Wednesday, January 31, 2007

True Australia, True Australian Chocolate

In March, I'll be relocating from Melbourne to New York. I've already started the journey--I've packed my bags, boxed up my files, and traveled the first 1,600 miles from geologically-inactive Australia to the volcanic country of New Zealand. My next stop is the great chocolate city of San Francisco, and then I'll cross the country to my hometown, settling into an American life for the first time in three years.

I spent my last weeks in Australia in the deep, empty, hot, dry land of the Northern Territory, where you can't find another town within five hours of Alice Springs. I slept outside under the Southern Cross, watched the unfathomable once-yearly rain fall over Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and flood the dry Todd River, found wild horses and wild camels on dirt roads, and remembered how much openness I want in my life.

My escape to the desert left too little time for goodbyes, too little time for writing, and too little time for chocolate. But I found an hour on a cool and quiet evening before I left to make the Classic Chocolate Cake recipe given to me by Sam Madell, one of the owners of Australia's inspiring sustainable chocolate company Tava. The unadulterated, authentic flavor made a wonderful parting gift.

Classic Chocolate Cake
This cake is moist and tasty, with a beautiful soft, velvety texture.
To make 24 mini cupcakes instead of a loaf cake, use a half quantity of batter, and bake cupcakes at 180C for 20-30 minutes.
100g unsweetened chocolate, melted
250g butter
400g (1 3/4 cups) sugar
2 eggs
200g (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 190C
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
Beat in the melted chocolate.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
Gradually add the remaining ingredients to the batter, alternating between the flour and the water.
After each addition of flour or water, stir until thoroughly combined.
Bake in a greased loaf tin at 190C for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for a further 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Chocolate in a Greater Context:
Chocolate in Context was profiled in the premiere Blog Feed column, part of the new Portland-based online food magazine Culinate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like an amazing journey. I can't wait to hear all about it when you finally return home.

7:49 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Squishy said...

New York is my favourite city in America. I hope you enjoy being at home again and don't miss us Aussies to much.

10:17 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chocolate cake looks amazing, I'll have to try it!

10:02 PM GMT-5  

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