Well, of course I didn’t intend to make chocolate Yorkshire pudding,and pretty stodgy at that, but that’s how it turned out.
What I meant to make was a chocolate cake, in honour of the children’s first day at their new school.
We packed up on Sunday, and arrived in our new house around 9 that night, ready for our worldly goods to arrive on Monday, which they duly did, despite a small detour around Newcastle Emlyn. We spent the day directing the removals men and unpacking furiously, so that on Tuesday, there was the opportunity to go for a play on the beach in the morning, and on Wednesday, having delivered the children to their new educational establishment, the Husband and I walked some of the coastal path with the dog, before coming back to the new house to sort out the shed and make homemade butternut soup for lunch. The very picture of domestic bliss.
I was feeling so confident that I thought I’d try out the oven and make a cake to welcome the kids home after their first day at the new school. In the interests of entering Random Recipes, with a chocolate theme this month, I first had to find my recipe books – easier said than done, but I located them then spent some time re-ordering them in the absence of a shelf. All set, then the dog was sick … Time ticked on – I don’t expect I’m the only one to think that the school day is shockingly short – I mean, you’ve hardly dropped them off than it’s time to go and collect them – so rather than a leisurely baking session, I was running out of time. Rather than a totally random selection, I ended up with one of my Great Aunt’s notebooks, and a recipe entitled “Chocolate Cake (Jessie’s)”, copied out in copper plate handwriting. The 'Jessie' in question is my maternal grandmother, and it felt right to be making one of her cakes.
As the lack of time necessitated a dead easy one, this fitted the bill: butter, sugar, hot chocolate powder, flour all mixed together with some boiling water and baked. Except the dog was sick again, and my temperamental scales had definitely run out of battery. I guessed the butter, without being able to verify that I’d got it right, then used a helpful conversion table that I found in my Prue Leith Cookery Bible that told me that a heaped tablespoon of flour was equal to an ounce. As the recipe was (of course) in imperial, I thought I’d got away with it, and banged it all into the new oven.
Well, I think I’ll blame the new oven rather than the rather random approach to the measurements, or the distraction of a vomiting dog, for the fact that the cake came out of the oven with 5 minutes to go before we needed to leave to collect the kids, looking for all the world like a square and rather stodgy piece of chocolate Yorkshire pudding.
Still, covered in chocolate buttercream, it had a certain attraction, and the kids loved it, so mission accomplished but not something I’ll be hoping to repeat.