I’m a terrible parent. I have never made a novelty birthday cake. There have been no Thomas the Tank Engines, Caterpillars or Fairy Princess Castles. Not that I haven’t been begged. And occasionally I succumb. But not really. One year I created a Cyclops, but take a look at the picture below and see if you can guess my cunning secret!
Yes! I make the same cake each time, with some concession to my child’s request. This is perhaps my personal favourite, as I think the cake looks rather like a baby Cyclops wearing a bonnet.
The main thing about my cake is that it tastes delicious, and so it should with two whole bars of Green & Black’s melted into it. It is possibly the most chocolate-y cake ever, and I NEVER wrap it in a paper napkin and give it to the kids to trample into the car’s upholstery on the way home. No way. This cake is there to be eaten, on the spot. Devoured, by parents, children and me.
I have other cunning customisations. The 6yo is obsessed with pigs and has been for a couple of years. This year I made exactly the same cake with pink fondant pigs wallowing in the chocolate-y mud. The chocolate fingers looked like a pen. Tragically my photos don’t do my brilliance justice. For some reason the pigs look a bit washed out. Please believe me when I tell you this was an absolute triumph!
Chocolate Birthday Cake
100g dark chocolate
225gself raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
225g butter, at room temp
225g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
Filling and decoration
3 tbsp raspberry jam
100g dark chocolate
50g icing sugar
250g milk chocolate fingers
Start to finish 15 mins prep 45 mins in the oven, plus icing.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line and butter two 20cm cake tins. Put the chocolate in a small saucepan with the milk. Heat the milk and let the chocolate slowly melt. Let it cool.
Put flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Give it a good stir. Add the butter, sugar, beaten eggs and chocolate milk.
Using an electric whisk, beat until it is well combined and pale. Divide evenly into the two prepared cake tins and place in the oven. Check the cakes after about 40 minutes. It is quite a mousse-y cake, so the top might not spring back when it’s cooked, but a knife should come out clean.
Once the cakes have cooled slightly turn them out onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Choose the least attractive cake for the base and put it on the serving plate. Spread the top with raspberry jam and place the second cake on top, making sure the smoothest,most attractive surface is at the top.
Icing: Melt the chocolate and stir in the butter and icing sugar. Keep stirring until it’s completely mixed together. Spread over the top of the cake, and down the sides.
Place a single layer of chocolate fingers around the outside. The bottom of each finger should touch the plate. When you’ve finished use a ribbon to tie around the outside of the cake to secure them. Scatter with raspberries/gummy bears – whatever your child desires.