Friday, May 07, 2010

birthday cakes

It is my sisters birthday today. Over the past couple of years, since having kids, we have developed a little tradition of having a family afternoon tea on our actual birthdays (then real parties whenever we have time). The kids love it, and mine particularly have been talking about chocolate cake all week :-)

Last night I baked a couple of cakes for afternoon tea/dinner. One for the adults (sans marshmallows!) and one for the kids.

For the adults cake I used this recipe. It is terribly simple, and completely delicious. Whilst on the topic, have you read Molly's book? I read it last year and just loved it - worth a read (and worth buying for the recipes too!).

Kate's Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake (from

200g best-quality dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 1/3 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 180 C degrees, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment too.

Finely chop the chocolate (a serrated bread knife does an outstanding job of this) and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and then add the flour. The batter should be smooth, dark, and utterly gorgeous.

Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. (I usually set the timer for 20 minutes initially, and then I check the cake every two minutes thereafter until it’s done. At 20 minutes, it’s usually quite jiggly in the center. You’ll know it’s done when it jiggles only slightly, if at all.) Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

* This is even better on the second day, so you may want to bake the day before you need it.

For the kids cake, I used the moist chocolate cake recipe from Gran's Kitchen ~ Recipes from the notebooks of Dulcie May Booker, then topped it in thick chocolate ganache. Hopefully it lives up to their expectations!

Enjoy your weekend.
Cat x


  1. Your sister and I share a birthday - what a small world!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes I'm going to be making myself another birthday cake - a girl can never have too many birthday cakes. :)

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  2. Yum, that cakes looks delicious. I think I will bake this next time coffee group is here :)

  3. Each cake is adorable! There's a chance for me to taste those lovable treats... if my sister could follow your recipe well. Lol!

    - Tera