Anyone who has dipped into this blog for any length of time will know that I feel pretty strongly about the ways that cakes make memories. At their best these can tie people together with bonds of sweetness, community and friendship which last years – even generations.
This is such a cake. It started off innocently enough – in fact as a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was in the booklet which came with a mini oven my mum bought when we were children, and it became a family favourite (my younger sister called them ‘chocolate chip cuckoos’ and it stuck).
I took the recipe with me to University where somewhere along the way it morphed into a cookie *cake* (or cuckoo cake 🙂 ). This simply consisted of sticking the dough into a cake tin instead of spooning it out into individual cookies. Not rocket science; more the sort of inspired idea which comes upon students late at night or when trying to avoid essay writing. In fact, that’s probably how it happened. This cake became completely beloved of my house-mates, who would all clamour to be the official tester-of-done-ness; a role which consisted entirely of eating spoonfuls of batter at intervals through the cooking process until it had reached the right stage of baked gooiness.
I can’t remember the last time I baked ‘cuckoo cake’ – it’s probably been over fifteen years. It took a visit from one of those ex-housemates this week to remind me about its glories. He was so excited that his first action was to send a photo to another ex-housemate in gloating glee. And his second was to say that it tasted just as it had in our shared student house twenty years ago 🙂 I sent the rest of it home with him so that his sons could try it too. I got back possibly the best compliment I have ever had on a cake, from his six-year-old: ‘It is disgustingly good. I want to marry it!’ That’s the sort of cake memories I’m after 🙂
Chocolate ‘cuckoo’ cake (makes about 12 medium sized cookies, or one cake)
125g caster sugar
125g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
275g self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
125g choc chips
Cream together first four ingredients, add lightly beaten egg, mixing well. Mix in sifted flour and salt. Add choc chips and mix well. Bake at 190-200 degrees C for 10-12 mins for cookies, or 25 minutes plus for the cake. A skewer will still look a little gooey – the barely-set softness is part of the charm.