Friday, March 02, 2007

I Remember...

Ellie, aka The Kitchen Wench is hosting a blog event that celebrates nostalgia. In her own words, "I’d like to invite you to take a trip down memory lane and make a recipe that evokes a sense of nostalgia for you, and share the story of what memory ties itself to this particular food. Whether it’s a seemingly small event or something that was life-changing, there are no limits on what sort of memory or recipe is required for this event - just so long as it is something from your past." The recipes don't need to be in until the end of March so there is lots of time for you to get all nostaglic and drag out Great-Aunt Hortense's recipe book but I thought I'd get an early start and try one of my 'favourite memory' recipes today.


My Nan was a fantastic cook. Whenever I stayed with her, which was often, we would cook together and she would let me do the grown up stuff like cracking the eggs. It was from her that I learnt about the relationship of food and love. I think it's also from her that I learnt about the relationship of love and chocolate! I would find recipes and she would let me try them. Some were good, other not so much but nothing ever beat Nan's Chocolate Cake. We had it for birthdays, for special and for just because. We had it iced and covered with sprinkles as well as still warm with ice-cream. I remember sitting on Nan's kitchen floor, covered with a towel, licking the beaters. I remember the smell of this cake cooking in the oven and the anticipation of tasting it. I remember learning how to grease a cake tin and how to check that a cake was cooked. I also remember my Mum making chocolate cake and us turning our noses up and declaring that it wasn't as good as Nan's. Poor Mum was not happy - she'd used Nan's recipe but it just wasn't the same. I have made Nan's Chocolate Cake several times since she died but it just never turned out the same and in the end I gave up. I figured it was her recipe and only she could make it 'just right'. Then Ellie came up with this idea and I decided to drag out the recipe and see what I was doing wrong. I thought about all the different things I had tried and then decided to try them all at the same time. SUCCESS!! So here is my Nan's Chocolate Cake with my hints and notes to make it delicious. It is a very simple recipe - sometimes the best one's are.



Nan’s Chocolate Cake



1 cup self-raising flour
¾ cup sugar
30g butter
2 dessertspoons cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 egg
Vanilla

Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add sugar. Make well in centre. Melt butter. Pour into well: butter, unbeaten egg, milk and vanilla. Stir well with a spoon. Beat with electric mixers for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides. Beat for a further minute. Turn into a greased ring tin. Bake in moderate oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cook for 5 minutes in cake tin. Turn out onto wire rack and leave to cook completely.

Icing
¾ cup icing sugar
1 dessertspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon butter
1 - 2 teaspoons milk

Sift icing sugar and cocoa. Stir butter in until mix is crumbly. Add milk, a little at a time and stir until icing thickens.

Spread icing over cake and sprinkle with 100’s and 1000’s or coloured sprinkles.


8 comments:

JenTX said...

Ohhhh, I know my chocoholic DH would LOVE this cake. As soon as I figure out how much 30 grams is, I'll make this. It doesn't seem like it is a very big cake as it only calls for 1 egg and 1 cup of flour. Is a dessertspoon about the same as a Tablespoon measure?

My family just loves chocolate cake and this one seems easy with ingredients I have on hand. (I have another recipe that calls for buttermilk which I never keep.)

Have a great weekend Mandi!

Red dirt mummy said...

I checked for you Jen. 30 grams is 1 ounce. A dessertspoon is a bit bigger than a tablespoon, just heap the tablespoon and you'll be about right. You're right, it's not a big cake but it's a nice size to eat fresh and maybe have a piece left for morning tea.

Ellie said...

I'm glad that you tried the cake again and that it worked for you this time :) Ahh, rainbow sprinkles - I think they should be a part of everyone's childhood :)

Brilynn said...

It looks like a giant chocolate sprinkle donut!

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