Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Bake Off Birthday

I was going to title this "My Last Birthday Cake Ever" but I thought that may cause a flood of distressed messages.

What I mean to say is that upon my 39th birthday I discovered the cake that will feature at every one of my remaining birthdays.

It is no surprise to anyone that has stopped by before that I am "slightly" obsessed with the Bake Off in all it's guises.
  • The Great British Off,
  • The Great Irish Bake Off,
  • The Great Australian Bake Off,
  • The Pretty Good American Bake Off 
  • The Disappointing Italian Bake Off

So this birthday I wanted the chocolate cake with the raspberries from the opening titles.
 Source: Wikipedia
Surprisingly I couldn't find the recipe online but thought in reality to film the titles it was probably just polystyrene anyway.

I had lots of recipes for light airy chocolate cakes but I wanted this to be dense and rich so it would stick to your boots!!

This cake was developed after studying various recipes and the contents of my pantry.

The original version was great but this has been polished by making 5 in the past 2 weeks......yeah January diets! (and with Sunday bake club tomorrow make that 6)

You have to include the missing raspberry!

The Only Chocolate Birthday Cake
  • 180ml strong espresso (or brewed NOT instant ever)
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 300g cooking chocolate (see note)
  • 250g salted butter
  • 60g hazelnut spread
  • 140g crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs (our girls produce eggs in the mid 50g range)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g almond meal
For Ganache
  • 200ml cream
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • Tiny knob of butter
3-4 punnets of fresh raspberries to decorate (depending how many are eaten before they hit the cake)

  • Add coffee, caster sugar, chocolate and butter to a medium saucepan
  • Stir over low heat till the sugar dissolves and the rest is melted and combined (it will be deliciously glossy)
  • Remove from heat and let cool to just above room temperature
  • In a mixing bowl combine the hazelnut spread, crème fraîche and eggs
  • Sift flour and almond meal into the mixing bowl and combine
  • Add chocolate mixture and stir through till well combined
  • Pour into 22cm round spring form cake tin lined with a high collar and base
  • Bake at 150°C for 80-90 minutes till a skewer comes out clean and you can't hear anything from the cake
  • Allow to cool completely

I could always get a job making those videos that don't always have the highest production values, e.g. haven't turned the phone the right way!!
  • Add cream, chocolate and butter to a saucepan
  • Stir over very low heat till all melted and glossy
  • Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes prior to pouring over cake
  • Place cake on wire rack over a lipped tray and pour ganache to cover cake
  • This recipe makes enough ganache to cover the cake by pouring rather than spreading, this will also have a self levelling affect with the assistance of gravity
  • The extra ganache will pool in the tray and is a bonus treat, just in case there wasn't enough chocolate.
  • Let the ganache cool and set
  • Decorate the top with raspberries

Add some gold leaf just to ensure the lily is sufficiently gilded
This isn't a cheap cake but hey it's a birthday!

Note about Chocolate:

Chocolate, like who you love is very much a matter for the heart.
You just like what you like, it's just that simple.
No amount of "but this brand or type is better" will have an affect on what you like.

So use the chocolate, the brand and strength of dark or milk you like best or combination of.

But not white, that's not chocolate! (can, worms, opened)

I mix the 300g with 200g Lindt 70% and 100g of Cadbury 45% dark chocolate. (not sponsored comment but happy to be sent to Switzerland again hint hint)

I'm also planning to make one using 85% dark just to see how far towards the dark side it can go.
Now with coffee it's a different story altogether, this has to be good espresso. If you don't have a machine at home grab some take away from a café.

I pride my home on never containing these 2 items, tracksuit pants and instant coffee, you just gotta have your standards.

Unfortunately I get too preoccupied with eating to take a good sliced shots

This was a new years day version, it hadn't quite cooled before I needed to serve it but still just as good.
Oh if only!


  1. Love the "Bake Off" shows too, and have so wanted to try that cake. Yours looks amazing. Haven't seen many raspberries in the shops here so far this summer - and they were nearly $9 a (small) punnet then.

    Love your blog by the way, it always makes me smile. Thank you.

    1. I was very lucky to find them for just under $5 a packet, it's not a budget cake but there are worse things that money can be spent on. Thanks for your kind words they mean a lot, causing a smile really is the greatest achievement there can be :)

  2. Amazing looking cake. It looks like the perfect cake for me to use up my hazelnut paste on. Really it looks good!

  3. Perfect! This is a serious chocolate cake!

  4. I'm about to make this cake with my 11 year old, who, like you has lusted after this cake in the show's titles :) Wish me luck!

    1. Good Luck Jan, I'm sure you will do a brilliant job. Let me know how you go and please send me a picture I'd love to see it. Happy birthday to your 11 year old I hope they have a great day!!