In private of late, he tended to open up nicely, and she's enjoyed getting to know the man behind the deliciously wicked sense of humour. More and more she's come to understand what drives him, and to cherish these moments alone.
And of course the promise of a being able to procure a few rare ingredients by the light of the full moon? When their potency was more than doubled? What more could a Potions Master and the Arithmancy Mistress assisting him with his latest project ask for?
With a smile she follows him readily into the woods.
chocolate wacky cake
baking | serves 8-12
reports vary as to whether wacky cakes originated during the depression or the second world war, but the reasons for their potential popularity at either time are readily clear: no butter, no eggs, possibly no milk, and definitely no mixer. it's rare to find a cake that can accommodate a variety of allergies and dietary restrictions and still produce a satisfying result. the baking soda and vinegar combination produces the "fizz" that make this cake fluffy, and it's easy to make, to boot.
preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F
175 g plain flour
200 g sugar
40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional - for the mocha variation
instant coffee powder to taste
270 ml milk, red wine, cold coffee or water in pinch
55 g oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1) preheat the oven and prepare the cake form with grease and flour
2) mix the dry ingredients well and set aside
3) combine the wet ingredients until well mixed
4) briefly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. DO NOT beat, or you'll end up with a brick, i kid you not.
5) pour the batter into the cake form and place in the preheated oven immediately
yields two 20 cm rounds, one 23 cm round, or one 23 cm square (two 8" layer rounds, one 9" round, or one 8" square)
bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a cake tester (toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean. double recipes in a standard sized bundt form can take up to 45 minutes depending on the heat of your oven and the shape of the form. they're done when the edges begin to pull away from the cake form.
"Do you think this is what the text meant by 'Black Forest'?" Hermione asks, looking around them.
"No, I'm certain that referred to the region in Germany," he's forced to disagree, not that he doesn't see her point. The darkness is positively stygian, the trees seem made of pitch. From where they're standing, covered by so any layers of the forest's boughs, it's impossible to tell there's a full moon above them. Fortunately their Lumoses more than adequately light the way for them.
Often he's wondered why that moon makes such a great difference to the efficacy of the ingredients, and yet indisputably it does. Hermione would be quick to point out that it isn't a question of photosensitivity were he to mention it again. Privately, he adores that she even knows the meaning of the word, not that he'd ever dream of saying so. The way she smiles at him when the occasion arises from time to time, however, has him suspecting, deep down, that she knows anyway. There are a fair few Potions Masters and Mistresses who have no grasp of the concept whatsoever, so it's all the more unusual for an Arithmancy Professor.
Presumably that's not the only reason he's had to welcome Hermione's accession to the post, though.
"But I imagine that's how the forest got its name," he adds, wanting to encourage her for reasons he's finding less and less difficult to define. It's proven more than a little intriguing, to say nothing of unexpected, to note he doesn't find that development worrisome.
"Oh! We could bake a Black Forest Cake next?" She suggests, a slightly dreamy look to her eyes. The witch has a definite soft spot for afters. He likes her lack of pretence, but even more that despite that fondness for sweets, she leaves the last piece of gateau for him. Each and every time. It's nice, of course, to have the extra bit of cake, he would never dispute that, but it's far nicer still to realise someone thinks you merit that small sacrifice.
"Woman! Have you been round the shops lately? Ingredients are still an issue, and it will be a while yet before the cherries are ripe."
"But I thought May..." She hedges.
"Sweet cherries, yes. The sour ones, such as the Morello we'd need, won't be ripe until July. They're firmer, much better suited to the task."
"Hmm..." She sounds disappointed. It bothers him more than he'd have expected.
"There's no reason we couldn't bake a chocolate cake now, however," he's quick to suggest.
As they round a stand of trees and emerge into a grove, they spot the flowers they had come to collect before them.
"Ooo!" She cries, her excitement more than obvious. Moggies. "Perhaps a mocha one?"
He laughs. They've been picking their way over difficult terrain, looking for a good half an hour for these ingredients, but she's excited about the possibility of a cake. He smiles at her indulgently. "As you wish, witch. As you wish."
And honestly he can't think of anyone he'd rather share it with.
Happy Birthday, adafrog, and many happier returns of the day. 🎂🍰🎉
Right, I promised orlando_switch and mywitch my wacky cake recipe, so here it is. Unfortunately I couldn't find my notes about the spices I added to make it a lebkuchen variant, but next winter at the latest, I'm sure I'll be back at it again. 😉