Feb 17, 2012

Having My Cakes

It's widely acknowledged (at least on this website), that the song "Africa" by Toto is possibly the greatest piece of music ever composed.

Sure, my Dad may tell you Beethoven's 9th is a stunning tribute to the glory of the human voice, and my Mum may tell you the Rolling Stones rocked back in London in the '70s, but did Ludwig Van or Keith Richards ever come up with the phrase "As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti"? NO THEY DID NOT.

So when my plans to host a little soiree at my parents' house (I probably should respect their music choices a bit more) coincided with my friend Kate's foray into the world of commercial baking, I knew there could be only one outcome: The Africa Cake.

Kate has been baking delicious treats for as long as I've known her. I started bugging her a few months ago about actually turning a few dollars from it. So I was happy to become a demanding client.

This particular culinary construction is a Mississippi mud cake, with bourbon mixed through it. It was as delicious to taste as it was to gaze at lovingly.

Look at the detail! Giraffes are my favourite animal, look at the giraffes!

You can see that it went down a treat:

I'm not prone to hyperbole, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that I think this particular Africa Cake could bring about world peace.

It doesn't end there. This week was the final parliamentary sitting week before we head into the state election campaign on Sunday. I decided to call on Kate's services once again to whip up something suitable.

Yesterday, she turned up at parliament with this Sunshine State themed delight:

This was an orange yoghurt cake with a white chocolate ganache. Kate had even researched Queensland's electoral boundaries - but of course they changed somewhat as we cut the cake up. Gerrymandered, if you will. The assembled journalists in the Media Gallery all gave it the thumbs up - as did retiring Speaker John Mickel, who popped up for a mouthful!

I'd highly recommend checking out the Cake Baked by Kate site - she's been documenting the cake-making process and to a packet-mix gal like me, it's a revelation. You can also get in contact with her about getting your own cakes made - she's very reasonable and up for any challenges!

While we're on the subject of gourmet goodness - another friend of mine, Joanna Lam, is also amazingly talented cook. She blogs about food experiments and reviews restaurants and cafes at the charmingly aggressively named Eats Food, Hates You.

I have far too many talented friends!


  1. Trust a bunch of white people to carve up Africa with reckless abandon.

  2. The ALP will win the election as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

  3. I sampled the Africa cake and while the presentation was at an almost professional level, the flavour and texture of the cake left me somewhat underwhelmed. The icing, like most icing on a cake decorated to this level was far to sweet and far to thick. This was however to be expected as most decorated cakes seem to have icing unintended to be consumed without severe heart palpitations.

    Good luck to Kate on her continued venture.

  4. That Africa cake looks AMAZEBALLS!!

  5. Good Heavens anonymous, for someone who got something for nothing you seem rather critical...
    Oh well, maybe you are a frustrated food critic...Who knows

    The Ancient Man

  6. Hi Anonymous,

    I'm sure Kate would welcome your feedback as she continues her career. However, it would be great if you actually put your name to your comment. You're obviously a friend of mine, I wouldn't have thought we'd need to hide behind anonymity?

  7. I'm blushing! Thank you, Nat, for challenging me to rise to unprecedented heights.

    My dear anonymous, I completely agree with you. When I ate the cake I was dismayed that it had softened to the extent it had! Straight out of the fridge (which is how I ate the leftovers) I can assure you it was firm and rich, and altogether delightful.

    But on a day as hot as that Saturday (I believe it topped 30 degrees) I suppose a rich cake will lose much of it's texture after sitting on a kitchen bench for three hours to be viewed by all and sundry. Alas, it is a problem I have yet to solve, but I can assure you I am working on it. I can only hope my next cake will please you more than this one did!

  8. I'm not prone to hyperbole, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that I think this particular Africa Cake could bring about world peace.
    This might be a pet peeve that no-one but me has, but I always think it's better to say, "I'm not prone to hyperbole, and..." Saying but instead tells me that you're about to indulge in some hyperbole.

    I can't comment on how the cakes tasted, but I'm confident I would prefer them tasting tarantula, which the blog (rather optimistically) says "You might also like".

  9. Hi there. Amazing Africa cake. I'm actually the author of original design and cover illustration for the CD Africa by vocal band Perpetuum Jazzile. You can see cover here: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B55v8czSL.jpg

    You can see our famous Africa video here:

    Spread the word, we're comming on USA tour soon!
    More on our site: www.perpetuumjazzile.com
    And yes, let's bring some cozy peace in our world. All the best!