…birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birth-day Mister He-en

Happy birthday toooooooo yoooooooou


Hip hip-hooray. A spiky looking Chocolate Fudge Cake, courtesy of Mrs Charles Saatchi, Nigella herself. Well courtesy of me channeling Nigella, sans the twin set and charm.

This cake is not the fastest thing to make and is full of butter and her saturated friends, so it’s perfect for an occasional birthday treat. Last night it followed some quite yummy (if I say so myself) made-up-as-I-went-along pumpkin and ricotta canneloni-another process-heavy birthday treat.

Too bad that the birthday boy was sick with a belated case of Easter Flu, (I shared the love-sorry Mr Hen) so his enjoyment of the occasion was somewhat tempered by this. However I think that the addition this year of a small person, utterly enthralled by the singing and candles made this birthday cake more delicious than others that have come before it.

And no, Mr Hen is not a year old. We just can’t cope with the amount of wax that the correct number of candles would drip onto the icing…

For the cake:

400g plain flour

250g golden caster sugar (or plain caster if you can’t get this)

100g light muscovado sugar (I had to use brown)

50g cocoa powder (use a good quality dark one if you can-better final colour and taste)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

142ml sour cream (I used greek yoghurt)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

125ml corn oil (I used light olive oil)

300ml chilled water

For the icing:

175g dark chocolate

250g unsalted butter, softened

275g sifted icing sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Grease, flour and line two 20cm sandwich tins.

In one bowl mix the dry cake ingredients. In another mix the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. And in yet another vessel mix (actually whisk/machine mix or use a hand blender) the melted butter and the oil, then blend in the chilled water-it will become thick as the butter gets chilled by the water!

Add all of the dry ingredients to the oil/butter/water at once and mix together on a slow speed. Then add the egg mixture and mix again until blended, then pour into the prepared tins and bake the cakes for 50-55mins or until a skewer/cake tester/piece of raw spaghetti/straw from your broom (I have heard of people using any/all of these!) comes out clean, cool cakes in their tins for 15 mins then out on a cake rack until completely cool.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave on low power/using a double boiler/however you like and then let it cool slightly. In another bowl cream the butter, add the icing sugar and beat until well incorporated, creamy and lovely, then mix in the chocolate and vanilla. Remember to keep performing taste tests at all of these stages once the butter and sugar is creamed together. You see, I find creamed butter and sugar disgustingly yummy and have to restrain myself around it. I am gross, I know, I know. But it is bloody good. Go on-admit it.

Spread the bottom cake with about 1/4 of the icing (I usually have to cut off the dome-ey bit so the top cake sits nicely), sandwich the cakes together then ice the heck out of the top and sides-you should have plenty of icing to do this very thickly, even if your icing has fallen victim to  the afforementioned taste-tests along the way.

And there you have it. A very satisfyingly chocolatey birthday cake, festive and gorgeous. Just keep your cardiologist on the Christmas card list…

Next up, Mum and I are making curtains for the big living room here at the tree house, so that we might stay a bit warmer this winter. Less exciting than chocolate cake and birthdays, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless. The warmth, I mean. I find sewing curtains to be quite enervating. Should be a thrilling post-one to look forward to!


~ by Little Red Hen on April 21, 2009.

6 Responses to “Haaaaaappy…”

  1. I’d like the record to show that there wouldn’t be THAT much wax involved in having the correct number of candles… The cake sure was (still is) yummy though!

    • Hey-we are only 6 months apart in wax numbers, no offense meant. It is just that once there are more than 20 candles the cake becomes a bit of a parrafin party, y’know?

  2. Happy happy birfday!

  3. i was thinking fondly of the leftover cannelloni yesterday afternoon while on my long way home (with nary a dry bread roll to keep me going). why didn’t I factor birthday leftovers into my travel plans? curses!

    +fangs for having me, by the way.

    • I’m guessing that you will be unhappy to hear we just finished off the cake then…

      *you’re welcome

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