The Plain-Cake Appreciation Society {edition 15}, Burnt-butter Sheet Cake with Blackberry Buttercream.

Years ago, when I ran a cake stall at the Bondi Farmers’ Market, double chocolate brownies were my best seller. I would make trays and trays of them on Friday night and inevitably wish I had made one more tray when they sold out early the next morning.

Welcome to this week’s meeting of ‘The Plain-Cake Appreciation Society’. It seems only fitting that this week I give you a chocolate offering – the proximity to Easter and the weather positively demand it – and who am I to stand in the way of chocolate cake?

Our lime and lemon trees are laden with fruit at the moment. This is making me feel quite smug – as I can duck out to the courtyard and pluck a few juicy limes or lemons whenever the fancy strikes. O is making the most of it, managing to consume her own weight in fresh lemonade most days, and Kip is not adverse to eating them straight from the tree…

In an inverse relationship to their size, small cakes hold a big place in my heart. For me, there is just something immensely likeable about them. Maybe it has something to do with nostalgia and the fact that they so easily transport you back to childhood – when the ultimate treat was a cupcake with pink icing, or better yet, a butterfly cake – or maybe it is that being small in size you feel less guilty about eating them and can therefore eat them without constraint…

I love the distraction of a celebration, and in the current circumstances that’s even more welcome – so whilst most people are still recovering from the sugar-high and excitement that is Easter, we are gearing up for another Easter celebration tomorrow (involving red boiled eggs and bread, not chocolate, thankfully).

Chocolate pots and soggy roses….
If this doesn’t sound like the ultimate Valentine’s Day to you, then I’m not sure we can be friends. Ha! Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a fan of the ‘grand-gesture’ as the next person, but sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most, isn’t it? Like cheat’s-chocolate-mousse and soggy garden roses.

‘And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If this rain doesn’t stop.”‘

As I sat with the rain drumming on the roof, gutters over-flowing and big fat drops splattering the windows, this John O’Brien poem kept running loops in my head.

I’m saying this in a quiet voice because I don’t want to alarm anyone (and because I’m equal parts excited and nervous!), but my online shop is now open! Introducing In Bloom, a collection of luxurious table linens featuring original photographic prints, designed and handmade in the Blue Mountains …

Those of you who know me will be familiar with my belief in the restorative qualities of cake. Most milestones or problems in our house are met with the making of some kind of baked-good. Sad…? You need cake. Happy? A celebration cake. Sick…? Plain cake and a rest. Tired? Cake and tea. Heartbroken…? Chocolate cake, big slice.