Archive for July, 2015

Introducing the Chocolate Solace Cake…

July 26, 2015

photoI was feeling a bit eeeerm….. despondent today and decided I need a distraction. I thought I could work on a report for work that needs attention, but quickly decided against that and decided to bake. No not just bake, but to ‘invent’ a cake. I am not a great cook, in fact I am a real stress bucket in the kitchen if making a meal, but when it comes to baking I am not that bad, and I love the process. I don’t have a food processor so make all y cakes by hand and find the process nice and cathartic, oh and I loooooove cake too so the end result is always worth the effort. How things have moved on since I set myself this challenge back in 2010: Cake Challenge

Anyway, I thought I would limit myself to the ingredients I had in the cupboard and make something using those only, no shopping allowed. Turns out I was not that limited and had heaps of ingredients to pick from. So I put out loads of stuff on the kitchen top, put aside the basics to create the basis of the cake and then thinking about the cakes I have made in the past and what I thought might work I pulled out a few more.

It turned out rather well if I do say so myself and I have christened this cake the Chocolate Solace Cake, and thought I would share it with you, well not the actual cake because that is for me to eat, but how to make it….

Chocolate Solace Cake:


  • 140g butter (at room temperature)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 75g coconut sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250g self-rising flour
  • Dash of milk
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tea spoons of baking powder
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 2 large table spoons of golden syrup
  • 275g dark chocolate

Pre-heat oven to 200c (turn down to 180c when placing cake in oven). Grease with butter and line a 20cm cake tin.

In a large bowl beat together the butter caster sugar and coconut sugar till light a fluffy, then add the eggs, beat these in one at a time. Put all the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder into a bowl together than sieve into mixture a bit at a time, fold into mixture and add a dash of milk once it begins to thicken. Stir in the desiccated coconut and golden syrup.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering saucepan, do this gently will all the lumps have gone and you have a nice smooth chocolate sauce, then add to mixture and stir in.

Add to cake tin and use back of metal spoon to even out the mixture and tap the tin a few times in the kitchen top to help settle mixture.

Place in oven (remember to turn down to 180c) and bake for about 45mins, check it with a skewer at 40mins, if it comes out clean it is all done. Then let it sit in tin for about 5 to 10mins before turning out on rack to cool.

Decorate as you wish, I dribbled some icing and grated some chocolate over the top.

RIP Burt Shavitz and thank you for such a wonderful product

July 23, 2015

burts-beesI have always been a big fan of Burt’s Bees, so it was sad to hear that the original Burt died earlier this month. Burt Shavitz was one of the founding partners of Burt’s Bees back in 1984, along with his partner at the time, Roxanne Quimby who he met by picking up as a hitchhiker. The brand has been owned by Clorox since 2007 (who paid US$ 925m for it). Burt himself had previously been bought out of the company for $130,000 by Quimby, but apparently she did later give him $4m after she sold it to Clorox.

Burt himself was something of a hermit in his later years, living in rural Miane in a converted turkey coop with no TV or hot water (by choice).

Even though the brand is now owned by a major producer of bleach, they still only use natural ingredients. They also demonstrate their commitment to being environmentally responsible, via packaging which is recycled or recyclable.