Ben’s birthday cake: part one

I had to use it. Come on, you understand that there was no way it was going to sit on the counter, winking at me, beckoning me to rev its 500w motor for a whole day?

Glad we understand each other.

So Ben’s birthday cake extravaganza commenced this evening after a last minute dash to Waitrose for chocolate (meant to ask M to purchase some loose Valrhona from WholeFoods, but the Day Job wound me up so much this afternoon I clean forgot. Pah.)

Part one involved baking a double dose of Nigella’s Birthday Cake (How to Eat, p 28) which will be shaped and filled with raspberry jam, raspberries, and something (maybe chocolatey, maybe creamy) and covered with ganache.

Step one: cake batter. Recipe didn’t call for the mixer, but dammit, like I wasn’t going to break it out for this….

Melt condensed milk (and hurrah to finding a non-Nestle producer of condensed milk! Should have thought to hunt out a Carribean supplier years ago. Grace, Kennedy and Company Ltd, I salute you!), chocolate, butter, just-boiled water, and golden caster sugar.

Sift self-raising flour, cocoa and add a pinch of sea salt.


Scrape into two (unmatching. Oops) tins lined with bake-o-glide (genius stuff, that bake-o-glide) and bake for 40 minutes somewhere between 160 and 180 depending on your oven. And my recalcitrant oven did not reset to 150 once. Good oven.

Cakes are now cooling, waiting to be turned out, and cut into a special shape, filled, iced and decorated.

Coming up….. Part two: Buttermilk birthday cake, strawberry jam and marscapone cream. Unless I change my mind overnight!

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