Let’s Be Pen Pals

Good morning dear ones, how’s life in your neck of the woods? We had our first rain in three months this week, which was like nectar from heaven.  Apart from the obvious benefits to a thirsty garden, I just love rainy days in the holidays as they give you an excuse to stay indoors and bake, read, stitch, eat, watch a movie or just sit and take things easy for a bit. It’s like you have universal permission to blob on the lounge and just breathe,  without the guilt. I like that.  Sometimes life needs to slow down a little.

I enjoy watching movies. Especially movies that involve food (and old fashioned tea parties or retro dresses, just saying).  What I really love though, is watching people eat food in films.  Hallelujah for the scene in A Hundred Foot Journey where the sweet french girl feeds the weary Indian travellers from the bounty of her own garden. Ahhh. Or Meryl Streep as the infamous Julia Childs, in Julie and Julia, eating what appears to be her first French meal with her husband. I just love how she bites the fish and there is this knowing exchange of groans and eye contact between them that expresses so perfectly just how much they love their food. Ahhhh. I so get it. 

This is where I confess one thing that drives this foodie slightly crazy when I watch movies. Oh the children do their eye roll and have a whinge, but I don’t care. It’s just not right. 

Characters in movies rarely eat. Have you ever noticed that?

And it  bugs me.  Really bugs me. They will sit in front of a delicious burger in a cool retro diner, or fancy restaurant, look at the food, have a conversation, then the scene changes! Or (now this is a killer) have you ever noticed in all of those ahhmaaazing afternoon tea scenes in Downton Abbey, in the most incredible red library I have ever seen, how Carson (God bless him…definitely my favourite) would bring in the prettiest tea sets, pour the ladies their tea, and sitting right there on the table would be the cake. A freshly baked cinnamon tea cake I imagine, made by Daisy, to be totally neglected and unappreciated. ‘Come on Mary, cut the cake. Eat the cake Mary, Pleeease Mary…….eat the cake. Just eat the cake. One slice. Please.’ I would literally implore her out loud. Just. Eat. The. Cake. It’s not that hard. Honestly.  (Hence the children’s eye rolls). 

 On rare occasions  Mary’s witty old  grandmother would actually nibble at the treats on her delectable tea tables, and my heart would soar. I could almost taste the cake. 

Speaking of cake, this is the ultimate choc peanut butter combo. Truly, it  has no equal. it’s hands down my favourite cake. I made it for a wedding last week and the guests loved it.  A moist, rich chocolate cake  with creamy peanut butter frosting and a chocolate ganache drip. This recipe will make a two layer cake or one batch of cupcakes. If you want to make the cake in these pictures you will need to double the recipe. If you think chocolate and peanut butter is a match made in heaven, you will want to make this cake. Trust me. 

Next Saturday  I will be sharing a very special baby shower I created for my own sweet Daughter in love. Can’t wait for you all to see it.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Best ever Chocolate & Peanut butter cake

The ultimate choc / peanut butter cake. A moist chocolate layer cake with smooth peanut butter cream cheese frosting. This recipe will make a two layered cake or 18 cupcakes. The picture shows a four layer cake, so you will need to double the recipe if you want a larger cake. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp coffee granules Mix with 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup warm water Add to diluted coffee mix
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 cup pure cocoa powder


  • Grease two x 20cm round cake pans and line with baking paper
    Preheat oven to 180C 
  • In a medium mixing bowl, using a hand whisk, beat eggs, vanilla extract and oil
  • Add sour cream, coffee and water.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, sugar and cocoa. Whisk dry ingredients with a hand whisk until well combined.
  • Pour wet mixture into dry mix and whisk carefully until well combined.
  • Pour half of the mixture into each prepared cake tin.
  • Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for about 25 - 30 min or until firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean. Cool cakes for about ten minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut butter cream cheese buttercream frosting

  • In an electric mixer on medium speed, add 125g chopped salted butter
  • Add 125g cream cheese. Mix until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
     Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turn mixer onto low speed and add 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter. I always use unprocessed peanut butter which tastes amazing
  • Keeping the mixer on low, slowly add icing sugar half a cup at a time. You will need about 3 - 4 cups as you will be filling the cake as well as frosting the outside
    Add dashes of pure cream as mixture gets too stiff. Keep adding until the frosting reaches the desired consistency

Assembling the cake

  • When cakes are cooled, use a bread knife to level the cakes. Discard (or feed to the kids) the tops of both cakes. You won't need them. 
  • Apply a generous amount of frosting to the top of one cake.
  • Turn the second cake upside down on top of the frosted cake, so the under side of the cake now becomes the top. Using a spatula, spread the overhang of icing from the middle around the cake until it looks even.
  • Apply more frosting to the top of the cake and smooth it out around the sides. This will only be the crumb coat, which seals in the crumbs, so keep just do a thin layer of frosting at this stage. Chill in fridge for an hour.
  • Remove the cake from fridge and apply more peanut butter frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Smooth with the spatula until you are happy with the look of the cake.  Drip ganache around the rim of the cake to make drips and chill cake before adding piping to the top, if desired.


This recipe works amazingly well as cupcakes. I often use this mix and pipe a swirl of peanut butter frosting on top. Delicious!

Beautiful poppies from Alstonville Florist.

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