Hummingbird Cake (Ross’s special cake)

This is one of those recipes which can be played with, adjusted and will always work out. I’ve m20150308_174948~2_resizedade several versions of it. This recipe below is Ross’s original, which he found in a cuisine magazine and then adjusted.

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 can crushed pineapple – mostly drained
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups salad oil (Ross does not like the taste of Rice Bran in the cake, but I don’t mind)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil and stir until moist. Do Not Beat! Stir in vanilla, walnuts, pineapple and coconut. Bake at 350 F or 180C.

Ice with cream cheese frosting: 125g cream cheese, 250g icing sugar, 90g butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, juice of 1/2 lemon juice.

Variations: I make this with half wholemeal flour and half plain. I have completely left out the walnuts and replaced them with raisins and also with dates. I’ve used hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Pumpkin seeds work too. I’ve used much more spice sometimes and added ground cloves and ginger.

Sophie’s Surprises (Ginger scented truffles)

This is another of Mum’s truffle recipes, see the post below for more, oh and the one below that!  These are truffles for your more mature audience.  The ginger makes a big statement.  A big christmassy statement!  I love em!

Double the lot I think.  And not just for Christmas, these are great with coffee and would be lovely after dinner.

1/2 packet of gingernuts, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/2 cup coconut, 150g cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of sherry (or green ginger wine), 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 100g preserved ginger, 150g of good dark chocolate (Whitakers if you live in NZ please)

Crush the biscuits in the food processor, add the icing sugar and whizz again.  Pour into a bowl and add the coconut, cream cheese, sherry and the ground ginger.  Wet your hands and roll the mixture into small balls and put into the fridge until they are firm.  Roll the balls in the melted chocolate and set on baking paper.


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Toffee Pop Truffles

As with the previous recipe these form part of the traditional Christmas repertoire for the Schaumann household.  My Mum has been making them for years and now we are all making them.  They are change your life good.  You can only eat them in moderation because they are frighteningly rich.  Although it should be said that the Aitchison children (some or all) have been known to clean up an entire batch of them when their poor benighted mother was out of the house buying their presents!

You can make minty ones (my fave) by using mint slices instead of toffee pops and rolling them in chocolate.

2 packets of Toffee Pops, crushed to fine crumbs in the food processor

125g cream cheese

1/2 cup of icing sugar

1/4 cup sieved cocoa to roll

Beat the cream cheese until soft, then blend in the biscuit crumbs and sifted icing sugar.  Chill the mixture until it is firm enough to roll, then form it into small balls, rolling each ball in cocoa to coat.  Store chilled.  These could also be rolled in chocolate of whatever kind you like.


Peanut Crunch

One of my all time favourites, this is just delicious.  The photo isn’t the best.  What this makes is a peanut full slice which just barely clings together with the mixture.  It will be slightly different each time you make it.  Not really sure why.  The icing is really a crowning glory.  It’s fudgey and caramelish and just goes so well with the base.  Everyone I make this for loves it, and seriously, it takes 10 minutes to throw together, if that.


150g butter, ½ cup sugar, 1 desertspoon golden syrup, 1 cup peanuts, 1 cup flour, ½ tsp baking powder, 1 cup rice bubbles


Preheat oven to 180 degreesC.  Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup over a low heat.  Chop peanuts in a food processor.  Mix flour, baking powder and rice bubbles together.  Mix everything together and place in slice tin which has been lined with baking paper.  Bake until golden, approximately 15 min.


Make the icing while it is cooking with  100g butter, 150g icing sugar, 1 tblsp golden syrup.  Melt butter and golden syrup, stir in vanilla and icing sugar and pour over the base while it is still hot.  Cut when cool into long thin pieces.

