Thursday, 8 March 2012

Emergency Chocolate Cake

I’m not known for being organized .. but the cake that I made the weekend before last was a total emergency chocolate cake.  It all happened because we started a pop up bakery after reading about Rose Prince’s children starting their own bakery we held a family conference and decided to do the same. However this post is not about the bakery.  This weekend will be our 3rd week and when I get a moment I will write about it.  This post is about the emergency birthday cake, and I mention the bakery to set the scene ….

 For the first week we made our bread and scones and set out the stall.  Nobody came. We are in a sleepy village and so, not to be defeated we closed up and took the bread and scones door to door, giving out samples and getting orders for the following week.  I was so determined that our baking shouldn’t go to waste I forgot the time.  I forgot that I had arranged a birthday tea party for my youngest daughters birthday.

We chatted with our neighbors, passed the time of day and took the first orders for the following weeks sourdough.  This, I thought, is the most interaction I have had with the people I live l close by to ever, and we chatted our way around the village in the bright February sunshine.

As we stopped to look at the early daffodils coming up I dreamily looked at my watch  expecting it to be about lunch time .. and practically had a meltdown on the spot.  It was 3:30pm.  Oh God .. ..the birthday party … the promise of a cake .. I had exactly one hour to bake the prettiest pink birthday cake ever that I had promised to my five year old.

I practically ran up the driveway.  my husband smiled and asked had I got a minute?   A minute? !! I snapped back at him so hard that I had not got a moment to spare with such force that he took a step back.  I flew into the kitchen and tried to work out if I had time to get in and out of town to Waitrose and buy a cheats cake. No.  With parking and Saturday traffic that was impossible.  The only option was to bake as fast as I could.

I practically threw in the ingredients into my trusty Kenwood.   Whenever I am in a hurry I resort back to old measurements.  An 8 oz chocolate cake, with a bar of 65% cherry chocolate bar chopped up and stirred in was in the oven in less than 5 minutes  .. fortunately it was still warm from the baking earlier in the day.

I ran about wiping up the flour and cleaning the baking bombsite my children and I had made such a mess earlier and then checked in my cake-decorating box.  45 minutes later as the cake came out of the oven the first guests arrived to a kitchen full of the smells of chocolate cake.

There was not time to ice the cake, besides it was just too hot, so I sifted a very generous amount of icing sugar over the cake, wrapped a pink ribbon about it, melted chocolate and used this to stick the sugared roses I had on and popped the kettle on.

A quick application of lip-gloss and a smile later and the tea party began. 

As I brought cake out my delighted daughter declared it to be the prettiest cake in the world  .. ever.  I cut an extra large apologetic slice for my husband and the other mothers all marveled that the cake was still warm!


  1. Fantastic Vanessa, you are a wonder woman. Such a pretty cake and warm chocolate cake has got to be the best.

    Your pop up bakery sounds fascinating. Good Luck.

  2. The cake looks gorgeous and I bet it tasted even better. Last Friday I was asked to make a cake for a birthday party the next day. I fell asleep on Friday night, forgetting to bake the cake. I finished icing the cake at 11:30am on the Saturday and the party started at noon. Cake went down well though, I even blogged about it too LOL

  3. You know what - these are the kind of things that I am finding out about from my mom, having grown up thinking that she had intentionally served up warm luscious chocolate treats knowing how well they would go down! I'm sure she'll treasure the memory - don't you just feel like a superhero when you pull off something like that?!

  4. Honestly, I don't know how you do it - I would have dithered around too long so that the cake would never have come out of the oven or been decorated before the guests arrived. The cake is beautiful. I am so looking forward to reading about your bakery. Youngest daughter and I are hoping to start something after reading Rose Prince's article - having been pointed in the right direction from your earlier post on the subject - will have to brush up on our bread making skills first though.

  5. You are amazing - I am sure your daughter was absolutely telling the truth at it being the best cake ever.
    It looks wonderful - you are very adaptable. Looking forward to more tales from "the Bakery".

  6. Fantastic!

    I hope your bakery is going well. I used to visit the Prince family's bakery when I was in London at the weekends, and it is very good as I am sure yours is. It is such a great project for the whole family to work on!


  7. I just love this little story. It is an honest tale about the essence of motherhood; too much to do and not enough time! How wonderful that your daughter loved the cake. I'm not surprised as it is beautiful. Just goes to show that things do turn out alright in the end.

  8. The cake looks delicious!

    I can't wait to read more abour your "bakery" project.



  9. Brilliant! I want the recipe for that! I have to say I don't think I've been here before but all your cakes look fabulous. I am particularly eyeing up those pink macarons on your header!

  10. Brilliant! I want the recipe for that! I have to say I don't think I've been here before but all your cakes look fabulous. I am particularly eyeing up those pink macarons on your header!

  11. Well done! I'm so glad you didn't fall back on a ready made. I love being able to tell people that none of my children have ever had a shop bought birthday cake. I read about the bakery project, what a great idea, I envy your neighbours :-)

  12. What a lovely tale and it all ended happily wi a beautiful chocolate cake . Perfect ending! Hope the bakery is going well, if I lived near to you, I would be buying your goodies xx

  13. Warm chocolate cake and soo pretty. Your guests must have been very impressed. I'm surprised there was any left to photograph. GG

  14. That doesn't look like emergency chocolate to me. It's decadent and beautiful :)

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog!

  15. Love the idea of your pop up bakery - would love to know where you are so that we could sample your lovely sour dough.
    PS - Has CCC been dropped?
    PPS - Well done with the weight loss!

  16. Nice one! At least the cake turned out to be the prettiest one and they appreciate your efforts and that I think is worthwhile.


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