Thursday, March 15, 2012

A birthday means cake!

It was my friend's birthday today and my immediate thought was "let's bake a cake!!", so me and two other friends did just that. And it was beautiful. EXTREMELY sweet and chocolatey, but if you can't treat yourself on your birthday, when can you? The sponge was perfectly light and airy and the icing was (eventually) just the right consistency after a bit of trial and error with ingredients! I have to give all the credit  to Alex though for the decoration, who seems to be the queen of cake-decorating! We were in a bit of a rush and my hand is just not steady enough when under pressure - I think I need more practice at that. The birthday girl loved it though (I hope!) and it was a good excuse for the rest of us to sit in Parc Jourdan with a big slab of chocolate cake and a glass of champagne sparkling wine. The sun even decided to come out! I just won't mention the strange French chav who was practising his rapping techniques on a bench nearby - thankfully, we were too busy eating cake to take too much notice... 

Chocolate Birthday Cake serves 6 large slabs, for 6 greedy people!

For the cake:
200g Butter
200g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
4 Eggs
150g Self-Raising Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
For the icing:
140g Butter
200g Icing Sugar
80g Cocoa Powder
3 tsp Nutella
Sprinkles or whatever decorations of your choice
[NB. I just guessed the quantities for the icing, but this is a real recipe that I found which is more exact!]

  1. Grease a cake tin (1 large or 2 small) and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs and mix, one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla essence, flour and cocoa powder and mix again. 
  5. Pour into cake tin and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. If using one large cake tin, cut cake in half once completely cool.
  8. For the icing, cream the butter and gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  9. Add vanilla essence and a spoonful of Nutella if you're feeling really extravagant!
  10. Spread half the icing on one of the cake layers evenly and sandwich together.
  11. Spread the rest on top of the cake.
  12. Decorate as you wish!

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