I made this for Angela’s birthday – I was really happy with how it turned out! It was very quick and easy to make, and looked stunning. I went for the square tin because that’s the only one I could find in a rush, but it would work well in two round tins too. The recipe suggested 22cm ones.
Chocolate Birthday Cake with Wonderful Chocolate Ganache (Original recipe here)
For the cake
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 350g/12½oz caster sugar
- 85g/3oz cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 free-range eggs
- 250ml/9fl oz milk
- 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml/9fl oz boiling water
For the chocolate icing
- 200g/7oz plain chocolate
- 200ml/7fl oz double cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Look frantically for the cake tins you should be using, find a silicone brownie tray instead, decide that will have to do!
- For the cake, place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.
- Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
- Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in the tin, before icing.
- For the chocolate icing, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth, glossy and thickened. Set aside to cool for 1-2 hours, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.
- To assemble, turn out the cake then slice in half across its waist and then again down the centre to make four equal pieces.
- Place one of the neater pieces on a serving plate. Spread a little chocolate icing over it, then sandwich another on top. Repeat until you have a stack of four layers.
- Spread the rest of the icing all around the outside.
- To give a nice, shiny and smooth appearance, heat up the blade of a knife in boiling water, then wipe dry with kitchen roll and use to smooth the icing all over the top and sides of the cake.
- Garnish with candles, and admire!