Chocolate cakes come in all shapes and sizes. There are skinny sleek shiny ones with a bit of crust attitude, gorgeous plump ones, fast ones, sticky ones and plain-old-Jane brown ones that are going nowhere but please all. This one here is called A Kid-Baked-That Chocolate Cake. Because that is exactly what it is.
Rivs is now eight. A fact he recited proudly on our two hour journey to Brasserie Bread for his first ever bread baking class. Because he made rosemary rolls and chocolate chip cookies at the class, he felt like he could conquer the world. Like there was a whole kitchen of possibilities just waiting for him to pluck one. This cake was a ripple effect of that baking class and that surge of positive energy. This cake was a joint venture on a not-so-rainy-but-oh-so-quiet afternoon between Rivs and me.
No matter how many times you bake a chocolate cake, there is always a new recipe to try out. Because we are smart and evolved beings and recognise the shortcomings of our oven, we picked the simplest one we could find. Well, I did! Then Rivs sat down for half an hour and sincerely typed the recipe on the Plaintext App on his iPod touch. (Yes, he has started filing away recipes in his app and dreams of writing a blog someday - be still my heart!) As he measured and mixed, I lounged in one corner with a cup of tea. We chatted and got silly. We laughed and I instructed. Rivs monologued quite a bit while my mind wandered off and remembered the time when we first moved into our home, when the top of his head barely cleared the top of the counter. He was just three at the time and now at eight he was threatening to steal my spot as the second tallest person in the house.
We loved that the cake was honestly simple. We loved that it had basic ingredients and was a pure tip-in-the-bowl-and-mix kind of cake. It baked in record time while we made our very simple and not-so-sweet icing. Throughout the afternoon, I showed Rivs by example the dos and donts of baking. I even dabbed a bit of icing on the warm cake when it had just come out of the oven and showed him why he should never ice a warm cake - because the icing melts into a puddle!
When it was completely cooled, I set him loose with an icing spatula and he went to work quite artistically. Gummi Bear who was back home in time for the cake to be iced kept sneaking in a stray finger to scoop some icing off the cake. His hand was promptly swatted away by Rivs who was quite enjoying being in charge. The cake was gorgeous in its simplicity, rich and fudgy with a sweet and salty icing. We even had a go at making it "A Special Ocassion Cake" with slices of strawberries and some edible flowers. The most valuable thing I took away from the whole experience was watching Rivs awe when he realised how a plain old brown chocolate cake could become a stunner with just some icing and strawberries. And he, hopefully absorbed some more positive energy from his cake baking.
I urge you to bake this cake. Baking with kids is a joy, but if you can't then bake it with your loved ones, friends or just by yourself. It will amaze you how something so simple can taste like a craving fulfilled. Bake it and take it to work, spread some chocolate joy and the good karma will come back to you. I promise! And if you have a favourite recipe to cook/bake with someone, I would love to know all about it!
A KID-BAKED-THAT CHOCOLATE CAKE
A super easy, quick recipe for a fudgy chocolate cake that even your kid can bake. A simple cake that is instantly special with fresh strawberries.
Preparation Time - 15 Minutes
Cooking Time - 45 Minutes
Makes - To Serve 8
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
125g butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) round springform tin.
Sift flour and cocoa in a large bowl. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and butter. Beat with an electric mixer for approximately 3 minutes, until combined and creamy.
Spoon mixture into prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until cooked through and risen. Remove from the oven and cool in tin.
Ice the cake when it is completely cooled. To make the icing, combine 80g butter, 60g pure icing sugar, 3 tablespoons golden syrup, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons milk in a large bowl. Beat until light and creamy.