14 November 2012

Chocolate Summer Birthday Cake

Of all the things I’ve experienced in Australia, the fact that the seasons are backwards is what has confused and thrown me the most.  For (almost) 25 years November has been cold and dreary and suddenly I am upside down and its’ November and 30 degrees and its summer.  I’m not complaining though because strawberries are in season and they are delicious.

This means that delicious fruit can feature highly in baked goods; its’ been a long time since I baked anything so I took full advantage of a friends’ well-equipped kitchen and a recently-past birthday to take to the bowl and whip up (literally) a cake! It also gave me the perfect chance to use the sweetest plate I own; reading ‘eat cake’ across the middle the plate was given to me when I was in America in June and its’ travelled with me since!

My initial proposal of making a red-velvet cake based on the birthday boy’s sock-colour of choice; red, but this idea was shot down with the tactful phrase ‘Well, it wouldn’t be my first choice...’. 
Thus the ‘Chocolate Summer Birthday Cake’ was born.  Featuring two moist chocolate sponge rounds filled with whipped cream and strawberries and topped with chocolate-fudge icing and a craftily sliced strawberry, this cake combines the best things about summer.  Sunshine is available with prior planning.

Chocolate Cake
6 oz unsalted butter
6 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
6 oz self-raising flour minus 1 tbsp
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Glug of milk

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line 2 x 7” cake rounds.
2)  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
 3) Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is well combined.
 4) Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
5)  Spread evenly between the 2 rounds and bake for 20 minutes.

When the rounds are cool fill with whipped heavy cream and chopped strawberries to re-create my summer dream. 

Chocolate Fudge Icing (makes enough to ice and fill an 8" layer cake)
2 oz butter 
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
8 oz icing sugar

Sieve the cocoa powder and icing sugar together and beat well with the remaining ingredients.
*the icing should not run or set and is delicious*

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