Saturday, 11 June 2011

a very large birthday cake

a few days ago i got a call from a lady asking me to bake her a cake for her husbands 60th birthday... she said that they'd tried my cakes at the Gunby Hall tearoom and would I make a motorbike themed chocolate cake to feed at least 20 people... to be picked up this Friday!

... now obviously this fed directly into my ego and I said yes without a moments hesitation...

and then I had my moments hesitation... I thought about the whole themed thing... thought about what size cake tin i'd need to bake a cake to feed 20 people... panicked about the recipe i'd need to fill the cake tin... and very quickly called her back, explaining that whilst I can bake cakes, I really am not a 'themed cake' kinda guy and that i'd be happy to bake a fancy chocolate cake perhaps but would not be able to go further than this... a little bit of me was hoping she'd leave it at that and find another cake maker but no, she said never mind, don't worry about the theme and just bake me a lovely cake...!

... and then the panic really set in... what size do I need to bake the cake..? do I go square or round...? where do I find a super-sized cake tin..? how on earth do i scale up my regular chocolate cake...?

... of course, there was only one answer my friends...and I got on-line super-fast to order a 12inch square cake tin and a couple of packets of those fancy chocolate cigarillos...

... and then the search began for the recipe... and at this point I must tell you that my very good and dear blogger friends came so beautifully to the rescue... if ever you need a fabulous recipe for chocolate cake don't hesitate to ask any of the following people who I thank deeply from the bottom of my heart...

... Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog... Susan from Not Just any Old Baking... Luc from Chicken and Wine... Louise from Comida y Vida... Gill from Tales of Pigling Bland... and of course the lovely Ruth from The Pink Whisk, for it was her recipe I went for in the end... although I have to say I was suspicious till it came out of the oven... she even spent a very late hour between Thursday night and Friday morning cheering me on and guiding me through the final stages of the bake...

... clearly i'll never make a tidy brick layer, but I kind of like its rustic look!

a 12 inch square chocolate birthday cake

for the cake mix:
560g butter
825g sugar
7 eggs
190g self-raising flour
560g plain flour
3 tsp bicarb of soda
160g good quality cocoa
620ml milk
80ml white wine vinegar

for the filling:
600ml double or whipping cream
2 large boxes of strawberries - sliced
4 bananas - sliced

for the icing:
300ml double or whipping cream
200g full fat cream-cheese
200g marscapone
115g icing sugar

2 pkts of chocolate cigarillos

you'll need a 12 inch square cake tin which you should butter and triple line with greaseproof paper.  Set the oven to 160C or 150C fan.  you will also need some foil handy should you notice the cake catching.

you will also need a very large mixing bowl!

- mix the milk with the vinegar

- cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

- add the dry ingredients and the milk mix in halves until it's all gone.

- pour into the cake tin and bake for 1hr and 50 minutes... keep an eye on it and if it looks like it may catch, simply throw some foil over it.

- my oven is odd and it came out perfectly after 1 hr 40 minutes.  I left it overnight to cool and there was no sinkage in the morning.  It then went into the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill so I could cut it without bother.

- the next stage is a simple layering job with your favourite fruit and whipped cream.

- the icing is my usual favourite cream cheese icing, to which I added a 200g bar of dark chocolate.

and here are some fun pics showing the baking journey I took late on Thursday night...

... eat and of course, enjoy!



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