Recipe 79: Divine Birthday Cake

20140121-175135.jpgGood morning to each and every one of you! I’m edging closer to 100, only 11 more to go! After that of course, another 119, goodness me this is proving to be quite a difficult challenge to complete, but I’m giving it a good try.

For this cake, I was pretty excited as it was for my best friend’s 21st birthday. She picked the cake she wanted but left the decorating up to me…which is something I usually find difficult. I enjoy the cakes and bakes that require little decoration and are plain and simple. I knew it had to look the part and taste good too – of which I can definitely vouch for. The cake was devoured fairly quickly and enjoyed by her family, thumbs up all round.

It did sink as it cooled down but overall it wasn’t a huge issue, besides, you can always cover it up with plenty of the chocolate icing. The absence of flour gives it a melt-in-your-mouth texture, similar to a flourless brownie which is actually something which contributes to the, ‘go on, just a little bit…maybe just a small slice…it is my second piece!’

Another bonus – it doesn’t take too long to bake, if you plan on decorating with chocolate fingers, 2 packets is not enough!!! Always buy 3! I had to disguise my mishap with chocolate buttons, but nonetheless, it looked planned and not a complete mistake! Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 22.44.23

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs, 5 of them separated
  • 215 g caster sugar
  • 265 g plain chocolate (39%)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1 tsp hot water
  • 150 g ground almonds

For the icing:

  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 225 g plain chocolate (39%)
  • 100 g unsalted butter

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas mark 5. Grease a 9″ deep round cake tin and then line the base with parchment.
  2. Place the egg yolks and whole egg in a large bowl with the sugar and beat together until thick and light in colour. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Add the coffee to the melted chocolate and stir together. Cool slightly, then stir into the egg mixture with the ground almonds.20140121-175313.jpg
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Carefully fold into the egg and chocolate mixture, turn into the prepared tin and gently level the surface.20140121-175114.jpg
  4. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for approx 15 mins, then turn out, peel off the parchment and leave to cool on a wire rack.20140121-175251.jpg
  5. Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, allowing to melt over a low heat, then brush all over the top and sides of the cake. For the icing, melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, occasionally stirring. Add the butter and stir until the icing has the consistency of thick pouring cream, leaving to cool if necessary.
  6. Stand the cake onto a wire rack set over a baking tray to catch any drips, then pour the cake, smoothing the top and sides with a palette knife. Allow to set then decorate as you desire.20140121-175208.jpg
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