Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'just a chocolate cake'

When MasterM and MissM were little
I would conscientiously make a birthday cake
to match the party theme.

Pirate Island,
Fairytale Castle,
Treasure Chest,
Teddy Bears Picnic,
Creepy Crawly Paradise.

It was something I never reconciled myself to
especially when I realised that the hours of creation
were reduced to a muddy heap
at the bottom of a party bag.

After the Pirate Island experience
I developed an overpowering dislike
for strongly coloured icing
which remains to this day.

Then came the liberating moment
when I was asked for
'just a chocolate cake'
and that is what I have made ever since
using a recipe from wonderful family friends
who live in Little Eversden.

It is now a real pleasure
to make the cake for the special day
and our birthday photos
feature a succession of identical chocolate cakes
each of them with that special fudgy icing
that I can remember from my own childhood.


  1. I always feel very virtuous declining chocolate cake which leaves more for others. My real passion is for coffee cake with the choppy bits of walnut. Perhaps I should learn to make them myself but I am not sure if I am allowed in the kitchen for long enough.

  2. I rememeber so well that passage from the garish themed cakes to sophisticated chocolate (or occasionally coffee and walnut). If you ever find yourself in Little Eversden please pop in for some grown up cake!

  3. Mrs M that delightful confection is set off so beautifully by the plate beneath it - but I would expect no less

    ps any chance of the recipe please :o)

  4. There is no such thing as 'just a chocolate cake.'
    When I was teaching in our village school we had fund raising events in lent for charity, and the deputy head used to bake her famous bero milk chocolate cake for her Grandchildren to sell in school. Let me tell you , as soon as word that they had all brought chocolate cake in got round (and it was a very small school) all thoughts of self denial went out of the window as staff and children fought to be in the queue and in with a chance.
    I think yours would have had the same effect.

  5. I was lucky since my son ONLY wants chocolate cake, all.the.time
    what a fantastic picture. As usual.
    Now hurry to the kitchen and bake that coffee cake with walnuts for MrM!

  6. Hardly 'just chocolate cake'! It looks delicious...

  7. Definitely not 'just' a cake. Sounds like a super birthday tradition.

    Would love to see a picture of Creepy Crawly Paradise! K x

  8. The only thing that is missing from this lovely post is THE DAMN RECIPE

  9. Hello - just tentatively sticking my head above the commenting parapet, though I must confess I've been lurking around for a while.

    After years of Tellytubbies, Tweenies, Thunderbird 2 and a stegosaurus my son has turned 12 and also gone the way of the chocolate cake - in his case individual cupcakes decorated with bits of Mars Bar, Crunchie, Chocolate Fingers and Twirls.

    Wouldn't mind the recipe for yours though - in my opinion, you can never have too many recipes for chocolate cake!

  10. Did violins play sad music in the background when Mr M wrote that heartwrenching message?

  11. Mr M we shall shower Mrs M with comments with subliminal coffee and walnut messages in them on your behalf, and perhaps you'll get one for your "18"th????

  12. My youngest despises chocolate - such a surprise!

  13. You're most welcome to hand-deliver one of those for my birthday next May. I'll show you the hot spots of the Ozarks in exchange...

    P.S. One year my Better Half got ambitious and made a fancy flourless chocolate cake (M. Stewart recipe) for Big Lad's birthday. It was bitter, dry, disappointing. There's nothing like those tried-and-true family recipes.

  14. Hoping Miss M had a lovely birthday and am thinking i may steal your drizzle idea for this weekend's birthday cakes.

  15. Mr M's "18th" ? Well that would figure because Mrs M's mother is twenty one and a bit and her father is now twenty two and a bit

  16. I face the prospect of conjuring a Tiara Cake at the end of this week and feel similarily downhearted by the prospect.

    Dylan did, thankfully, request "just a chocolate cake" this year for the first time and it was a joy to make and consume. I am not sure I have found my perfect chocolate cake recipe yet though and would love to know the secret of yours.


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