Mary’s Coffee and Chocolate Cake

Mary’s Coffee & Chocolate Cake, otherwise entitled by my child-self as “The Best Choco Cake”, but really, it came from the Grace’s, in Australia.  

So, unlike other recipe blogs where they shite on for about 576 years about the origin story of their recipe, I’m going to cut to the chase and give you the recipe FIRST. If you want to learn more about me and why this cake means as much to me as it does, you can read past the recipe. I’m not gonna force anyone to wait any longer than they need to to get to the delicious chocolatey goodness that is this cake. 

The Recipe

Ingredients required: 

– 2 eggs
– 2 cups of sugar (not specified by kid-me, so I use half golden light and half white caster)
– 250g of flour (self-raising or plain flour with baking powder added) (CLEARLY kid-me did not care about sticking to a single metric system… Or maybe it was Mary… Yeah, let’s say it was Mary…) 
– 1 cup of coffee 
– 250g of butter (melted) 
– 1 cup of cocoa powder (kid-me has kindly written: NOT DRINKING CHOCOLATE) 
– 200g of chocolate (melted) 
– 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence 

1) Melt butter in a saucepan then add the sugar. Mix until liquid. 
2) Add the chocolate (or choco, if you’re hip like I was) and wait until melted.
3) Add the flour (carefully) and add the eggs. 
4) Add the cocoa, coffee and vanilla essence.
5) Cook for 1 hour on 150℃
6) When cool, add melted chocolate over the top and enjoy!

The Backstory: Why is this a Taste of Home in Rome?

When I was growing up, my parents both worked crazy long hours. So, I would spend a lot of my time hanging about in my best-friend’s house. Her family became a second-family to me, to the point of fighting with her brothers as I would with my own. 

We spent countless afternoons, mornings and evenings together. We did all kinds of after-school activities and hobbies together, such as horse-riding, ballet, life-saving… You name it, we did it. But one of my favourite things to do was to bake in her house. 

Now, my childhood best-friend is the most talented baker I know. Her cakes and cookies would earn the most money at school bake-sales & her recipes are closely guarded by those trusted with their secrets. I am one of these friends; one who will hold close to her chest the recipe for her mind-blowing brownies until the day I die. 

So one day, when I was told we were going to make this chocolate cake from a recipe that had come all the way from Australia, I was so excited. The Grace’s, family friends of my friend’s family, had moved over to Australia a few years before but had remained in touch. They gifted this incredible ‘Mud Chocolate Cake’ recipe and I was in awe of it. Not only was it the most rich, moist and delicious cake I had ever tasted, but it was concocted in a saucepan!  

And the smell! You cannot tell me there is any smell better than melting Cadbury’s chocolate. There just isn’t. The smell of melting Cadbury’s chocolate brings me straight to morning walks through Coolock with the intoxicating smell of melting chocolate wafting from the factory. 

I was so obsessed with this scrumptious cake that I asked my best-friend for the recipe almost immediately (see below for the evidence). She very kindly wrote down random bits of the methodology for going about making this cake, and I was so mesmerised by the fact we were using a saucepan that I paid no heed to the order of things. So, I had to make up some of the directions as I went, a few years later (at the ripe age of 11) upon finding this cake recipe, based upon what I could recall from it and my experiences as the O’Síoráin Household #1 Baker. 

I also had to find out the hard way that the ‘cups’ both I and she would use were more like coffee mugs, so I had to figure out again how much flour and cocoa powder should be involved. (I’ve since reneged on my 11-year-old self, 1.25 cups of cocoa powder is just too much.)

‘IMG_8507’ by Olga Khomitsevich on Flickr

Since this fateful, chocolatey day in their household, this has been my go-to chocolate cake for all occasions. It is the ultimate Death-By-Chocolate-esque desert; perfect for birthdays, pot-dinners, winning over younger relatives to think you’re very, very cool ─ you name it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a winner every damn time.

God, I’ve made myself hungry…

Alla prossima,

Ciara O’Síoráin  (chi desidera diventare la bella donna figa come gli italiani)


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