number 5 chocolate cake

Me and the word perfection is not usually a word that goes hand in hand.

I don’t usually strive for it, happy enough just to sit with the word content. So why was I trying to perfect a chocolate cake? To be honest I don’t really know. I started the challenge and apparently I would be unrelenting until I perfected the bugger.

Everyone needs a chocolate cake recipe up their sleeves. A go to recipe that was tried and true. Unfailing in its taste and you know it will turn out each time. I didn’t have that recipe. Sure I had made countless chocolate cakes in the past, but none of them were quite what I was after. Not too chocolatey, not too rich, not too dry, not too fancy pancy and not a pain to put together.

Shouldn’t be too hard right?

There are probably a few chocolate cake recipes on the internet, Mr Chocolate helpfully suggested.

Yes. Yes there probably is… but they aren’t the righhhht ones.

So I set forth. The chocolate cake challenge was on.

Cake one, no. Cake two…no. Cake three….still no. Cake four, it’s getting closer. Cake five?

Cake five might just have it. Not being particularly enamored of chocolate cake I did wonder why I was putting myself through this. These unhelpful thoughts were pushed to the side however. I’d come this far, surely that chocolate cake was just around the corner?

Chocolate Cake

150g softened butter

150g brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 beaten eggs

150g sourdough starter/ sour cream*

150g melted chocolate (50%)

60mls espresso coffee (1/4 cup)

225g s/r flour (1 1/2 cups)

cocoa powder (1/3 cup)

2 tbls amaretto

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until changes colour to a white shade, then add vanilla, eggs, cocoa, melted chocolate, amaretto and sourdough starter/sour cream. Fold through flour.

Bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes in a greased springform pan or greased and lined square pan (approx 21cm). Or until skewer comes out clean.


1 tbls softened butter

1 1/2-ish  cups icing sugar

5og melted chocolate

* if you don’t have a sourdough starter, substitute sour cream.


So does Number 5 cake cut it? It’s certainly not a bad cake. The flavours are complex enough to keep me happy with the addition of the amaretto, coffee and the starter. It’s moist. It’s chocolatey, without being intense and it was easy to put together.

So will chocolate cake and I ever become firm friends?

It’s quite doubtful. but I’ll make it to keep the rest of the family happy, and they are certainly happy enough with Number 5 Chocolate Cake.

chocolate immunity

Mr Chocolate always said that he had chocolate immunity.

That is, he can eat a vast quantity and have no ill effects from it. No effect what so ever. Having been on quite a few long car journeys where I’ve been the chocolate supplier to the never-ending opening mouth. Yes, I think I could vouch for the fact he can put quite a lot away and still having nothing to show for it.

Not me though, if I have too much I know about it. Heart rate goes up, tongue goes a little odd. One square too many? Yes, I think so.

Not Mr Chocolate though. Dark, milk, white, they’re all there. The household is a sad and sorry one if it looks like we are down to our last 100 grams. The man likes to have options and he also likes to dip in to those options on a regular basis.

With that in mind, dipping into those options he did. Right before a chiropractor appointment. Thinking nothing of the couple of hundred grams of goodness he had just consumed before going in. He was a little startled to find the chiropractor finding a new point in his head that showed a spike in high blood sugar levels.

Were you drinking last night? she questioned

Pffft, no way.

Have you had something quite sweet recently?

Uh ohh…

Perhaps a little chocolate this morning?

Busted. Chocolate immunity no more. It clearly was coming up on a point on his head and was there for all to see. Well for all canny chiropractors known for using corresponding cranial points anyway. His pancreas was clearly waving the red flag of, “I’ve just consumed rather a lot of good quality chocolate in order to get through the working day.”

Lesson learnt anyway. Mr Chocolate now knows, it’s a much better idea to eat that block and a half AFTER his next chiropractor appointment. That way chocolate immunity remains intact.

Everyday Chocolate Mint Biscuits

175g softened butter

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp peppermint essence

300g (2 cups) plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Mix in, vanilla and peppermint, then add remaining flour and cocoa.

Quick knead and roll dough between two sheets of baking paper, approximately 5mm thick and refrigerate until dough is firm.

Cut into shapes and bake at 180C for approximately 20 minutes.