Chocolate: Here today … gone today!

I think it is the lead up to Easter? Well that is what I am blaming it on anyway … my over consumption of chocolate that is. In any shape or form, baked into things, poured onto things or just ‘as is’ preferably resembling a Cadbury Crème Egg, I really can’t seem to get enough of them.

I am also quite partial to white chocolate. It was described in something I read recently as “oh so 1980’s”. Really? Being born in ’79 I spent my first 10 years in that era of crimping, leg warmers, Cyndi Lauper (I love her, it's true) and mullets.

Let us just linger a moment on mullets, they deserve a moment as they really were quite something. When you think about it they were ingenious, business at the front and party at the back, a ‘doo’ for all occasions …

… sorry back to the chocolate, I really don’t recall a great deal of white chocolate (or any chocolate) featuring in my younger years. I do however recall cocktail onions, cheese cubes and prawn cocktails – but they are stories for another day! Mum tells me chocolate was a non-starter because I seemed to become particularly aggressive and ill-mannered after the consumption of it.

Despite me preferring to think I was nothing but angelic as a child there could be truth in her statement. Below is the last childhood photo I can find where I scored a decent loot at Easter, and by George the loot was good that year! I am particularly fond of this picture, to the left you can see a pile of open, half eaten eggs and I appear to be carrying on with this method of "sampling" whilst clearly ignoring whoever is taking my picture and probably telling me to stop!

Easters after this seemed to change and were celebrated with a new book, some new pyjamas and a small chocolate egg. This probably wasn’t a bad thing given my being prone to the chubby side and it obviously helped foster my current day love of both the aforementioned items.

Anyhow, coming back, given I have been out of the realm of parental rule for a number of years now I eat chocolate willy nilly! Sometimes even for breakfast Mum …!

This morning I found a stash of white chocolate squirrelled away in the back of the fridge. I am not quite sure what it's original purpose was, strangely it seems it might have been there some time and clearly purposely hidden from me judging by it's position, Andrew? 

However, still within its expiry date, after having a few squares for breakfast with my morning coffee, I decided to turn the rest into something a little more special. How is that for restraint!

This cake by one of my all-time favourites, Donna Hay, is very quick and simple but is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The sweetness of the white chocolate can be broken up by using a tangy dressing. Today I used passion fruit (lemon or lime also work well) as I was feeling quite nostalgic and the smell of a freshly cut passion fruit reminds me of summers in Australia, freshly cut grass, playing under the sprinklers in the yard, long lazy days ... 

Melt and Mix White Chocolate Cake with Tangy Passion Fruit Icing
Adapted slightly from Modern Classics, Book 2 Donna Hay

The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract but I like to omit it as I find the flavour of the white chocolate is sufficient. Hay also uses a chocolate glaze for her cake but I prefer to use a tangy icing to break up the sweetness of the white chocolate. 

185g (6oz) butter, chopped
1 cup (8 fl oz) of milk
1½ cups of caster sugar (super fine)
150g (5oz) white chocolate, chopped
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs

Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat your oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 22cm (9 inch) round cake tin.

Place the butter, milk, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Use a good quality white chocolate which will melt evenly and give the cake a smoother texture.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the eggs. Add the warm chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Cool the cake in the tin for at least 30 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack for it to finish cooling before you ice it.

Yield: Hay says 8-10 slices, but I find the cake very rich and think you can squeeze 10-12 slices out of it, or more depending on the size you cut each slice!