kate5kiwis: sunshine sophie


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Sunday, August 26, 2007

sunshine sophie

meet R14's and my new favourite person. we have made her chocolate cake for countless years but i have lost my Kitchen Muse of recent times and am hoping to regain my enthusiasm since R14 and i went halves in The Destitute Gourmet's latest cooking book at *shine* yesterday.

in the introduction to her first chapter, Sophie Gray says: I came across a fascinating statistic some time ago about household menus. The research revealed that the average household operates on a selection of around 11 recipes. Every year or so, without really being aware of it, we give our particular selection an overhaul, ditching one or two dishes, introducing a couple of new ones but generally sticking to around 11. That seems to be about all the average household can shop for, remember how to make, and coerce the family to try.

hmmm, let's think: roast meat and veggies, tick. vegetable soup, tick. sushi, tick. wedges and chilli beans and sour cream, tick. corn chowder, tick. salad with bacon bits and wedges, tick. pasta and sauce out of a jar, tick. roast chook and veggies, tick. beef or russian stroganoff on rice, tick. toasted sandwiches, tick. make-your-own baked beans or noodles or spaghetti out of a tin, tick.
yeah, that's the first 11 i can think of and that's pretty much our current circuit.

how boring.
boring. boring. yep, definitely time for an overhaul.

R14 chose sophie's cooking seminar during the *shine* options yesterday, and came home super-enthused about her Kitchen Muse. and it turns out that sophie's daughter is *not* caught in an eight-year-old-mummy-brings-in-baking-to-my-classroom-timewarp: she is actually the same age as R14 *boggle* and as i flicked through the new book that we got yesterday, i found The Chocolate Cake recipe (my original is handwritten on the inside cover of another of sophie's books, gifted by the dahling rosie who really needs to start a blog about Her Fabulous Life, and it's pretty much unreadable cos is covered in butter and cocoa and various other lickable ingredients) and i read sophie's intoductory words: I believe this recipe is now one of the most frequently made recipes in the country. When people bring their cookbooks to dg (Destitute Gourmet) cooking classes for me to sign, the page with Dana's chocolate cake is always the most splattered and tattered...

which is why i thought i'd post it here, cos it'll stay pristine, even when my mum prints it off for her recipe file cos she keeps her huge recipe stash in clear plastic wipeable folders, which means she can actually read them.

sift all into a large bowl
1 2/3 (that's one and two-thirds, not twelve thirds) c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
throw in
1 1/2 c (trim) milk
100 g melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
give it a good stir or whang it through your trusty food processor. scrape into a lined cake tin and into the oven (preheated of course) for an hour at 18o celsius. works every time a coconut.
if you want to know sophie's recipe, you'll have to buy her book lol...
i prefer ganache:
200 ml cream and 200 g chocolate heated together, cooled and spread all over the cake.
or if you Can't Wait, just whang the sliced cake onto individual serving plates and swoosh the hot choc sauce over.
i'll guarantee you'll lick your plate.

and we'll be licking ours too, after we introduce those Two New Recipes to our repertoire.


Blogger Rosie said...

I remember that yummy choccy cake made by the famous Kate, we make it too, but the ganache never seems to work like yours...probably because I'm too impatient!! And I'm glad to hear we're not the only ones to become stuck in the 'same old things' rut.....let us know what the 2 new recipes are:-) One day that blog will get started....not sure what would go on it though! xx

9:27 PM  
Blogger Sharonnz said...

Two words...Caramello Brownie, pg132!

9:49 PM  
Blogger LeighLeigh said...

We should start a recipe swapping blog - where you post the recipe and photo of the product - that way you can decide whether you like the sound and look of it. Hmmm my mind is thinking hard...!! Re: Chocolate Cake - Dana's is good - but if you want the best I can flick it through, Mom and I have been using one from Michelle W. mother up until recently when we discovered a *new* one which is more dececant - it is wonderfully moist, and the chocolate is rich and thick. It does use more eggs and butter and everything, but you can actually make 2 cakes - one to give away and one for your freezer, or cupboard!
Love yaxx

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, let's see:

1. Chicken with Fruit and Olives
2. Chicken Goulash
3. Nigella's Lemon Linguine
4. Brunswick Stew
5. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
6. Slow-cooked Chili
7. Black beans and Saffron Rice (with tomatoes and avocado)
8.Many variations on mixed green salad
9. Soup and grilled cheese
10. Sausage and vegetable bake
11. Roasted chicken with broccoli & cream sauce

Huh. That's our 11 dishes. Funny how I was just thinking the other day that we seem to keep buying the same foods over and over.

A recipe swap would be a great idea! I'm always up for tempting my family with new ones....they're willing testers. :)

11:36 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

Yup, 11 dishes just about hits the nail on the head...

...that cake sounds yummy...do ya think I could serve it as an entree and then I'd have 12 dishes????

1:47 PM  
Blogger Lizard said...

Thanks for the recipe!!! I LOVE chocolate cake. yummmmmmmmm.

4:18 PM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

One day that blog will get started....not sure what would go on it though!
yeah, yeah, that's what i thought, for at least two years until one day when i was chatting with my friend fleur in cambodia on the msn and she said she was "in the middle of setting up a blog and why didn't i set one up too?? here's the address etc" so i did. she has since set up two blogs and NEEDS TO UPDATE THEM BOTH lol...

i agree that one definitely needs to find one's muse with blogging, but it's one of those Make Your Own Rules things, and in the end most bloggers blog about the same scintillating stuff after a while. but i don't think i've blogged my breakfast. correct me if i'm wrong...

OMG i dunno how i skipped that page, i remember drooling over yours a couple of weeks ago. i have some crunchie-bar-choc in the cupboard: do ya think it'd work with crunchie???

well, let's think of a sexy name for it:
cooking creativ-leigh

i will be your guest recipe-blogger... and i can even insert movie lines into the recipes.
btw (by the way) sophie's cake beats michelle's mom's by a country mile. next time you make yours, i'd love you to post me a slice... X

marvellous sarah
come on, let's join up at leighleigh's...

have you seen the movie chocolat??? she pours chocolate sauce on the chicken... i am *so* gonna try that someday.

it really is the cake i judge all others by. moist and fudgey and dark, and you can double or treble the recipe no prob's...
like sophie says:
cook, eat and enjoy!

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm up for joining at leighleigh's! I'll be the one bringing Canadian dishes....or Moroccan, or French, or English. Oh heck, I'll just bring food! LOL!

10:22 PM  
Blogger LeighLeigh said...

See you didn't get my point - this new choc cake is far better than M's moms. I used to make M's mom's cake, and then moved onto Dana's for simplicity, but then have moved onto this new one for the full effect (unless I don't have time and want to whip something up quickly and simply). Got an idea - I will make one and take it to Rosie's house, and her and the kids can be the judge!

BTW - loved the name for the blog - seriously - I actually loved it!!

3:27 PM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

that first blog name suggestion is too cheesey. but we could definitely think of a pun on your name...
and now that i have read your first comment properly i am thinking that if you're quick you could shove a slice into raych p's pocket for me... she's venturing to The Sunny Bay on thursday with rose.
and that your Best Ever Choc Cake Recipe could be the first on the new blog X

7:08 PM  
Blogger LeighLeigh said...

It's not too hard to think of something to go with 'Leigh'....quickleigh, slowleigh...
Hey hold on....
Deliciousleigh good food
I like it!
And maybe the subheadings could work with 'Leigh' aswell....
Simpleigh Dinners in 30 mins
This weekend I will play and develop - am very excited!

12:20 PM  

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