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Sinful Citrus Slice

Well this is certainly not good for you.  But there are times when vast quantities of ‘not good for you’ slice is required.  One of those times is when you have to say goodbye to a beloved.  Raisin has died.  It is tragic.  He was deeply loved by all the Schaumann Smith Aitchisons brigade and we all miss him horribly.  A very good cat.  12 years of excellent catness.  Anyway in times of deep abiding sadness one should eat something comforting.  This slice is comforting.

Raisin, in his last days

Read all the recipe first – you might want to revise your quantities in accordance with the notes at the bottom.


1 packet of superwine biscuits (I use malt biscuits), 1 cup coconut, 100g butter melted, 1/2 can condensed milk, zest of a lemon.

Crush the biscuits and add everything.  Press into a slice tin lined with baking paper.  Makes basic slice.  But wait there is more.

To make it stupendous!  Crush up 1 block of Whittakers white chocolate and macadamia chocolate, add to the rest of the ingredients which you have doubled.  Seriously you can’t go back after you’ve made it with the chocolate.  It just becomes totally amazing.

Ice with icing made with icing sugar, butter, zest of orange, lemon and juice from them.  In my opinion it only needs a skiff of icing.  The photo below shows it with too much icing, it becomes a bit sickly if you have too much on there.

Gingerbread – winning warming flavour

A big slice of this is currently waiting on a plate beside me as I type.  It’s great stuff, the spicy flavour is just what you need on a wintery night.  I double this recipe, make two loaves and freeze one.  Perfect when your sister comes to visit, just like today, and you can whip the frozen one out and warm it though in the microwave, cut into thick wodges and slather with butter (or have with blue cheese if you like too, dried fruit is good, cream cheese – gingerbread goes with heaps of things).  If you wanted you could add some crystallised ginger to the mixture for extra spiciness. 

150g butter, 1 cup low fat milk, 1 cup golden syrup (or half golden syrup and half treacle), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp baking soda, 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 tsps ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves

Melt the butter, milk, golden syrup (and treacle), and brown sugar in the microwave.  Stir until all mixed together.  Heat until it is all bubbling hot.  While it is heating sive all the dry ingredients into a bowl with the exception of the baking soda. Take off the heat and then stir in the baking soda (it goes irritatingly lumpy so give it a decent beating).  When it is fizzing stir into the dry ingredients.  Mix until smooth.  Pour into loaf tins and bake at 180 degrees C until the sides shrink away from the sides and the centre is firm and springy.  Don’t tip it from the tin immediately, leave in for a good ten minutes and then tip  onto a wire rack.

Cinnamon Oysters – go on just try them

A childhood favourite, I remember these as being very special occasion goodies. Recently we were going through the house of a very elderly lady recently on a house hunting expedition, and there they were in the garage sale going on outside, cinnamon oyster tins. The lovely lady selling them game them to us because they were about all that was left of the treasures and I was thrilled and delighted. Now that I have whipped up a batch of these and realised how incredibly quick they are to make, and how much people love eating them they are going to be made regularly.  Light, fluffy, a little air filled morsel with yummy cream filling.  Ooooohhhhhh.

2 eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 6 tblsp golden syrup, 6 tablespoons of plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, whipped cream to fill them sweetened with a little vanilla and icing sugar.

Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add golden syrup and beat well, Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger together.  Fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.  Spoon small amounts of mixture into greased sponge oyster or finger tins.  Bake at 200 degrees C for 10 to 12 minutes or until the surface springs back when lightly touched.  When they are cold cut the oysters open with a sharp knife and fill up with whipped cream, dust with sieved icing sugar.

This is basically the Edmonds Cookbook recipe with more cinnamon in it.


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Ginger Biscuits – so easy!

This ancient recipe has been around since well before my kids were mixing up biscuits in the school holidays, turning the kitchen into a floury, sticky mess, but this is one of the recipes we used to make together.  They are perfect for the beginning baker, melt, mix and cook.  The measurements are in old measurements on my original recipe so I have changed them to metric measurements.  Eat lots of them with big mugs of milky tea!  Tip: Castor sugar will mix in better than ordinary sugar, but it doesn’t really matter much in the end.

