Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Big Celebration Birthday Cake

I was recently invited to a surprise birthday party for my friend Adam who was turning 30. Several years ago Adam and I were flatmates and he was always a fan of my baking, often thinking I didn't notice when cakes disappeared or got smaller overnight, so it wasn't difficult deciding what to get him for his birthday.

As soon as I'd agreed to make the cake I panicked, how do I make a cake for 20 people? What kind of cake does a 30 year old man want anyway?

I decided the best thing to do was to make two cakes, initially I wanted to make the cakes in the size of a 3 and a 0 but this might mean less cake so instead opted for two big round cakes with the 3 and the 0 on top.

The chocolate cake recipe I used makes a delicious light and fluffy sandwich sponge.

Ingredients for two sponge cakes:

280g creme fraiche
260g margarine
460g soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs
360g plain flour
Pinch of salt
80g cocoa powder
20g baking powder

The method is simple, put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until everything is combined. Pour the mixture into 8in round cake tins (if you don't have 4 tins cook them in batches) and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180°C.

For the icing:
160g Green and Blacks milk chocolate
260g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and put to the side to cool slightly. Mix the other ingredients in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy, then add the chocolate until fully combined.

Once the cakes have cooled spread the icing over two of the cakes and then sandwich the remaining cakes on top and spread the rest of the icing on the top.

In the end I went for quite a simple design on the top (as much as I would have liked to have covered them in sprinkles I had to keep the birthday boy in mind), I bought a box of Cadbury Heroes and arranged them into a 30.

This cake really is delicious, each cake serves approximately 10 people with a generous slice and it was really popular with everyone at the party.