I just realised that in the “love your smile” Dentyne ad, there are almost only white people. It has a cast of about 20, and I think there may be one coloured girl in the “group photo” scene on a beach. And the cop may have been black, but it is impossible to be sure unless you have PVR. Any clarification would be appreciated. The overall impression is white, though. Was it shot in this country?
It’s very retro for us, that. We had happy lifestyle commercials depicting a homogenous, colour-free society long before 1994, or even 1990. Lies lies lies, my art teacher confirmed to our rosy-cheeked, if not necessarily -spectacled, class somewhere in the middle 80’s, staying our brushes and alarming our futures.
The commercials in which mothers-and-daughters do merry bake-offs (have you noticed how they STILL recycle those – clearly AI (the ad industry) only has sporadic inspiration from its master) was not something that really resonated with me. In my mother’s eyes, the microwave was a gift sent directly to her kitchen from God, and we rarely had a meal that was cooked in more than ten minutes. Not that this was necessarily bad. She made, for example, a chocolate oil cake in this very microwave that was truly heavenly – or truly evil, if you like. My mother understood the dangers of the “devil’s food” lurking in a tin of cocoa. She passed on both this knowledge and the understanding that it is imperative to ignore it. Even so, she no longer makes this legendary cake, which really is a pity.
I guess, in the light of this, it makes sense that the only actual recipe that I managed to take with me when I moved into digs without a microwave was for something she called sjokolade yskaskoek. The recipe was in a little blue book. I am not sure why I think that a chocolate fridge cake is retro. Maybe because while it is ridiculously easy to make, it is decadent in the extreme. Also, it does not require a single ingredient that you could not find at the shop at the garage, (Thrupps… what?) most notably, two packets of marie biscuits. I think that is it. In this country, anything with marie biscuits is retro. At a time in my student life when I called myself a vegetarian, I survived on slap chips and salad rolls from Bambi’s, toasted sandwiches from Kaif, beer, and chocolate fridge cake.
(Okay, I exaggerate. I did get dinner at the Cathcart Arms when I was on shift, and I did walk to my parents’ for lunch from time to time.)
So here is the recipe:
- A cup of butter (it looks like about 250g)
- A cup of sugar (250ml)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 2 packets of marie biscuits
Melt the sugar in the butter over low heat. If you make sure the sugar is melted, it will be better, but it’s not imperative. Add the two tablespoons of cocao, stir in until dissolved. Take off the heat. Add the vanilla. Lightly beat the eggs, add to the hot cocoa mixture. The eggs might cook – this is good, I think.
Crunch up the two packets of biscuits roughly. Stir in. You are going to think that two packets are too many but they are not. You will make a very thick, sticky mess. Keep on mixing until the biscuits are covered in the cocoa.
Butter a dish with a low – 5cm-ish – rim. If you choose a round/oval one, you can eat all the off-cuts when you eventually portion the cake into squares, and that, like, doesn’t count. Press the mixture firmly in. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, until firm. (It gets very very firm. You may want to portion it before it is completely set.) Cut in squares and eat. Even though it is hard, try to share and not to eat everything in one day because one does get quite sick.