Morning Tea on a rainy summer day

Melt together, mix, then cool a little:  125g butter, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup, 1 cup of sugar.

Add:  1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 3 teaspoons of ground ginger, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, you can add some chopped chrystalised ginger if you like a stronger ginger taste.

Roll into balls, do not flatten.  Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden.

Lime and White Chocolate Brownie

This recipe started life as my friend Carole’s chocolate brownie.  You might notice that the photo below of my version bears little resemblance to a chocolate brownie, I felt like a brownie, I only had white chocolate buttons and I happened to have a lime begging to be used, so voila Lime and white chocolate brownie was born.  It has a lovely soft centre and chewy edges. Yum!

This would make a great desert with yoghurt to cut through the sweetness or even some rhubarb.  We however ate it as the consolation prize for a very disappointing first course most of which ended up in the bin!  This saved the day!

Melt these together gently: 100g butter, 1/2 cup of white chocolate buttons.

Whisk in: 2 eggs, grated rind of a lime and it’s juice and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Stir in: 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup flour.

Pour into: a tin lined with baking paper.

Bake at: 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.

White Cake

On Sunday I turned 50.  There, I wrote it.  Hard to believe I’m so extremely old, anyway when you are this old you can choose your own birthday cake.  I chose a White Cake.  I’ve made it before, for a friend’s birthday and I always remembered how gorgeous it was.  I had found the recipe in a Taste Magazine and then lost it.  Then, the other day hunting through some papers for something else I found it.  It has taken me an age to find it online anywhere now so I am posting it here in case I lose it again.  It is the most wondrous cake!

This cake is moist with the subtle flavour of almond and vanilla.  The chopped up almonds give it a bit of body and crunch which makes it really unusual.  It is a big celebration cake and while this recipe is for two cakes, you could make one big one.

The cake: 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, 250g butter, 1tsp vanilla, 2 and 1/4 cups self-raising flour, 1tsp baking powder, 300ml milk, 1 cup finely chopped almonds (blanched), 6 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks

Cream the sugar, butter and vanilla.  Sift together the flour and baking powder, three times. Yes three times.  It is traditional and important.  Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternatively with the milk and then stir in the almonds.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  Pour into two greased and floured cake tins, and bake at 190 degrees C for 30 minutes.  Insert a skewer into the cake to test whether it is cooked.

Icing:  60g butter, 250g cream cheese, 3 cups icing sugar, vanilla or lemon juice.  To make the icing, cream the butter and the cream cheese.  Add the icing sugar and vanilla or lemon juice to taste.

To assemble:  sandwich the 2 cakes together with some of the icing. Cover the top and sides with icing, smooth and chill.

From Taste magazine, August 2006

Oaty Chocolate Chip biscuits

I make these a lot, I play with the recipe and add such morsels as dried apricots, raisins, dried apple, I sometimes put only white chocolate chips, sometimes a mix of white and dark chocolate chips.  These are old fashioned measurements you can probably figure out the metric measurements or just basically make them up as you go along.

I often make these to take somewhere as a plate and always double the recipe if I’m doing that.

1/2 a cup of butter, 1/2 a cup of castor sugar (ordinary is also fine), 1/2 a cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp vanilla (I always use more), 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup rolled oats (be generous), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 cup chocolate chips.  Optional is 1/2 to 1 cup rice bubbles – I like the crunch and the extra texture and nuts are good too.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and beat well.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, rolled oats, salt, baking powder, soda and chocolate chips.  Add these to the butter mixture.  Place in balls (wetish hands are best for rolling them cos they are mightily sticky) on a baking tray leaving plenty of room for spreading.  Bake at 180 degrees C for about 8 minutes or until golden and let them cool a little on the tray so that they aren’t so bendy.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Eat rather a lot of them with a great coffee or a cup of gumboot tea.



