Exploding Chocolate Cake

Helpful Hubby cleaning up!
After all of the amazing and supportive comments I received on my last post I am feeling much more optimistic and inspired. Thank you all so much for your support. It really has made a huge difference. I've decided not to go back to that mothers group because I think its just too much for me to have to handle right now... I'm not quite there with the acceptance of my situation with feeding I think... but I'm getting there.

So yesterday it was a horrid rainy wintery day and there was only football on the TV instead of Olympics to watch so I decided I might bake something yummy and share it with you all. I decided on a chocolate cake recipe that is a "secret family recipe" of my mother-in-laws. Unfortunately, her "secret family recipes" have a habit of being also readily available in most Women's Weekly cookbooks, but I let her believe that I think they're special and secret nonetheless.


  • 500ml water
  • 660g sugar
  • 250g chopped butter
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • 4 eggs

I'm not going to win any prizes for my butter chopping


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a big, deep springform pan. I like to cook my springform pans with a baking tray underneath in case of leaks.

Now, here's why I called it an EXPLODING CHOCOLATE CAKE. You see, my mother in law says to use a "medium sized saucepan". So that's what I did. In that saucepan you put the water, sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarb and you stir it over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. So that's what I did.
After the sugar has dissolved you bring the mixture to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 5 minutes. Everything was going smoothly until I realised that by "medium sized saucepan" she actually meant "HUGE sized saucepan" and so my little medium saucepan ran out of room for this boiling sugary mixture and the whole thing EXPLODED all over my kitchen.
I have one of those ovens which has two layers of glass in the front and I somehow managed to get the sticky chocolate mess BETWEEN the layers of glass! I'm still not sure how I am going to clean that up!

So my advice, when making this super yummy cake is to use a BIG saucepan!!

Anyway, once that mixture has simmered uncovered for 5 minutes put it to one side off the heat and let it cool a bit. Meanwhile put the self raising flour and eggs in a big mixing bowl.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat with an electric mixture on low until the ingredients are combined. Then up the speed to medium and keep mixing until its smooth.

Pour it all into the pan.
Bake for 50 minutes. Let it stand for about 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Its one of those cakes that is fine like this with a dusting of icing sugar on top. However, if you want to go all out, I like to put a bit of chocolate fudge icing on top.

Icing Ingredients

  • 90g butter, softened
  • 80ml water
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 110g sugar
  • 240g icing sugar


This also involves a saucepan but by this time I had learned by lesson and was using the biggest saucepan in the cupboard just to avoid any more spills!

Stir the butter, water, cocoa powder and sugar over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat and let cool a little.

In a medium bowl put the cocoa and icing sugar. Then gradually add the chocolate mixture.

Put the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour. Mix the frosting until its spreadable and cover the cake!

I added sprinkles - because everything tastes better with sprinkles

So what do you all think? Do you think you'll try making this one? Its actually not very hard to make at all - as long as you have the right sized saucepan hopefully your chocolate cake will just be a chocolate cake and not an EXPLODING chocolate cake!

My breastfeeding story

Yesterday was my first mothers group and I was the only member who doesn't breastfeed. It was confronting and very upsetting for me and its made me think about my breastfeeding story and wondering just how rare it is. I guess I had convinced myself that it wasn't all that rare and that there are lots of other women out there like me. Yesterday made me feel alone... very alone.

Before I was married, before I planned for children, before the thought of being pregnant was even an option... I didn't know what the big fuss was all about. I thought that it wasn't particularly glamorous to be breastfeed, and I thought that it seemed like a necessary but not fun part of having a baby - like changing nappies or something.

Then when I was trying to get pregnant and actually pregnant I thought about breastfeeding again and I thought it was something that would be exhausting and a lot of responsibility using my body to get a little baby to grow and thrive and develop. I thought it was a lot of pressure and a lot of work and not something I was particularly looking forward to - but still something that I was going to have to do. I figured I would breastfeed for only as long as necessary and not any longer.

Then when my darling Bubby was born - everything changed, including my views on breastfeeding. When he was first born he had absolutely no interest in sucking or licking anything. He just wanted to snuggle and cuddle. Eventually, my milk still hadn't come in (I never got colostrum) and he still wouldn't even suckle so the nurse decided to give him formula. I wasn't a part of that decision although I wouldn't have argued because I didn't want him to starve. On day 5 when feeding still hadn't happened (I had just thought it was something that just "happened" all of a sudden) lovely Hubby scruffed a lactation consultant who was in the private hospital where I was and got her to try to help me. After a lot of wrestling, crying (by both of us) and struggling, we were able to get Bubby to feed by using a nipple shield. He had a tongue tie (which was snipped later that day) and a front lip tie so his top lip always curls under.

