Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chocolate Guiness Cake

The Snickerdoodles I made for my supervisor on Monday worked a treat. I have until next week to hand my next chapter in and all is well in the world. I am thinking now about the exceptions to my idea of how important family was in times of war, that is how war tore families apart both in terms of time and distance as well as finical considerations. I have to be careful not to get too sentimental, which is hard as the sources I have thus far are lovely and beautiful. I am also a big softy and will look for the sentimentality in almost anything.

Of course today, instead of working solidly, I was planning and cooking a dinner party for some work colleagues of my Dad's. I was working from Nigella Lawson's Feast and her "Italianified Supper for 6". It all turned out well, the involtini (eggplant stuffed with mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, mint, parsley, pine nuts, raisins and lemon zest, baked in Nepolitana sauce) was lovely and the Baci Di Ricotta (ricotta and cinnamon balls) were amazing. I also made, and was very pleased with, the chocolate Guinness cake to go with coffee. It was gorgeous and moist and the cream cheese icing did very well on top. It is also from Feast and I would rate it amongst the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. It was almost mud cake like in moisture and density but without the over powering sweetness and stickiness that many mud's can have.


Foodycat said...

I love your cake plate! Were your dad's colleagues on board with a vegetarian menu?

HH said...

Thanks! I have some matching cups too.
I wasn't sure if they were vegetarian or not, as they were invited over the smells of my vegetarian lasanga being heated up at work, and Dad couldn't tell me either way. But they really liked it, and one of the ladies was actually a fussy meat eater, so it was good. The Eggplant and richness of the sauce in the involtini meant that you didn't miss the meat.

Jacki said...


I do know what you mean about feeling very emotional about war time experiences. Completely different era- but in aged care settings there can be lots of music, reminiscence etc focussed on war (mainly WWI and WWII). I used to get completely overwhelmed with the losses and fear that were related. However, lots of my clients refer to the war years as one of the the best times in their lives. Something about community mindedness and prioritising the very important things I think.

mscrankypants said...

I like cake.

Re war: I was talking to a local woman whose mother's brother died on HMAS Sydney. She was apparently fine until TV footage of the wreck was shown recently and she's now experiencing what sounds like post-traumatic stress. I was nearly in tears talking to her daughter. So much happened that we can't imagine today.

Jacki said...

Very sad Ms C. We are only recognising PTSD lately but I think it has always been related to all wars. For those in combat and those dealing with the after effects :(
Miss J, I don't suppose you have any cake left that you could send my way!

SSS said...

Cake. I want cake.

Foodycat said...

Isn't PTSD what they used to call shellshock? So pleased apologies are being given to the British soldiers who were shot for deserting - many of whom must have been suffering PTSD.

HH said...

I would have sent you some Jacki, in fact I would have sent you all some, but those fat couriers cannot be trusted!

Those are very moving stories mscrankypants and Jacki. It is just terrible to imagine what people had to go through, though I can understand about it being one of the best experiences too, on some levels of course.

I think it is shell shock foodycat, that is a good step to apologise to them. Though like so many mental illness' it was and still is misunderstood. I think I will have to try and source some more soldier/sailor diaries and letters to see if I can find out about 'shell shock' at the time, though they would have had even less of a concept or understanding of it than in WWI and WWII. The fact that 'my' people are beyond living memory I think distances them from the immediacy and horror that surrounds more recent conflicts. Though some of the stories I have read are harrowing despite not being on the same scale as more technologically advanced wars. Hopefully I can bring across a sense of the experience and emotion of war.