How to make the best chocolate cake in the world without selling your kids on eBay

This really, really is the best chocolate cake in the world. So much so, it’s worth going through the drama of baking with kids, just to eat it.

  1. Announce that today’s activity is baking, then bask in the shrieks of joy and pronouncements that you’re the best mum ever.
  2. Tell them nobody is baking unless they’re fully dressed, have washed hands, and tied back hair.
  3. Remind them over and over of above minimum hygiene standards.
  4. Lower the standards to clean hands and tied back hair – pyjamas are fine.
  5. Start putting aprons on people.
  6. Referee arguments, because all aprons are not created equal.
  7. Start measuring out ingredients while they’re distracted arguing over aprons, because it’s easier than letting them do it. You can totally let them do everything else…

baking - office mum

Speaking of which, the ingredients are:

  • 240g butter
  • 270g dark chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • 250g sugar
  • 120g ground almonds

(recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake from itsa Cookbook by Domini Kemp – best chocolate cake we’ve ever made by a country mile)

  1. Put the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, to melt slowly.
  2. Put one child on melting duty – this means standing there watching the chocolate and butter melt, giving it the odd stir, but in my house, this keeps a four-year-old entertained for about twenty minutes.
  3. Put another child on egg separating duty – go for most sensible child, as you don’t want anyone tipping the yolks in with the whites just for fun (I know a four-year-old who does this).
  4. If like me you have a third child, she may well be complaining at this point that she has nothing to do. In fact most of the baking time in our house is spent placating people who feel they’re not getting their fair share of tasks. It’s hard to find three equally interesting things that need doing simultaneously – especially when glamorous jobs like whisking with the electric mixer are up for grabs. Anyway, the third child could butter and flour the cake tin: rub butter all around the base and sides, then tip in a tablespoon of flour and swish it around until it covers all of the surface of the tin, then tip out the excess.
  5. flourless chocolate cake - office mumTell the child watching the melting chocolate to stop eating it.
  6. Help the egg separator if she need it, then take the six egg yolks and tip them into the sugar.
  7. Let each child in turn whisk the eggs and sugar together, making sure they feel they’ve had equal time at the helm.
  8. Break up any ensuing arguments about time spent at the helm.
  9. Choose whichever child is most upset about the whisking, and let them tip the melted chocolate and butter mix into the egg yolk and sugar mix.
  10. Fold in the ground almonds.
  11. 20160219_131639Let each child stir the mix – you can’t overdo this, so it’s a good way to let them all feel needed.
  12. Tell them to stop eating the mix.
  13. Get somebody to wash the beaters. Surprisingly, unlike whisking, this is not seen as a glamorous job.
  14. Try not to get cross when everyone complains that they’ve no job to do.
  15. Get cross.
  16. Threaten to never bake again.
  17. Promise to bake again, because now some of them are crying.
  18. Break up a fight over who gets to whisk the egg whites.
  19. Tell them the egg whites have to rest for while before anyone can whisk them.
  20. Tell them that in fact there’s nothing left to do at all for now, and announce that it’s TV time even though it’s only 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
  21. Quietly whisk the egg whites while they’re watching TV, enjoying the peace.
  22. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  23. Put the cake in the oven for 40 minutes and have a cup of tea.
  24. Go on – they’re still watching TV – have another cup of tea. And if you leave them a bit longer, you can be cake-taster too – enjoy.

flourless chocolate cake - office mum


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5 thoughts on “How to make the best chocolate cake in the world without selling your kids on eBay”

    1. I spend most of my time saying “Guys! It’s OK if you’re not doing something at the same time as everyone else” while they look hurt because they had four seconds when they weren’t heavily involved in something. But still, when there’s cake at the end of it…

  1. Oh,ha ha, I empathised with each and every line. The aprons! Whisking! Whinging!! Sometimes I announce “we” will bake and before I’ve finished the sentence I’m mentally drop-kicking myself for being so masochistic. But that cake…. Mmmm, might have to try that tomorrow. For scientific testing purposes of course 😉
    Emily recently posted…1916 Sackville Street Art ProjectMy Profile

    1. I know! Oh I know that feeling of the words being out of the mouth and it’s too late to gobble them back in… you should try the cake, it’s amazing. I’m a huge fan of anything made with ground almonds – delicious.

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