprucing up, serve with a dollop of cream and sprinkle with icing sugar perhaps. As it was, I ended up baking this cake for 80 minutes (trying to get it to cook through) and even then it was stodgy in the middle, grrrr. Naturally I tested it to see how it tasted, and it was good enough for me to keep and eat myself, but I wasn't happy to serve it to friends. I will definately make this again once we've got the oven sorted!

Coca-Cola Cupcakes (again, a Nigella recipe taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess)

200g plain flour
250g golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
125ml buttermilk (I used 30g yoghurt mixed with 100ml milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
175ml Coca-Cola


225g icing sugar, sieved
30g butter
3 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cola Bottle gummy sweets

Combine the flour, sugar, bicarb and salt in a bowl. Gently heat the butter, Coco-Cola and cocoa in a pan until the butter has melted. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla together in a jug, and then beat it into the mixture. Pour into paper cases in a bun tray and bake at 180c for about 15 minutes. Prepare the icing by combining the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa in a pan and gently heating it until the butter melts. Beat in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Spoon the icing over the cakes as soon as they come out of the oven, and let them cool in the tray. Top each cake with a sweet before the icing cools.

The recipe said this would make 12, but it made more than double that. Unfortunately, as I only have one bun tray, I had to take them out before they could cool and this spoiled the smooth icing with cracks. But I have to say, these were just amazing! Really, really, delicious with a velvety texture - what a surprise! Wasted on children...

Oh no, the baby awakes! The rest will have to wait for another time!


  1. How yummy do those cola cupcakes look - and with the lollies on top! Will be trying those if I ever get back to even being remotely closs to a domestic goddess ever again! Can you buy self raising flour in Japan?

  2. I'm experimenting with flour at the moment, bought a whole selection to try out last week! I used 'okashi no komugiko' for the marmalade cake, and ordinary stuff for the cola cakes (can't tell you how good they were!). Still half a bottle of Coke in the fridge, so might have to make another batch tomorrow!

  3. Isn't is sad about Wedgwood = ( These are really fun and the recipe sounds really decadent, I might have to hunt for gumies at Donque Hote (sp)? I really want to get one of N's cookbooks... these look great!!!

  4. Hi, just wanted to let you know that I tried out your coca cola cakes and they were gorgeous!!! The kids couldnt get enough of them!! you were right about the recipie making twice the amount, but this was good as it meant they went further.
    Like the sound of the mushroom and potatoe curry, hoping to make it soon.xx

  5. Hi Anonymous,

    So pleased you liked the cakes! I think they are waaaay nicer than ordinary cakes, will definately be making them regularly. Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed them! xx

  6. Hi, Im Clare V & G's mum, I'm just cooking the One pot curry at the mo, ready for tonight, smells gorgeous, looking forward to it. Just wanted to let you know that your blog is really inspiring me to get cooking now that I have more time on my hands with the kids in school. Keep up the good work!!