I can't believe it is a year since I started writing this blog. It is my hope that you can tell how much I am really loving it, and for that I am indebted to my 12 yr old. About a year ago, we were all talking in the car about things that we would like to do at some point in our lives, and I mentioned that I would like to have a blog one day. Of course, I thought that I was discussing it in a completely theoretical way, and it was something I might tackle in 5 years or so (I really hate to rush). About half an hour later we were home, and she was calling out to me that she had set up the blog and what did I want to call it? So here we are.
To celebrate this milestone I would like to give one lucky winner a 1 year subscription to their choice of one of the following magazines:
- Vogue Entertaining and Travel
- Gourmet Traveller
- Donna Hay
Undoubtedly, we are spoiled in Australia with some very wonderful food mags - so here is your chance to add to your collection. All you have to do is tell me what you would cook for a milestone birthday. The most creative answer wins. This competition is open to both Australian and International readers - all these magazines do overseas delivery. To enter, just leave a comment on the end of this post (or any post before August 30th), or email me at email@example.com .
And now for the cake. No birthday would be complete without a cake, and this cake is especially rich and decadent. Perfect with coffee for adults, it is probably a little intense for kids. The recipe comes from last month's Vogue Enertaining and is simplicity itself. Just three ingredients: dark chocolate, cream and vanilla, and no baking. My only small quibble is that my cake cracked a little when I was cutting it - you definitely need to let it sit outside the fridge for a little while before you cut into it. Don't be greedy - a very very small slice is plenty.
Deep Chocolate Vanilla Torte
from Vogue Entertaining + Travel (June/July 09)
500g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
550 ml thickened cream
Scraped seeds of one vanilla bean
2 tsps vanilla extract
Grease an 18cm spring form tin, then line with cling wrap. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water. Stir occassionally until it has all melted.
Place 1/3 cup cream and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan over low heat until warm (not boiling) to infuse the cream with the vanilla flavour. Tip into a mixing bowl with the remaining cream and vanilla extract, and whisk to soft peaks. Stir in half the melted chocolate, then fold in the rest of the chocolate. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then smooth the top into waves.
Refrigerate overnight until firm. To serve, remove from the fridge about 30 mins before serving to soften slightly. Slice into small wedges and serve with cream.