'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Karyn’s Moist Chocolate Cake

A number of guests at the party have asked me for the chocolate cake recipe, so here it is.
Karyn, of course, didn't ask, because she knows it so well, having made it so many times for school lunches. It's a 'Little Black Dress' (a little brown dress?) of a cake - you can flash it up and make it into a formal gateau in layers with icing, frosting, berries, cream, jam etc, or make it casual in a meat dish, dusted with icing and cut it into utilitarian squares.

Here is the basic recipe.


2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa powder mixed with 3/4 cup boiling water and 3/4 cup cold water.

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 Tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice

3/4 cup oil

2 eggs


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
  2. Mix together the cocoa and water with the other liquid ingredients and the eggs.
  3. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into one large greased meat dish or two 20 cm round baking tins.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 170ºC for 35 - 40 minutes. Test around this time by inserting a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, cake is done.
  6. Let sit in tin for 5 minutes then run a knife around and remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.
  7. When cool, dust with icing sugar or ice with chocolate icing.

Chocolate icing: 1 cup icing sugar, 1 Tbsp cocoa, 2 tsp butter. Add 1 Tbsp boiling water and mix until smooth.

8. Store cake in an airtight container. Makes 32 pieces.


  1. Just catching up. My you've been busy while I've been away. The party looked lovely and the menu to die for. Clever you to be able to cater for so many. I get really flustered and don't really enjoy that many people.
    Happy Birthday to your daughter. She looks a lot like you I think from those photos.

  2. I *have* been busy! You are so right. But it was great fun. I have never catered for more than 10 before, I don't think. So it was a challenge, but great to have done it. Failure wasn't an option (I think that is on some motivational poster somewhere!)
    Gwash! I look like my daughter?? Well, thank you! You can keep visiting here anytime you want. :-)

  3. Oh yum!! This sounds like a wonderful recipe! I am always happy to see cake recipes made with a low egg:flour ratio, and chocolate cake .. MMMM!!

    Thanks for posting it!

  4. You're welcome Jay!


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