A brother is a friend who was once a bother.
It's ironic, puzzling and amusing. Ironic that I can both hate and love him all at the same time. Puzzling why I'm sometimes pleasant while other times nasty to him. Amusing that I have such an entertaining person in the house.
When we were younger, we often bicker and fight one another. Being a girl doesn't give me an excuse to be demure and lady-like. Instead, we had snapped, whacked, pinched, yelled and ignored each other. Yet we are still together.
Still, there were fun times. We looked at toys at shopping malls together, knowing very well that our parents will never buy them; we went to an exhibition where all the sculptures were made of ice and we were both shivering like crazy in there, but we loved the ice slide; we made our own fishing rod using the cane (the bamboo cane that parents use to whack their children) and went to Bishan Park to fish for fishes that bit each other to death in the end; we threw our parents' canes behind the refrigerator to save ourselves from a beating...
And now we have all grown up. We no longer whacked and pinched each other; no longer look at toys at shopping mall; no longer go out together; no longer go to Bishan Park to fish for fishes; no longer threw a cane behind the refrigerator. Those were the times, and I occasionally reminisce those fun moments.
I'm thankful to have such a person in my life. Though he often showers me with comments like "fat", "ugly" and "noob", I know he doesn't mean it that way. 😉 He is reliable and I know I can always depend on him for help, especially regarding my laptop (haha).
For his birthday this year, I baked a chocolate cake for him. It's a very belated cake, as I was preoccupied with exams and weren't home often. Without the ganache, the cake looked not-as-appetising but don't be deceived! The cake tasted better than it looked: it's eggy, light, fudgey and moussey. This was due to the lack of flour in the batter. The cake shrank so nicely in the center that it provided a well for the ganache to happily "live" in it, but then again, the ganache didn't "live" for long as it went all down his stomach.
All for one and one for all
My brother and my friend
What fun we have
The time we share
Siblings 'til the end
Happy 18th birthday, my dear brother!
Ugly Chocolate Cake (serves 8)*
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping - CHOCOLATE by Collins and Brown
60g butter, cubed, plus extra to grease
100g dark chocolate (65% cocoa), chopped
4 medium eggs, separated
100g golden caster sugar**
50g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
33ml Bulla's thickened cream (or any double cream)
12g salted butter***
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 7-inch spring-form cake tin/cake tin with removable bottom.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale, thick and mousse-like, then whisk in the chocolate mixture.
Whisk the egg whites separately in a clean, grease-free bowl until soft peaks form. Add a third to the chocolate mixture and fold in, using either a large metal spoon or spatula. Add the remaining whisked egg whites and fold in carefully.
Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Turn off the oven. Cover the cake with a damp tea-towel and leave to cool in the oven; do not be shocked by the sinking of the centre. It will sink as it cools.
To make the ganache, combine the chocolate, cream and butter in a bowl and melt them in a double boiler or set over a pan of simmering water.
Take the cake out of the tin and peel off the lining paper. Put on a serving plate then ladle the ganache over the cake, making some of the ganache to drizzle down the sides as well****. Leave until just set. Using a palette knife, scatter chocolate curls on top of the cake to serve.
*In the recipe book it's called The Best Chocolate Cake in the World but I decide to rename it as I haven't found my own best chocolate cake 🙂
**I used a mixture of golden and light brown sugar as I do not have enough golden sugar
***I used salted butter in hope to enhance the chocolate flavour of the ganache
****The amount of ganache is not enough it to overflow the cake itself, so drizzle some of them down the sides yourself 🙂
For a simple finish, omit the chocolate curls and dust the top of the cake liberally with 2 tablespoons each of cocoa powder and icing sugar (though I'd still prefer the ganache :p)