Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Temptation Tuesday:: Temptation In The Kitchen

This week at The Pink Heart Society we have author Christina Hollis walking us through some of those Temptations In The Kitchen...

I love food – in fact, I eat nothing else. Cooking is one of my relaxations and it often tempts me away from the computer keyboard. My excuse is that the family must be fed, and making blueberry soufflĂ© pancakes is such a good reason for missing a deadline!

It used to be said that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’. Nowadays men are keener to lend a hand, especially in the kitchen or behind the barbie. Turn on the TV and there are plenty of guys flaunting their skill with a skillet or their flashes in the pan. Much as I love cooking, I’m all for handing over the banetton now and again. My OH is a dab hand at making spaghetti bolognaise, and his big strong hands come in very useful for kneading home-made bread. The one thing he’s not keen on making is cakes. I have to do that myself, and love tasting the work in progress. Luckily(?) I’m spared the task of licking the mixing bowl and spoons at the end of the session as I delegate that job to the children.

February in England is often cold, dark and damp. It’s the ideal time for curling up in front of the fire with a good book, a cup of tea and a big wedge of chocolate cake. Simplicity is fine, as long as there’s theobromine involved! Usually I make a chocolate Victoria sponge. It’s really easy. Put two tablespoons of cocoa powder in a big bowl. Mix to a paste with three tablespoons of boiling water. When it’s cooled, add four eggs and their weight in soft margarine, caster sugar, and sifted self-raising flour. Add two level teaspoons of baking powder. Beat with a food mixer until everything is well mixed. Divide between two 8” sandwich tins. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade (or equivalent) for about twenty five minutes, or until the surface of the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Leave the cakes until stone cold, and then sandwich them together with butter cream made from 2oz soft margarine, 6oz sifted icing sugar and a tablespoon of sifted cocoa powder. Now that’s what I call tempting!

** What is your favourite way with chocolate? There’s a copy of my current release, One Night In His Bed, for the most mouth-watering entry. **

Christina Hollis will still be trying to lose the pounds gained from post-Lenten Easter eggs when her next book, Her Ruthless Italian Boss, hits the shelves this summer. For more on Christina, check out her website.


  1. Well, I identify with that. Not such a good vice when you combine it with 'writers' bottom' syndrome.

    Anyone tried Sachertorte? Now, that's to die for.

  2. Christina, what a wicked post. I love chocolate. And I am seriously lazy. I don't like having to work harder for my chocolate than I have to - so, ripping the wrapper off the bar is the maximum amount of effort I'm prepared to put in on most days.

    For romantic moments, though... chocolate dipped strawberries are pretty divine - must use a good quality dark chocolate.

    And I have a heavenly recipe for a chocoate bread and butter custard for those cold winter evenings.

    Hmmm... All this talk about chocolate... I'm sure there's a bar of chocolate (Lindt) around here some place :-)

  3. Chocolate bread and butter custard...that sounds exactly the thing after a walk in the frosty countryside. Delicious! And as for Sachertorte, I've made a cheat's version but we ate all that before it got cold enough to add the frosting. Oops!

  4. I love chocolate and my daughter brought us home a piece of chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake which was well worth the million calories.

  5. Hi,
    My favourite chocolate treats are those Italian chocolates called Baci (sp?). It means kiss in Italian and inside the wrappers are little mottos all about love :))) So you always have an excuse to open up anther one, just to see what the motto says. And then, somehow, the chocolate gets eaten too!
    Best wishes
    PS Maureen, if you could contact me via my website, you have won the copy of 'An Honorable Rogue' that was in the Prize Draw a few days ago!

  6. I love chocolate. I make a cake that is white, but 12 thin layers and each one is sandwiched with a chocolate ganache.

    But one of my favourites can be mixed up in about 5 min and that's my brownie pudding. When you bake it it's like cake with hot fudge sauce already included. ANd let's not leave out dark chocolate lava cakes. Mmmmm. Especially good with peppermint ice cream.

  7. I've never heard of lava cakes, but the combination of chocolate and ice-cream is always a winner. The brownie pudding recipe sound great too. Any chance of posting up your recipes, Donna? Go on - spill the (cocoa)beans!

  8. My favorite way with chocolate... those delightful and creamy chocolate petit-fours :) those small french treats are just yummy!

  9. Oooh! Posting recipes!

    Tell you what, Christina...I'll post them on my blog this week.

    And lava cakes are individual cakes with the hot fudge filling INSIDE. SO you hit it with your fork and all the filling comes oozing out...hang on, I might just swoon....