One little hatchling after the next crept into my bedroom last night.
'Mama, the wind is too loud.,
'Mama, the sheep are looking at me.',
'Mama, I had a bad dream.',
'Mama, I think the ducklings are scared. You need to check on them.',
'Mama, I am thirsty.'
It was one of those nights.
Hatchling no4 woke up and told me, 'Rough night, I need my 'toffee (coffee).'
(I am not in the habit of giving hatchlings coffee. Frankly, I am not keen on anything caffeinated, for anyone shorter than I am.)
Hatchiling no1 had a better idea. 'I need cake, chocolate cake.'
'Okay, I guess.'
So here is our 4:30am, tired Mama, basic chocolate cake recipe.
Mood lifting Chocolate cake
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tbs plain cake flour, sifted
3/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
4 tbs cocoa powder
75g melted dark chocolate
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
1. Place the chocolate, broken into pieces, in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt.
2. Beat the egg whites until peaks begin to form, and then add 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to beat egg whites until stiff.
3. Sift remaining sugar, flour, soda, salt and cocoa into another bowl. Add oil and half buttermilk. Beat 1 minute until combined. Add remaining buttermilk, egg yolks, and melted chocolate. Beat until smooth.
4. Fold in the egg white mixture. Don't worry about perfectly combining them it will be delicious.
5. Pour either in to one large cake pan, or fill 18 muffin cups. Bake at 180C for 35 - 40 minutes for large cake, 20 - 25 for cup cakes. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted comes away clean.
Set to cool on wire rack.
I suppose I should mention the icing. Use your favourite cream cheese icing or here is ours
Cream cheese icing
4 onz butter
4 onz cream cheese
2 onz icing sugar
1 tsp of good quality vanilla
Beat until smooth and you want to eat the entire bowl full with a spoon.
Then we topped them with cherries, because that seemed like a good idea, if you are going to eat cake before 6am. (Getting some fruit in there, or whatever our excuse is.)
Serve with 'toffee for mamas, and hot chocolate for hatchlings.