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Recipe Card 32: Twice Cooked Birthday Cake
Katherine Keefe (University Of Technology, Sydney, Australia)



Place 250 grams of dark chocolate and 250 grams of butter together over a flame until they lose form.
Add rum, or whisky/brandy/sherry.
Yoke seven free-range eggs.
Add 250 grams of sugar while beating the yellow centres.
Stir in 250 grams of almond meal when velvety and pale.
Follow with chocolate butter.
Inflate with foamy egg white peaks.
Fill the greased springform pan.
Place in a 180 degree preheated oven.

Forty-five minutes is a long time to wait for perfection.
Crack oven at ten.
Notice premature crust forming around the rim.
Don’t feed suspicion.
Snap the door shut and set timer for fifteen.
Jump around the kitchen.
Contemplate the strawberry and candle decoration.
Ignore the smell of burning.
Release the black cloud from the oven when the timer rings.
Pull a sticky knife out of the centre.
Lop charred crust off.
Feed the contents of the pan back to the oven.
Leave for an unwatched fifteen.
Direct smoke out of window or down corridor with an old newspaper.
Leave kitchen.
Return only when buzzer rings.
Remove, with haste, near flaming cake.
Allow cooling time.
Release the pan’s spring.
Glimpse the lava centre through a hairline fracture.
Extend cooling time.
Remove carbon exoskeleton with a blade.
Observe the cakey under-layer flex against the weight of its magma centre.
Contemplate hollowing it out and putting strawberries in the middle like one of those jelly swimming pool cakes.
Feel your sunken heart.
Sooth it with some of that free flowing chocolate.
Pull apart the spongy edges and mop up the black gooiness.
Stuff it in.
Let it ooze down your chin.
Rub chocolate hands down your arms.
To that person who comes into the kitchen and asks, is anything wrong? Show blackened teeth and frown.
Send them for more chocolate.
Clean up with rum.
Check oven gauge does not really say 250, before starting again.

Draw a brandy bath for the chopped strawberries


As above, using bigger pan and a more moderate oven.

Observe crustlessness after ten.
Pull a skewer clean from the centre at thirty-five.
Remove from oven.
Allow cooling time.
Release the spring.
Seal the pores of the cake’s spongy surface with melted chocolate.
Throw toasted almond flakes on.
Arrange drunken strawberries atop of the hedgehoggy frame.
Pierce with candles, light them and then dim the room.
Appear out of nowhere singing the birthday tune.
Watch the cake offer gentle resistance to the knife when a wish is placed upon it.
Toast with champagne.
Eat with strawberry brandy and ice cream.
Don’t look coy when praise is given.

Katherine Keefe is currently undertaking a postgraduate diploma in writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Recipe Card 32 is an extract from The Accidental Cordon Bleu, writings of a somewhat personal nature about food.

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