Easter has just passed and what a beautiful holiday it has been here, in Far North Queensland, Australia. The weather is finally cooling off and the sun has been shining, showing off the tropical beaches and rain-forests at their absolute best.
I am definitely one for traditions at holiday times. Being far away from my Irish home, it’s more about the rituals than the religion, I must confess. It stems from my Mother, I’m sure and I find myself using the seasonal touches from my childhood as the templates for my own family version of events. We’re probably all the same?!
Anyway, there I am on Easter Thursday in a bit of a tizzy as we somehow have managed to be hosting a Good Friday ‘Seafood Extravaganza’ lunch for 12 adults and 10 children. Arghhhhh, how do these things happen? It was a lovely idea, respecting the ‘no meat on Good Friday’ tradition, and where else in the World would you find such beautiful crustaceans?
But that’s not what I was stressing about, it was the pressure to produce the perfect chocolate cake for all these people. Why? Because that’s what my Mother would do. I emailed her for help, as per usual, and she forwarded some of her favorites. I then dismissed them for one reason or another, mostly due to my limited baking utensil collection. So I resorted to my old friend ‘Google
McDougal’ and looked for some inspiration. And I found plenty….. my big concern was that my chocolate delight would be a flop as I hadn’t tried and tested it before. Oh, and did I mention that one of my guests is an Italian chef who owns a very fine restaurant in Melbourne??
So, with time galloping by I decided to be brave and go for something new, a flourless chocolate cake by model/presenter/author/grand-
food-processor and blitzed, even the six, stiffly beaten egg whites. I can’t tell you how nervous I was pouring the very runny mixture into my spring-form cake tin and watching it slowly drip out the bottom as the baking began.
I tortured myself further by googling comments about the cake which were pretty mixed, I did find one that probably saved my bacon, it suggested cooking the cake for longer than recommended and putting it in the fridge for a few hours to set.
Well it was perfect! Just what I had wanted, crispy and gorgeous on the outside and almost mousse-like inside. Devine. Smothered in creme fraiche and berries it was suitably impressive for my guests. Well the grown-up ones at least! It suddenly occurred to me that I still had a few problems, there wasn’t enough for all the twenty-two cake-eating bodies, but also and more importantly, it was far too rich and delicious to share with kids!!
The solution was simple, I made another cake for the kids, Betty Crocker saved the day.
Two Perfect Chocolate Cakes…