Thursday, September 18, 2008

When life gives you smashed plates, make mosaics.

While searching for Egyptian recipes, Ella and I came across this recipe for Egyptian Chocolate Cake. It was ultimately rejected for more "authentic" recipes, but it sounded so good, I just had to make it later.

First combine 4 oz dark chocolate and 1/2 cup strong coffee in a small saucepan. Cook,stirring, over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.

Cream 1/2 cup softened butter and 1 cup sugar together in a mixing bowl (or a groovy original retro Sunbeam Mixmaster like mine. Don't ya love it. Thank you e-bay!) until they are light and fluffy.
Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla and the chocolate mixture.

Sift 1 3/4 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp ground cloves together.

Add dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 cup milk to the creamed mixture, beating well.

Pour batter into 2 greased and lined sandwich cake tins. Bake in a preheated 350 F/180 C oven for 30 mins or until done.

Cool cakes in pan for 10 mins, the flip them out to cool.

While you're waiting for this, make the yummy Cinnamon Whipped Cream Icing.

Mix 2 cups of whipping cream, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Beat until soft peaks form.

Put the cake together with some of the Cinnamon Cream in the middle and smother it all over the top and down the sides. Ooh, decadent. I also grated some dark chocolate over the top.

Of course I forgot to take a photo until it was half eaten.

See my pretty cake plate in the above picture. It was given to me for my engagement by my Oma and Opa with some matching saucers and cake forks. It was all the way from Holland.

Well, Ella, as she often does, (Mitch often finds his dark chocolate with rows of little teeth marks on it) was trying to sneak some cake and dropped the plate. Smash! It is now in 5 pieces.

I was very good and didn't yell at her, but maybe that was because there was someone at the back door buying eggs at the time and by the time he left, it had given me a few minutes to calm down. But maybe, it's also because I'm so used to things breaking in our house by now, that I'm not so precious about my things anymore. Sigh!

Well, I couldn't bear to throw the pieces in the bin, so I was contemplating glueing them together and hanging the plate on the wall, when it struck me. I'd found an old wooden tray at an op shop ages ago which I was going to mosaic with my friend Lisa (she was going to pretty up her bathroom mirror) but I couldn't decide which ones of my saucers I was going to smash for the honour. Problem solved!

I think it would be just about the right size, the pieces are fairly flat and I think it will look really pretty with the blue scallopy border bits around the edges. So I'll forgive you this time, Ella. And no, you can't have that piece of cake, after all.

And just quickly, I know this is a long post, I want to show you my picnic basket that I picked up at the markets this weekend. It was my weekend for saling but I was just to tired to go on Saturday. But this was waiting for me at the markets on Sunday so it was meant to be.

$15, which was a little more than I'd usually pay (I'm such a cheapskate) but it was in really good condition, and look, the lining matches my kitchen valance.

And it was just the right size to carry all my veges I had bought. And so much prettier than my green bags I usually use.


  1. Esther - thanks so much for coming by. When I first visited your site, I just knew I would like you and now hearing your comment...yep, even more. It sounds as if you have everything mastered and don't even need one of those coupons that we are talking about. WAlking to a market? My dream!! :)
    I loved this post...mosaics, it is.

  2. I love your saying with the plates and cute! That cake looks so good...I almost licked the screen! What a great post!

    -Sandy Toes


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Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.