Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Birthday Cakes Extravaganza

Another post which is a little tardy in surfacing.

It was that time of year again and as custom requires, I was due to bring in cakes for my work colleagues. I try to do something different each year, this is what I managed last year. For the vegan at work, I made Vegan Chocolate and Courgette Cupcakes, which I will post about shortly. One of my newly acquired birthday items was Bake and Decorate by Fiona Cairns, a book I became aware of through reading Oxslip’s eclectic blog. Once seen, it was only a matter of time before I got my sticky mitts on it.  From this book I made a Lemon Crunch Cake and the Family Chocolate Cake.

This is how I managed to bungle the Chocolate Cake:
  • Poured 140ml of just off the boil water over 100g 70% dark chocolate and left to melt.
  • Creamed 175g unsalted butter with 275g muscovado sugar for ages until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • Stirred the chocolate until smooth then added this to the cake mixture along with 2 large tablespoons of TOTAL Greek yogurt (which I’d substituted for buttermilk).
  • Sifted in 200g flour (half wholemeal and half white) with 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp bicarb of soda and folded into the batter.
  • At this point I should have added 100g of ground almonds, but stupidly I forgot – how extremely annoying!
  • Spooned into two 21cm cake thingies and baked at 180C for 30 mins.
  • Melted 100g 70% dark chocolate with 40g unsalted butter.
  • Stirred in 1 tbsp golden syrup and 2 tbsp muscovado sugar.
  • Whisked in 150ml double cream until mixture was thick enough to use.
  • Spread half the mixture onto one cake, topped with the other cake and the rest of the icing.
  • Decorated with minstrels
How could I forgot the almonds?  Really, I couldn’t believe it.  Luckily, the cake was still totally delicious.  Both cakes were really good and it made a nice change to make (and eat) a non-chocolatey cake – sshh, don’t want to disabuse anyone of my chocoholic credentials. They were wolfed down by work colleagues and the chocolate cake was even pronounced by one as the best cake they had ever tasted – I can’t ask for more than that……  Although I can’t help wondering how much better it might have been with the almonds.
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  1. Chele

    10th August 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Could you pop a slice in the post to me please? A slice of that yummy looking cake would do wonders in calming my nerves right about now. I’ve popped a post up for We Should Cocoa and also started a discussion on UKFBA!

  2. Emmalene

    10th August 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Deelishus…I love the look of the Minstrel cake x

  3. cityhippyfarmgirl

    10th August 2010 at 8:54 pm

    No need for almonds I say. That looks delicious. Your co-workers must love you!

  4. Choclette

    10th August 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Chele – I think one of your muffins should do the trick. Good news that we are now in business!

    Emmalene – it certainly looks better than some of my creations!

    CityHippy – I was certainly popular for a day – fickle lot!


    10th August 2010 at 10:27 pm

    They both look delicious, Choclette! Are you still using duck eggs in your baking?

  6. Suman Singh

    11th August 2010 at 3:07 am

    Cake looks that frosting..beautifully done.

  7. Sushma Mallya

    11th August 2010 at 5:13 am

    Beautiful chocolate cake

  8. Kath

    11th August 2010 at 6:01 am

    Maybe leaving the almonds out was a genius touch after all. It certainly looks like it,

  9. VegBoxBoy

    11th August 2010 at 7:08 am

    Looking forward to the courgette cake recipe – I have tonnes of them at the mo’.

    I always like to see a cake decorated with minstrels. It’s nice.

  10. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    11th August 2010 at 9:09 am

    looks good… should have made this one instead of the disaster I made last weekend! Lucky people to have you as a co-worker! x

  11. Joanna

    11th August 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Love your cakes! Reading about them not quite as satisfying as eating them, but close 🙂

  12. Bridgett

    11th August 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Your posts are always fun to read. Looks divine!

  13. Johanna GGG

    12th August 2010 at 4:09 am

    happy belated birthday – I am sure you had some extra moisture in the cake without the almonds – good to know such omissions work – excellent research 🙂

  14. Margaret

    12th August 2010 at 9:29 pm

    That looks like a really lovely cake!
    I too have Fiona Cairns book, it is full of great recipes.

  15. Choclette

    13th August 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Celia – always use duck eggs when I can get them. But they are not always easy to get hold of. I usually say if I’ve used them

    Thank you Suman

    Thank you Sushma

    Kath, not sure about genius, but it didn’t seem to matter too much.

    Thanks VBB – don’t hold your breath on the courgette ones – they turned out more like puddings than cakes! I have made very good ones in the past – without chocolate though. Cake was termed “posh cake” at work because of the minstrels.

    Dom – what nonsense you talk, your cake looked great.

    Joanna – thank you, that was a lovely comment and made me smile. May not be quite as satisfying, but heaps better for your waistline.

    Bridgett – thank you

    Johanna – thanks, that’s a very positive spin you gave to my mistake – much appreciated.

    Margaret – thank you. It’s a lovely book indeed.

  16. MaryMoh

    13th August 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Love the cakes. So sweet of you! I wish I am your colleague 😛

  17. Choclette

    15th August 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you Mary Moh

  18. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    20th August 2010 at 5:01 pm

    fab facebook page! another thing to regularly worry about!

  19. Choclette

    22nd August 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks Dom – worry about indeed, AND try and find the time for!

  20. Maya Russell

    11th February 2013 at 7:49 am

    You don’t need almonds it seems.

    • Choclette

      11th February 2013 at 7:22 pm

      It was certainly very good without them, but think how much better it might have been with them 🙂

  21. Maya Russell

    16th August 2013 at 7:32 am

    Yes, it would probably have tasted richer with almonds. I love almonds and marzipan.


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