There’s a link to the Henry’s Quick Chocolate cake recipe here.
Maureen: OK. Here’s a departure from our usual roast chicken. My never-fail-lemon-roast-chicken is a combination of methods from Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver and Patricia Wells. We all love it. It’s easy. It makes the house smell good. And the chicken is delicious. What do we think of this one, from Leon?
Andrew (11): The potatoes have an interesting flavour.
Maureen: Good interesting? Or bad interesting?
Andrew: Bad interesting.
Maureen: What don’t you like?
Andrew: It’s got a funny taste.
Maureen: That’s probably the wine. But it’s also potatoes that have been pot roasted to within an inch of their lives. Reminds me of my grandma’s cooking.
Nicholas (7): Wine! I don’t want to be drunk!
Maureen: You’re not going to get drunk. All the alcohol has been cooked out– with the flavour, apparently.
Nicholas, who has professed his position as a vegetarian in the past, has now eaten all of his chicken.
Maureen: So Nicholas, you liked the chicken, it would appear.
Nicholas: The chicken is good, but I’m still a vegetarian.
Andrew: This chicken was OK, but I like the other one you make more.
Maureen: I agree. The one I make all the time is better, and just as easy. Sorry for the deviation.
Later, the same afternoon, I tell the boys that I will make chocolate cake for later, but only if one of them will help me do it. A spirited discussion ensues, which I overhear.
Andrew: I’ll help Mom. You still have homework to do.
Nicholas: No! I should do it. I have more experience!
Andrew: What do you mean, more experience? I’m older!
Nicholas: But I am Mom’s No. 1 assistant when it comes to baking. I help more. (Editorial note: That’s true.) The boys decide between themselves that Andrew will help.
Andrew and Nicholas, simultaneously: Hey! Smiley Face!
Andrew: Did you use the smiley face spatula, as a stencil?
Maureen: I did. It worked perfectly. What do you think of the cake? The cookbook says this cake is not for children, but the two of you seem to be gobbling it up. It’s very dense. It’s also delicious.
Andrew: It’s like chocolate mousse, in a cake.
Nicholas: I love it. Yummmmmm. It’s lovely.
Maureen: I take it you’d like me to make it again?
Andrew: Yes, please.
Maureen: This is a great Sunday afternoon cake. It’s pretty easy– particularly if you’ve got a good mixer to whip up the egg whites– and a great way to finish off the day. I will definitely make it again. And use my fun spatula, of course.