March 12, 2008

chocolate celebrations!

Yesterday we had a belated celebration for daughter number two's 21st Birthday.....

just a small family affair, but, well......a Birthday is just not a Birthday without 'Birthday Cake' is it! I've always enjoyed making Birthday cakes for the children, even though it's sometimes more of a 'challenge' than I'd anticipated! It's just the fun of putting it all together, more of an engineering exercise than cooking really!

Anyway, as she's not a fan of fondant icing I opted for chocolate - you can't go wrong with chocolate really can you! I was debating whether, or not, to post the recipe for the actual cake since I wasn't overwhelmed by it's chocolateyness, and it did crust a bit on top (but that could be down to my oven being a bit temperamental!).....but, in the end I thought I would post the cake recipe anyway, in it's entirety, so that you could make up your own mind.

I was pleased with the Ganache Icing though - an amalgamation of various recipes - it was lovely and glossy, and was so easy to use; sometimes the ganache goes from too runny to set before you can get it on the cake, leaving a crummy mess! The filling was Chantilly Cream so it wasn't too heavy, and I cut out the numbers from white and dark chocolate melted and then spread out and mixed in a layer on a tray. The feathering around the edge was done simply with melted white chocolate piped onto the ganache while it was still runny, and then drawn out lightly with a skewer.

Chocolate celebration cakeChocolate Cake
(from Good Food Magazine)

250g butter

300g light muscovado sugar

100g plain flour

100g self-raising flour

5 eggs

300g good quality dark chocolate

Heat oven to 160C / Gas 3 and butter and line a 20cm cake tin.

Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and then beat in the eggs one at a time - adding flour as necessary if the mixture starts to split.

Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water - cool slightly and then beat into cake mixture. Fold in the remaining flour and then bake for 1 hour 3o mins (mine actually took nearer to two hours!) The cake should be well risen and a skewer will come out clean when the cake is cooked. There will be a crust on the top, but you can cut this off when assembling the cake.

To make the Chantilly Cream whip together 250mls of double cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Use this to fill the cake.

For the Ganache:

300g good quality dark chocolate

100g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons double cream

Melt all the ingredients together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cool a little until it reaches a workable consistency - I found that I could out it onto the cake almost immediately!

So, there you have it,............. nothing too complicated, just a really good chocolate celebration cake...........the few remaining crumbs on the plate were proof of the pudding (um cake)!


nicisme said...

Wow! That is some cake Alfie!
I really like the feathering with white chocolate - I'll have to remember that one - and those chocolate numbers are a great idea! Happy Birthday to your daughter, I bet she loved this cake!

LyB said...

Those chocolate numbers really are a great idea! Such a beautiful cake, you definitely cannot go wrong with chocolate!

Pixie said...

Stunning Cake! Love ganache and how you added a bit of white chocolate. Beautiful work.

Happy 21st to your daughter!

Sylvia said...

What a beautiful and delicious cake