Aug 25, 2015

Down Time in My Home Town. The One Pot Chef's Chocolate Mud Cake.

The name of this store at Perth airport says it all.

Love ya, Perth.  It was only a four day weekend this time but, as always, I've returned to Sydney recharged, refocussed and reassured about practically everything going on in my world right now.  Down time in your home town with your family tends to do that to you.

The suspense must be killing you so I won't torture you any further.  The flights, I hear you ask, how did Toddler SSG (and I) survive the flights?  Much better, this time round, I'm delighted to say.

With his own seat on the plane and the chance to run to his heart's content in the lounge pre flight, Toddler SSG was a much calmer passenger than what he was 13 months ago.

I also stocked up on some flying favourites other mums had told me about.

Lollipops and Haribo Goldbears for the descent and Kinder Suprises (for the moments when $50 worth of Peppa and Wiggles downloads on your iPad have a snowball's chance of keeping your toddler in his seat) were part of my emergency pre flight shop at Coles before we left Sydney.

The Kids Fly Safe harness is so easy to install, I didn't even need to finish my morning cup of coffee as I read the instructions.

I also invested in a Kids Fly Safe safety harness which I purchases online from Little Gulliver.  The harness costs $109.95 AUD and takes the place of a car or booster seat that you'd otherwise have to lug onto the plane for your toddler's seat.  For convenience, ease of use and convenience in carrying it on board, I felt that $110 was a small price to pay.

All you need to do is slip the red strap over the back of the seat (wedge it under the person behind you's tray table) then loop the black straps over the existing straps on the seat.

It's all very easy to adjust, each part of the harness is well labelled and the instructions are sewn into the harness label.   Most airlines have endorsed the harness, you can check on the website for your carrier and I had no problems with the staff on both QANTAS flights we took this time round.  The only proviso is that you, as the person responsible for your child, are in charge of fitting the harness.  Attendants are unable to do so on your behalf.

Toddler SSG strapped in and wired for sound.

The Wiggles on QANTAS' in flight entertainment.  What more does a toddler need?
I also brought some books, blankie and this paint with water Thomas activity book which I found at Big W for $5.  Some favourite Matchbox cars and the toys from the Kinder Suprises rounded out Toddler SSG's legitimate in flight entertainment.  Running into business class during meal service doesn't quite count...

The weather was a bit bleak for our arrival but that didn't stop Toddler SSG from exploring mum and dad's new driveway.

I looked on from the recliner in the lounge room with a mug of tea and yet another domestic noir thriller that I'm planning to discuss in a future post.

There was the customary grocery run at the independent supermarket up the road that's been there since forever.

That's in the same shopping centre as the sandwich bar that's also been there since forever.

That still serves made from scratch baked goods and sandwiches without a drop of pesto or sun dried anything in sight.  Just the way you need things to be when you've come back home from across the country.

Saturday began with this spectacular sunrise on my foreshore run.

I found this pair of black swans on my second lap of the water.

A just opening cafe with the smell of coffee and baking pastry wafting out of the windows.  Just what you need on a morning run.

Which I did because I was waiting for the local cafe to open for the morning.

The suburb has a different energy early on Saturday mornings.  In place of the gliding sedans and rumbling surburban tractors 4 wheel drives, the streets glow softly with the red LED lights of cyclists' helmets and they whir with the precision chains and braking systems of expensive road racing bikes.  There's mutual respect between us the running or dog walking pedestrians and them the cyclists.  

The turning of the silver plate 'OPEN' sign brought me back from my dawndreaming as I faced the challenging task of trying to decide what I wanted for breakfast.

AFL on the front page.  Dorothy, you really are back home in Perth.

I was too early for the almond croissants, unfortunately, but I can't complain about my flaky plain croissant or my coffee which came with its own palmier.

Under the watchful eyes of the cafe's resident owls, I made my way home.

It wouldn't be a weekend in Perth without my baking along to a One Pot Chef recipe and this one is another keeper.

My bad - this video didn't quite make it into the post when it first went live so I've come back and added it in.  The post should make more sense now....

The recipe is incredibly easy but I like to write a list of the ingredients as I watch the video.

The springform tin lining was a bit rustic but it served its purpose well.

True to his name, the One Pot Chef's mud cake recipe only required that one pot to melt the chocolate and butter together and a mixing bowl and wooden spoon for everything else.

The top of my cake cracked a bit, I think the oven was too hot and the tin a little too small.  It didn't sink though.

I was cutting it fine for lunch at my Aunty's so I ended up having to freeze my cake to cool it down for the ganache frosting (also included in the video).

I carried on with the rustic them by decorating my cake with chunks of Cherry Ripe.

It was either the recipe or my freezing the cake after baking or both but I ended up with a seriously dense and moist chocolate mud cake.  The texture was also incredibly fine.  Despite the 2 cups of sugar in the cake, all you could taste was smooth, rich chocolate.  Both firsts for me in the world of mud cake baking.  The Cherry Ripe ended up being the perfect foil for the rich chocolate ganache which wasn't particularly sweet as I'd used 85% dark chocolate to make it.

The cake was such a success that I managed to get a friend of my Aunty's on to YouTube right after dessert so that she could watch the video.  She's planning on making the mud cake for her Melbourne Cup lunch.

After lunch and all that cake, there was not much else to do but kick back in the garden with a cup of tea.

Whilst Toddler SSG busied himself with his current favourite thing - laundry baskets on wheels and their accompanying buckets of pegs.

And before you know it, here I am, back in Sydney with a mountain of housework to get through as I continue my ongoing search for the nicest tasting supermarket sourced Teriyaki marinade.  It's going to be a busy few weeks for me as I get things organised for the move.  So I might be off the grid for a bit and only updating the blog infrequently.

Take care, stay well and I'll be back.


  1. Freezing chocolate baked goods whilst still warm ensures almost a fudge like texture. I do this with my brownies!

  2. Hope your move goes well! :)

    That cake looks delicious too, makes me crave a slice. Nothing as tasty here for afternoon tea I'm afraid, haha!

    I've recently had the joy of spending more time than usual in waiting rooms with a toddler and it's really freaking me out about flying with one....I was kind of amused and relieved to see that they can still get a bit of a run around to stretch their legs in the air, even if it is right into the business class cabin, oops! haha.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. So glad you got to go home for the comforts thereof. That cake does look good! Good luck in your organizing, and the upcoming move.

  4. That cake looks like a winner to me. I had an epic fail today with a batch of brownies but of course, in true Jade fashion they still ended up in my tummy!


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