We went home from the hospital with vague ideas of what to do feeding wise, and a plan to go back to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital 3 times a week. After 2 weeks, Bubby still wasn't gaining any weight and I had suffered bleeding nipple after bleeding nipple and I just had 2 chaffed, cracked, bleeding masses on my chest. So I was told to express and bottle feed Bubby that way. Immediately, Bubby was happy. He gained LOTS of weight and feeding was no longer this negative struggling experience. Finally we were feeding in a bonding, positive way and I was thrilled.

By 7 weeks of age I was less than thrilled. Bubby might have been thriving but I was suffering. I would spend 6 hours a day expressing... and was constantly panicking about what I would do if my supply ran out or lessened and I couldn't feed my baby. I was so unhappy with the feeding situation but I didn't know what to do about it. The paediatrician and g.p. all said to just wean him to formula but I thought that was giving up AND I didn't know how to go about it. I felt trapped and completely alone and very very very ashamed.

I was diagnosed with post natal depression and admitted to the Mother Baby Unit for treatment. Within 48 hours of admission I had a feeding plan sorted out for Bubby. I saw a world leading lactation consultant who gently explained that feeding without a nipple shield was impossible for us due to Bubby's mouth. After wrestling and battling with Bubby still to try to feed after not feeding like that for a month, I had yet another bleeding nipple and I came to the realisation that the image of breastfeeding I had in my mind wasn't the breastfeeding relationship Bubby and I were going to have. I made the decision to wean him onto formula and as of Monday, he will be an exclusively formula fed baby.

I grieve the loss of this relationship every day. Watching those mothers breastfeed their babies without any worry or stress or battle just broke my heart. I had convinced myself as a way of accepting our situation that I was not alone in this situation - but now I feel that actually I am. I thought that some mothers who didn't have difficulties feeding would even be thinking of weaning by now even. I didn't see any evidence of that yesterday.

I honestly did everything I could to try to create that kind of a relationship for Bubby and I and it breaks my heart that it wasn't going to happen. When I tried telling the nurse who takes our mothers group about it and I described the various complications she said "Ohh so he's got lots of problems then" and I was crushed. No mother likes to think that there's anything wrong with their baby, and yet that's exactly how she made me feel.

Every time I see a mother nursing their baby I just want to curl up and cry because I am afraid that they have a better bond with their baby than what I have with mine. I am afraid that they are a better mother than I. I am afraid that people look at me and think I am a bad mother. I am afraid of so much and its using every effort within myself to remember that I have made a decision for our family that is best for us in our particular circumstances. I am trying to remind myself that feeding Bubby formula (which, incidentally, he now prefers to feed than the expressed breast milk!) is something that is best for us and best for our relationship. It is so hard and agonising. I just hope that in time it can get easier for us. And I really hope that someone else out there had a similar situation too.


Introducing the main man in my life. This is Bubby. Being a mother is completely different to what I thought it was going to be - but its one of those things that you really cannot prepare yourself for. Its indescribable.

I find it amazing how little Mr Man already had his own personality right from birth. He has his own set of likes and dislikes and its amazing how some of them aren't developed - they are already there.

My favourite thing about Bubby is being able to see how he is growing and learning and changing right before my eyes. First he would smile, almost by accident. Now, every time he sees me - his face lights up in the biggest smile. Before I have the chance to get too excited about this - he does the same smile at certain bright coloured stuffed animals in his room! He's trying to "talk" to me with little "ahhhs" and "gooos" and "oohs" whereas before the only sounds he would make would be crying. Its amazing how much he changes in such a short period of time - it makes me want to grab onto every moment and cling to them.

This week I am going to a Mothers Group for the first time, starting a Yoga course with my mother for the first time and having a visitor from Japan - it is a week with a lot going on and given that I still feel shell-shocked from being discharged from hospital I hope that I come out of this okay.

A fresh start

After my life completely changing since I created this blog, I thought a fresh start might be in order.

I am Lisa. I am twenty seven years old. I am happily married to Hubby for 2 and a half years. We are the very proud parents of Bubby who was born on May 16 2012. He is our pride and joy and my continuing source of pure happiness, light and amazement.

I am a stay at home mum. I am studying a Masters of Teaching. I am an avid baker and cook. I collect recipes, cook books, baking supplies and cake decorating tools. I am trying to decorate our house somewhat so that it looks more of how I want it to look I suppose.

I have recently been diagnosed with post natal depression, which I was readmitted to hospital for treatment. The readmission to hospital was a life changing experience. The best decision of my life, other than Bubby and Hubby. One of the delightful midwives described me yesterday as EMPOWERED. It is the greatest compliment I have ever received. I am planning on doing my best to continue down this journey of self-awareness, joy, and empowerment.
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