Ralph’s Chocolate Cake

I can’t exactly remember where Mum brought home this recipe from it was either a Guide family camp or someone from an old staff room probably eight or so years ago and from then on, she has cooked it for many staff morning teas, birthdays etc. It is very rich and decadent and when I was younger I did find it too rich to eat, not now though πŸ™‚

250g cooking margarineralphs
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tblsp instant coffee (we use nescafe 43)
200g dark cooking chocolate broken into pieces
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add water with coffee dissolved in it, chocolate and sugar.
When well mixed, remove from heat and add SR flour, cocoa, eggs and vanilla.
Mix thoroughly and poor into deep, square, well-greased tin that has greased greaseproof paper lining it (do not use a spring form pan).
Bake for 1 1/2hrs at 150ºC
Remove from oven and turn out straight away.

100mls thickened cream
200g dark chocolate broken into pieces.

Heat cream until it is just about to boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Leave to thicken and then pour and smooth over cake.

Serve with thickened, dollop or whipped cream or ice-cream or strawberries. mmmm so yummy

the Club of Jim Beringer

Yesterday Matthew was watching me type in some of my 101 in 1001 goals and started asking me about zinfandels and how I should start looking harder in the bottle shops as I might just find some. So Matthew and I went down to the liquor superstore and 7-11 yesterday to pick up whatever we found interesting and some slurpees.
Well after ohhing and ahhing over some of the spirits (most of the spirits and upper range wine is kept in glass cabinets with locks on) and Matthew debating what he wanted to get we had a browse in the wine section. All of a sudden Matthew asks me what was the type of wine I was after and I said Zinfandel, he goes is this one? Well imagine my surprise when he showed me a Beringer 2003 White Zinfandel and then I saw the price AU$8.95 (US$6.80) wow what a bargain price for an imported wine. I picked up a bottle and asked one of the workers if they had any red Zins and he said no πŸ™ though they do get them from time to time.

Matthew bought a bottle of Jim Beam Rye and a bottle of Candian Club Classic 12 I also saw some spirits that I will try when I return from Iceland, one was an UK 5 Organic vodka, looks quite interesting.

Then slurpees – they had Mountain Dew in the machines – very nice slurpee πŸ™‚

cooking by numbers

I found cooking by numbers, a fair while ago, but then lost it in my bookmarks and after endless searches and asking for it on 2peas, I found it tonight from a links page on a links page on a links page. So happy to have it back in my life πŸ™‚


In the last 8 nights I have eaten at home for 6 of them and was in charge of preparing them for 4 nights. I am pretty impressed with myself but not with the person who is not pulling his weight around the here.

Matthew helped me out tonight and we created a variation on Helen Staple – Stir Fry Veg/fruit with cous cous. 

Simply I love Cous Cous, it is so utterly quick and simple to prepare – x parts cous cous to a little bit less than x parts boiling water, cover and allow to stand till water is absorbed. So, so easy.

The variation tonight was.

Carrots, Onion, Celery, Shallots, Mushroom, Capsicum, Lamb (taken off Forequarter chops) with some Garam Masala and Honey. Some people like to gradually add the veg, but I am firm believer in adding everything except Mushrooms at the same time.

Previous Variations have included Turkey Chops with Tomato added and Moroccan seasoning. Another was Tuna, Cous Cous, tinned tomato, fresh beetroot and assorted veg.

Essentially it is what ever veg/fruit and meat is in the house with what ever seasoning takes my fancy in the cupboard, served of course with Mesclun Leaves dressed with Newman’s Own Caeser Dressing (because salad dressing is not meant to be creamy – another rule of the Palsson kitchen). Enjoy.

cous cous lamb


Whenever we have excess milk in the fridge or Pabbi or I feel like taking the time, we make Skonsur (singular skonsa), which are a thick pancake like bread substitute.

2 cups plain flour (sifted)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp lyftiduft/baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups Milk

Method:Mix together all dry ingredients, add the eggs and milk, beat till smooth, more milk may be needed for the right consistency.
Pour soup ladle size dollops on greased pancake skillets(seen in this image or frying pan at a medium heat and cook on both sides. Desired size is plate size and thickness is about 1cm (3/8″).
Use instead of bread in sandwiches, or serve warm with slices of cheese or butter, I love having skonsur with cheese and ham for lunches at uni. So yummy and filling.

pabbi with skonsur