Being a Christmas baby, I am eternally envious of everyone who has birthday parties in Spring – actually, just at any other time of year.
So, whilst I dream of a birthday where friends and family aren’t all away and it isn’t 40 degrees (or hotter!), I’ll live vicariously through friends and happily bake birthday cakes for all and sundry. This is my favourite chocolate cake recipe, wonderfully moist thanks to the buttermilk and easy to make the day before.
Chocolate Birthday Cake
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40-50 minutes, plus cooling
You will need a 22 x 8 x 8cm rectangular cake tin, or two 20cm round cake tins
110g unsalted butter, at room temp
240g caster sugar
3 large, free-range eggs
125g plain flour
60g good-quality cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
300ml pure cream
40g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
1 punnet raspberries
2 punnets strawberries
Pre-heat oven to 170C. Grease cake tin with melted butter or canola spray, and line with baking paper.
To make the cake, place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition, and continue to whisk. In a separate bowl, sieve together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cornflour and salt. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately into the mixer on low speed, until just combined.
Spoon into prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes (less if dividing between two pans), until the top springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool, still in the tin, on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then turn cakes out to cool fully.
To make the icing, whip cream and 40g icing sugar until soft peaks form. Cover, and set aside to chill until ready to finish. If using the bar tin, slice cake horizontally into three layers with a serrated knife. Hull and slice two-thirds of the strawberries, reserving 8-10 for the top. Place a layer of strawberries onto the bottom cake layer, and top with 4-5 tbs. whipped cream. Gently press middle layer of cake onto the cream and repeat with remaining strawberries and more cream. Place the top layer of cake on, spoon 4-5 tbs. cream on again and gently top with whole strawberries and raspberries. Set aside in the fridge to set for 30min, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Best consumed on the day of baking, or store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Tip: to make cutting the cake easier, cool in the fridge or freezer for 20minutes before slicing.