Super Duper Louise Cake

Louise Cake is one of the good things in life, but it must be admitted there is louise cake, and then there is that other thing the Super Duper Louise Cake.  The difference is that to make it super duper it needs real raspberries in it, and shredded coconut not just your common or garden desiccated coconut.  This one is all luscious and drippy and you probably need a plate to eat it – no you really do need a plate to eat it.  You could serve it for desert or for afternoon tea with friends, or you could have it for breakfast which is totally acceptable with goodies of this calibre.

It is going to be messy (see above) and crumbly and oh god would you just make it please.

The recipe comes from a great book from Taste Magazine called Taste Favourites.

Ready in 15 min (Isn’t that good!)

So messy - So yummy!


125g butter, 4tblsp caster sugar, 4 eggs separated, 1 and 3/4 cups of flour, 1 and 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and light.  Beat in the yolks one at a time.  Sift flour and baking powder together and add to butter mixture in three batches.  When mixture becomes too dry to combine turn it out onto a clean work surface and gently knead it together with your hands (add a little bit of water if it doesn’t come together).  Press it evenly into the bottom of a 19cm x 28 cm baking tray neatly lined with baking paper.

Spread the jam over the base and then place the raspberries over the top as well – I always add more than the recipe says.

Beat the egg whites in an a large clean bowl until stiff peaks form.  Using a large metal spoon gently  – really gently – fold in the sugar and coconut in several batches until just combined.  Gently spread this meringue mix over the raspberries.

Bake at 180 degrees C for 40 min until the meringue is light but firm to the touch – you may need to loosely cover it with foil after about 25 min cooking time if the top is already browning.  Cool on a rack and Cut into squares to serve.

Feijoa Cake

This is moist and yummy.  Only for those who really like feijoas of course, but if you like them you really like them.  The season is so incredibly short and they go off really quickly, so best get them inside you quickly!

Credit for the recipe goes to the lovely Michael.  He is in Year 11 at school and this is his Mum Alison’s recipe.  Michael gave me a piece of this cake one morning because he is a kind hearted young man and I have been dying to make it ever since.  I can thoroughly recommend it.  it certainly went down a treat at Bookclub last night.  The recipe originally comes from somewhere called Top of the dome, but I don’t know where that is.

300g self-raising flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnnamon

Photo from

1/2 tsp salt

250g demerara (or brown) sugar

125g butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

175ml milk

250g feijoas, peeled and chopped

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Line your cake tin with baking paper and grease lightly.  Works in round or square but it is quite a big cake.

Sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar and you can put in some raisins or cranberries at this point in you want (I don’t want)

In a separate bowl mix the butter, eggs, milk and feijoas and mix until smooth.  Combine the two mixtures and pour into the cake tin.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the cake is springy in the middle when you give it a little poke with your finger.  Take out of the oven and let it stand in the tin for a good 5 minutes.  Then, when coolish tip it out and put onto a wire rack to cool.  Serve it warm as a desert with cream or yoghurt.  Yum.

Pear Ginger Muffins

Autumn means pears!  Lovely juicy and dripping with sweetness.  I love pears.  So I made up this muffin recipe, well I should probably say I adapted a muffin recipe lurking in my folder.  I have always loved the combination of pears and ginger, I remember going to my grandmothers place when she had made pear ginger jam and thinking she was incredibly clever to have made something so lovely.  Must find out if an aunty has the recipe actually.  Here is a quick easy way to use up the pears which are getting overripe in the fruit bowl.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger (more if you like)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 small pears, peeled and chopped finely
1 egg
1/2 cup yoghurt, plain (or use milk if you must)
1/2 cup butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl

Mix together egg, yoghurt, vanilla and melted butter, add the chopped pear.  Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix or your muffins will get all peaky and tough and holey!  Put into greased muffin tin or in my case little loaves tin.

I think you could add walnuts if you wanted a little bit of extra crunch or crystallised ginger if you want a bit of extra bite.

