Something you probably didn't know about me, is that I used to be a chef. I still love to cook, even though I no longer make my living at it. There is something very satisfying about preparing food for people. Less satisfying is preparing food for children who turn their noses up at anything they don't recognize and say "I don't like that" without trying it, but....
I had my son's 4th birthday party here yesterday - a pirate themed one - and had to make a cake that looked like a pirate flag. It was delicious (if you ignored the fact it turned your teeth green when you ate it - black icing isn't easy to make.) and I thought I should share the recipe because this is an absolutely perfect chocolate cake recipe, and it's really easy.
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3/4 cut cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup coffee or something else if you prefer - I used cranberry juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until properly mixed. Pour into a prepared tin and bake for 70 - 75 minutes.
And there you have it. The easiest and most delicious chocolate cake ever. I usually make a chocolate ganache to spread over it, which makes a nice smooth surface for writing on or decorating with colored icings, but a traditional buttercream is fine too. That's what I did for the pirate flag.
And another tip, if you're trying to make black icing, using black food coloring in white icing just makes it grey. I made a dark chocolate icing and added black food coloring until it looked black. The white icing was good for a skull and crossbones.
And what did that have to do with writing? Nothing it all. But sometimes we all need a break, right?