Five signs you are a baking blogger:
1. You have enough cake stands to fill a museum
2. Your kitchen is full of weird baking implements, like a cake saw. And you bought a blowtorch just in case.
3. There is never a lack of baked goods to eat round the house. Otherwise, you are either having a life crisis, or in the kitchen busily whipping up the next batch.
4. Your weekly shopping includes two of the following: butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, or chocolate.
5. You bake your own birthday cake. And before it’s time to eat it, you cut out a slice for photography purposes, then slide it back in, and patch the icing back together again. Shhh
This chocolate cake is loosely adapted from Geraldene Holt’s Cakes. It’s essentially a chocolate victoria sponge, gently brushed with syrup, filled with whipped double cream, and draped in an excess of glorious chocolate ganache. I didn’t add any cinnamon as per Holt’s recipe, because chocolate-and-cinnamon is not my favourite flavour combo.
This cake actually had a bit of a disaster post-baking. The top half split into three pieces, when I was trying to move the cake around, and I had to stick them back together with a dab of leftover ganache. You can’t tell to look from looking at it though! Phew!
The “Happy Birthday” candles are from Waitrose. I do like a novelty candle. For my brother’s birthday cake, I used a firework candle, which was the most exciting thing to happen to my parents since perhaps his actual birth. Next time I’m going to hunt down one of those flower-shaped ones that spin around and play music.
I’ve never put whipped cream in my cakes before, but I’m certainly going to do it again in future. It adds a lovely lightness, a bit of extra moisture, and isn’t too sweet. I am definitely noticing I’m nowhere near as fond of sweet foods as I was as a teenager. This cake has the richness and flavour you want, but there isn’t too much sugar to overwhelm and make you feel sick afterwards.
This cake has a very very delicate crumb (hence why the top layer broke so easily). I think it was also a tiny bit on the dry side. Holt suggests baking it for 30-35 minutes, and I’m sure I baked it for 36. I seem to frequently bake my cakes a little over because I’m so paranoid that they’ll be underbaked and raw in the middle when I test them. So next time I would definitely reduce the baking time by 4 minutes, and hopefully stop overbaking so many of my cakes in the future!