Chocolate Yum Yums

Look, I have a functioning kitchen and can bake again.

These are the best things.  They have the crunchy deep chocolateness of an afghan but are lighter (there is a lot less butter in these than an afghan) and have a good crunch.   You can choose whether to ice them or not, and of course if you do it is compulsory that there is half a walnut on the top or a little sprinkle of coconut if you would like.  I don’t ice them, I prefer them to be less sweet – out of character for me but I like these ones simple and plain.

I’ve had this recipe for years, I suspect it came from a friend in Alexandra.  The paper it is written on it all covered in baking spills, therefore guaranteeing it’s goodness!

Chocolate Yum Yums

180g butter, softened

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups self raising flour (sifted)

1 tablespoon cocoa, (sifted)

1/3 cup cornflakes

1 tablespoon coconut

a little slosh of milk

Preheat the oven to sloy (160 degrees C) Line two trays with baking paper.  Beat butter and sugar with electric beater until butter is pale and creamy (or use your big strong beating arms)  Add vanilla and beat for another minute.

Mix in the flour, cocoa, cornflakes and coconut.  Add a slosh of milk but not enough to make it too wet.  Roll into balls.  Place well apart on trays and bake for 20 – 25 min.  Allow to cool on the trays and then transfer to a wire rack for the final cooling.  Ice them with chocolate icing and a walnut or a sprinkle of coconut if you wish, or leave un-iced and eat em.

Kitchen news!

The photos are coming, and the oven will work tomorrow. Then there will be cooking, baking, grilling and stirring going on. Happy days!

A month and a half without a kitchen means I have yearnings to be cooking. The builder and project manager have been awesome and photos will be posted – but not till it is finished so that everyone can have the full before and after experience.

Now back to the painting!

Rhubarb and date cake

First rhubarb harvest of the season and I have a bumper early crop.  You have to keep on harvesting to keep it cropping.  The first stalks are always the best coloured and such a joy to use.  Rhubarb is so Mumsy and Grandmumsy and while round here the ultimate cool evening treat is a Rhubarb Crumble this cake recipe is great to make because it is easy, requires no concentration and you can eat it on a sunny spring day not just cool wintery nights.

This recipe is a really easy and comes from a fantastic book which was put out last year by Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Wellington.  My friend Rosalba sent me a copy which has been used and used in my kitchen and is looking rather stained and well loved.  That is really the ultimate compliment for a cookbook, you can judge my good cookbooks by the stains.  I make the recipe slightly differently from the instructions in the book, using my food processor to mix the butter into the flour, but you don’t have to.  It makes a moist cake – pudding style, and is totally delicious.  The standing time is important to firm it up, don’t rush it even though the smell will be tempting you to hurry it along.

I think on a cooler night this would be fantastic with custard or yoghurt, but it is warm at the moment and so I served it just by itself in big generous slices.  It was all gobbled up in about 10 minutes by the four of us.  The ultimate sign of a great cake!

170g self-raising flour, 100g margarine (I always use butter), 120g caster sugar, 250g rhubarb (approx 6), 120g chopped dates, 1 large egg, about 4tblsp milk

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C  and Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

Sift flour, add margarine (or butter) chopped into small pieces. Rub in until evenly distributed (or blitz in food processor), then stir in the sugar.  Wipe and cut rhubarb into small cubes then add to flour, add the dates with milk together and stir into other ingredients.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and gorgeous.  Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool.  Freezes well.

Melting moments – meltingly good

I love melting moments.  It is simply as simple as that.  They are yum in a bun!  Yet certainly not a bun!  However this love of melting moments is not all encompassing.  There are melting moments and melting moments.  Quality control is key to the melting moment.

