Archives for posts with tag: chocolate cake

What do you get someone who has a sweet tooth for their 90th birthday? A giant chocolate cake, that’s what!

Martin’s pop turned the big nine-oh last weekend and to celebrate family and friends gathered from across the globe (all the way from Canada!). I needed a cake that would serve the crowd and knock the socks off as well, so I turned to my new favourite baking book – Baked In America. Those David’s really know what they’re doing.

I had a tough choice narrowing which layer cake recipe to make and finally decided on Coke Layers. Coca-cola and chocolate? You can’t get more indulgent, really…

So here goes, my adventure in a triple layer chocolate indulgence.

To get started, I melted butter with coca-cola in a bowl over simmering water.

Butter and cola

Then added three types of chocolate – plain, milk and super dark 81% chocolate. Seriously chocolatey… oh yeah… and marshmallows. (I think I gained 10 lbs just writing that sentence.)

Chocolate and marshmallow

Once the chocolate, butter, cola and marshmallows were all melty and gooey, I let it cool to room temperature and sorted the dry ingredients. Oh yeah, there’s more chocolate.

Dry ingredients

Once the chocolate, butter, marshmallow and cola mixture cooled, I added it to the eggs and sugar. It’s key to let a hot chocolate mixture cool to room temp, otherwise you’ll get scrambled chocolate eggs… yuck.

4 bowl process

This mixture makes 3x 9 inch layers.

Fresh from the oven

As recommended, I used a chocolate fudge frosting, which combines sour cream and melted chocolate.

ready for frosting

frosting in progress

And voila! A frosted triple layer chocolate cake!


ready for celebration

Pop loved the cake, as did everyone at the party. He had a few helpers to blow out the candles.

make a wish

Happy birthday, Pop! Here’s to 90 great years and more to come…



Today is a very special day, it’s my dad’s birthday. Not only is it his birthday, his favourite football team – the 49ers – are playing in the Conference Championships.
I’m sad that I can’t be there to celebrate his birthday (and the game), so here’s to you, Dad… Happy Birthday! Oh, and go ‘Niners!


January has been a very busy month for birthdays and I’ve been busy baking cakes.

Cake batter

I kicked off the month with my husband’s birthday back on the 8th. Mini G decided Martin should have carrot cake and since I just got the Primrose Baking Book, G and I tested their recipe.

Carrot cake carrots

I left out the raisins and most of the cinnamon as Mini G is not a fan, but even without these, the cake was fabulous. It would be even better with raisins and the proper amount of cinnamon. I also topped it with an orange icing rather than cream cheese frosting, which made a very nice substitute.

Carrot bundt cake

A few days later, we celebrated Martin’s dad’s birthday. He’s a classic sort of guy, so I wanted to make a classic british cake. I wanted a challenge, so I went for the Battenburg and looked to my trusty Leith’s Baking Bible for guidance.

battenburg construction

The sponge itself is very simple to make. I split the batter in half and used Sugarflair ‘Claret’ paste to create the pink colour for the sponge. Then came the difficult bit… making 4 equal square lengths. I managed to cut the cake as close to equal as possible and slathered in between each length with apricot jam. Next up, the marzipan outer layer.

The key to this bit is to roll out the marzipan as thin as possible, but not too thin so it tears. I wrapped the cake as tightly as I could and voila! Battenburg cake!

Battenburg serving up

I’m glad I baked this, I’m glad it came out well, but I can’t see making it again anytime soon.

Tea time cake

A sassy little lady I know turned 10 yesterday. She loves chocolate and rabbits, so I created a cake with both.

Chocolate cake

The chocolate sponge was from Eric Lanlard’s Home Bake (It really is a foolproof chocolate sponge for any occasion) and I used Nigella’s All Purpose Chocolate Icing from How to be a Domestic Goddess.

chocolate icing

purple royal icing

To create the purple rabbits, I used regular ready to roll white royal icing and kneaded in some ‘Violet’ Sugarflair colour paste. Then rolled it out on baking parchment and cut out the rabbit shapes with a cookie cutter.

rabbit shapes

And here’s the finished cake… Happy Birthday, Biba!

Biba's cake

Mini G’s Poppy’s birthday was on the 20th and although I did not bake this cake, it needed to be featured. MIL made a chocolate Guinness cake from Nigella’s Feast book and it was divine. So much for my diet!

Guinness cake

Happy birthday to all of the Dad’s and to new friends! Let them eat cake!

And the cupcakes are back. This time in giant form.

My colleague, Keredy asked me to make her husband a giant cupcake. I’d never made a giant one before, so I gladly accepted this challenge. Thankfully, I practiced first because the first one came out a bit small, like didn’t even fill the cake mould small.

As cupcakes are all the rage these days, giant ones are just as popular. You see these moulds in bakeshops, online, etc. The one downside is that these are manufactured in the US. The recipes that come with them are US based, ie it says to use a box of cake mix. I don’t know about you, but using a box of cake mix is cheating. How hard is it really to measure flour, baking powder, etc, etc?

Giant Cupcake phase 1

Like I said, thankfully I practiced. You definitely have to double the recipe. For Iain’s cake, I referred to my standard chocolate cupcake recipe from Primrose Bakery. Those ladies got it going on. (I can’t wait for their baking cookbook to hit the shelves… my b’day is coming up people… hint hint!) And yes, I doubled the recipe. This one is perfect for chocolate cakes of any kind. The egg whites create a mousse-like texture.

Frosting the giant cupcake

I haven’t yet found the absolutely perfect marshmallow topping recipe, but the one from Nigella Lawson’s Autumnal Birthday Cake is nearly there. From the ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess‘ cookbook, her original recipe calls for maple syrup, but I just substituted it with golden syrup for the standard vanilla marshmallow flavour. Gently cooking/whisking the egg whites and cream of tartar over a low heat helps set the marshmallow frosting so you don’t end up with a drippy or goopy frosting.

giant cupcake

I can’t wait to give the giant cupcake another go… Maybe I’ll make one for myself on my birthday.

I took the cake over to my father in law’s today for an after lunch birthday treat. As chocolate sponge cakes go, this one is at the top.  It was definitely chocolatey enough and not too dry.  I probably could have done with frosting it, but I wanted to try it au naturel the first go round to test the cake on it’s own.

I served it with a fresh vanilla whipped cream (as pictured below), which was a nice accompaniment to the unfrosted cake.

This recipe is a keeper.  Thanks Mr. Lanlard!

For Christmas I received a voucher for Amazon and have decided to indulge in some cookbooks.  After trawling through the many baking books out there, I came across one called Home Bake by Eric Lanlard.  He’s a master patissier who has studied under the Roux brothers, so he instantly had credibility in my eyes.  I have found there are a lot of posers out there when it comes to baking and cooking.  The book arrived on Thursday, giving me enough time to browse through and choose a project for the weekend. When I received it, I was a bit put off by the endorsement by Elizabeth Hurley on the cover, does she even eat cake?  But after reading the recipes, I was confident with my selection of baking book.

Since it was my father in law’s birthday on Wednesday and we are going to see him tomorrow, I decided to bake a birthday cake.  Chocolate cake has always been a tricky one for.  So I set myself a challenge to re-create Eric Lanlard’s “Cake Boy” Chocolate Cake.  The recipe was super easy to follow and well, the proof is in the pudding, or the cake as we have here.  I won’t be able to taste it as the finished product until tomorrow, but if the batter is anything to go by, it’s going to be amazing.

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