Birthdays were always special times. We usually had glorious parties at home after weeks of planning. Bianca’s parties tended to feature a swimming or Halloween theme. Sven’s parties usually involved some type of sporting theme.
This is one of those everyday plain chocolate cakes that everyone loves. We used it baked in a lamington tin covered with smarties to take to school to celebrate birthdays as well as at the birthday party. It was extra special cause we only had it when someone was having a birthday cause I always suspected that chocolate wasn’t real good for you and stayed away from anything chocolate most of the time.
300g (440g) butter, cut into small cubes
200g (300g) flour
250g (400g) sugar
40g (60g) cocoa
4 (6) eggs
100ml (150ml) water
2t (3t) baking powder
- Heat oven to 170°C or 325°F.
- Butter and flour a 23cm diameter baking tin (20cmx30cm lamington tin).
- Place all ingredients in food processor.
- Process for 10 seconds.
- Scrape ingredients down and process for another 10 seconds.
- Place in baking tin and bake for about 45-50minutes until knitting needle or skewer comes out clean.
- Cover with chocolate icing and decorate.
Note: Quantities in brackets can be used to make the larger lamington sized cake
- Process in food processor till well mixed.
- Spread top and sides of cake with icing immediately. It will set if not used immediately.
My cousin, Debra, is my Uncle Wim’s only daughter. She lives in Port Elizabeth and has three beautiful daughters. Here she writes …. “my daughter, Diane’s friend, Jenny van Heerden, gave this recipe to her when they were in primary school. During my three daughters’ teenage years they snagged many a boyfriend with this Buttermilk Brownies recipe!!”
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup water
½ cup butter
½ cup sunflower oil
¼ cup cocoa
2 eggs,beaten till frothy
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup buttermilk
- Place sugar and flour in a large bowl and stir with wooden spoon.
- Place water, butter, sunflower oil and cocoa in pot and stir over moderate heat until butter melts.
- Add the wet ingredients from the pot to the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix until smooth.
- Beat eggs with vanilla essence, bicarb and buttermilk and add to mixture. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased large (fairly deep) baking tray.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for approximately 20 minutes or until top springs back when touched.
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 ½ tablespoons buttermilk
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
250g of sifted icing sugar.
- Place butter and cocoa in a small pot and stir at moderate heat, until butter melts and mixture is smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir until icing is smooth and shiny.
- Pour over warm brownies.
- Once cool cut into squares.
mmmm – delicious with vanilla ice cream.
This is so good that you can easily serve it at a dinner party. I have seen grown men and women closing their eyes to absorb the sensuous taste as they slowly lick the sauce off their spoons. The secret is the dark chocolate which keeps it from being too sweet and the slight taste of coffee. There is no significant difference between using instant coffee or espresso as the coffee base. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week if you can ensure little fingers don’t get in there to finish it off. I serve it with Blue Ribbon or Peter’s Vanilla Ice Cream.
200g(8 ounces) Nestle’s Original Albany chocolate or any Dark Chocolate
1 espresso coffee (or 1 teaspoon quality instant coffee like Moccono dissolved in 2 Tablespoons hot water)
150ml(6 ounces) cream
Vanilla Ice Cream to Serve
- Break chocolate into small blocks. Place in a heatproof bowl and add the coffee.
- Melt together over a low heat in a bowl over simmering water or use defrost on the microwave. Melt until soft. Do not overcook as the chocolate burns easily – you want it soft not boiling.
- Stir in cream and heat slowly till hot. You can store at this stage. Reheat to warm – not boiling – just before serving.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Dessert was rare at family meals in our household. There was never enough time and, besides, it wasn’t healthy. We went through a phase of this pud where my son, Sven, offered to help to reduce the time problem. Having dessert always felt like a great occasion and everyone tucked in excitedly.
1 cup self raising Flour
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup walnuts
Topping: Mix 1T(15g) cocoa with ¾ cup sticky brown sugar.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Sift flour and cocoa.
- Cream butter and castor sugar in a clean bowl with the Kenwood or a hand beater.
- Add walnuts, egg and then some of the flour mixture to the butter mix.
- As the mixture dries add milk and little by little the rest of flour mixture.
- Mix well.
- Place into 4 greased individual ramekins.
- Sprinkle topping over mixture in ramekins.
- Just before putting into oven gently pour 100ml boiling water over each ramekin.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake is firm.
- Serve with cream or ice cream. The puddings will be hot so consider emptying into another dish for younger children.
This is one of my favourite adult birthday cakes – it looks spectacular and tastes divine. The finished cake does take a bit of time as the collar is fiddly and can be nerve wracking the first time you do it. However, the sense of achievement and admiration is well worth it. The trickiest part is actually the cutting of the cake as it is so delicate – be sure to use a sharp hot knife which you dip into hot water and dry between slices. The cake component actually tastes better if made the day before. I recommend using white chocolate for the collar and decorating with chocolate curls rather than berries as this gives the best results. The collar does not have to be perfect – I think it looks better when it has some raggedy edges.
175g butter, soft
¼ cup cocoa
1½ cups sugar
2 cups self raising flour
¾ cup milk
1t bicarbonate of soda
1t vanilla extract
¾ cup boiling water
750g white, milk or dark chocolate couverture
Optional: Berries to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Butter and flour a 23cm springform tin and line the base with glad bake greaseproof paper.
- Beat all cake ingredients together in a Kenwood mixer for 3-4 minutes.
- Spoon into baking tin and bake on centre shelf of oven for 45 minutes.
- Cool – the cake is even better eaten the next day.
- To make the collar, form a double collar of glad bake greaseproof paper that will fit around the outside of the cake and extend about 4cm above it
- Melt chocolate in the microwave on defrost (white chocolate burns very easily) stirring occasionally.
- Spread a thickness of 4mm of chocolate onto the greaseproof paper that makes up the paper collar. The remainder will be used for the chocolate curls.
- Working quickly while the chocolate is still soft, hold both ends of the paper collar firmly, and wrap the collar with the chocolate against the cake, around the cake.
- Stand or refrigerate 5 minutes until chocolate has set.
- Carefully peel off glad bake greaseproof paper – it really does work.
- Spread remaining chocolate on a piece of glad bake and leave to harden. Reheat a little to soften if necessary.
- With the blade of a knife at a 45° angle and pushing away from you make chocolate curls to decorate the top of the cake
- The cake should be cut with a hot knife.
- Optionally decorate top of cake with mixed berries just before serving.