  • Dry – is not allowed.
  • Flat and skinny – is not allowed (no one who truly loves melting moments is either flat or skinny it must be said)
  • Too much butter (unbelievable but there is such a thing)
  • Not enough icing in the middle is a crime against the melting moment.  Squishy icing is bad too!  It should be nice hard and thick icing.
  • Too brown is just wrong – don’t look too closely at the photo
  • Too dense – the ‘mouth feel’ will be dry like that peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth thing.  Bleugh!
  • Too dry – see above.

So, all in all it is a tricky thing the melting moment, but I think you should try this recipe.  It comes from something called Cafe Cafe.  No idea who wrote it or where it came from but that is the name on the photocopied page.  I’ve had it for at least 10 years and the recipe works every time gorgeously.  It is attributed to Joan Campbell in the book.  Another point:  you can make ’em tiny, you can make ’em huge but make lots, they disappear in a very short time.

I always double this recipe!  Turn oven to 160 C.

250g butter, 4tblsp icing sugar, 4tblsp cornflour, 1 + 1/2 cups of plain flour

Beat the butter and icing sugar together and then gradually beat in the cornflour and flour.  Mix well.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to a 1 cm thickness.  Cut into rounds and place on a non-stick baking tray, making a small indent with the flat of a fork on each biscuit.  Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden and firm.

The icing:  1 1/2 cup icing sugar, 2 tblsp butter – softened, 1 tblsp vanilla (oh yes really!) Make in the usual way and use it to sandwich two biscuits together.  Or one of any of these are allowed:  a grating of lemon or orange zest.  a squirt of lime juice, passionfruit pulp added to the mix.

I really think you want a nice tart icing, to contrast and cut through the butteryness of the moments as they melt in your mouth.

Go on – you know you want to make them!

Herb and Cheese Mini Muffins

Tiny tasty morsels

This recipe started with one of Alison Holst Marvelous Muffins recipes, but I found them to be a bit dry, so I added some more liquid in the form of yogurt.  I’ve made hundreds of these in lots of variations over the years but I particularly like them with mountains of parsley and celery tops and chives.  Don’t make the mixture too wet or you will end up with a soggy mess, but too dry is equally bad. Add more, or different types of cheese if you want.  Putting a grate of cheese on top is an excellent choice too.

I always double this recipe and freeze those that I don’t need.  They are great with cream cheese style dips or little pieces of brie cheese stuck in the top, but actually hot out of the oven is pretty jolly fine too.

1 cup flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1 cup of a mix of grated tasty cheese and Parmesan, 1/2 cup of parsley chopped, 1 tblsp fresh chopped herbs, 1 spring onion chopped, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, pinch of smoked paprika or chilli flakes.

1 egg, 1/2 cup plus 2tblsp milk, 2 tblsp plain yoghurt (you can leave it out but it is better in)

Put the first 9 ingredients into a bowl.  Toss well to mix.  In another bowl beat the egg and the milk and yoghurt together with a fork.

Tip the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together.  Do not mix any more than is necessary, less is more.  Spoon the mixture into greased/sprayed mini muffin tins and bake at 200 degrees C until they are golden brown on top.

Chocolate Coffee Cake (Mrs Harbrow)

We have a bookclub at school called the BookGang.  Part of the deal is that the boys take turns to bring the cake, oh the crumbly mess we make!  Chris bought cake that he and his Mum made and it was downright delicious.  I put the recipe on the school blog a while ago but thought I’d re-post it here for the family folk.  It is all my favorite things, rich, dense and delicious and very easy to make.

Mrs Harbrow’s Large Chocolate Coffee Cake
1 3/4 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder (or 2 cups of self-raising flour), 3/4 cup cocoa (depending on how rich you want it, sometimes 1/2 a cup is enough), 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup strong coffee (aprox 3 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup water), 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup oil.

Mix everything together in a bowl and blend on medium/high speed for 3 minutes.  Bake in oven at 180 degrees for approximately 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.  (Best to check after 1 hour and make a judgement call on how much longer)  Ice with chocolate or coffee or chocolate and coffee icing!