Last weekend was my grandfather’s birthday and my mother threw a big lunch for all the family at our house.
Gramps is 86, but he acts like he’s about 30, so I baked a cake to match his mental age. There were 18 of us, so I knew it had to be big. When I was little, my mum always made chocolate cake topped with a mountain of whipped cream and berries for birthdays, and those cakes were the inspiration behind this one.
This cake is perfect for any occasion. It also reminds me of summer birthdays, which I’m so in the mood for after the sunshine this weekend!
Chocolate Birthday Cake
For the cake:
240g plain flour
240g caster sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
60g cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, salt and butter in a bowl and mix until it is a sandy consistency. Pour in half the milk and beat until it is incorporated.
Whisk the eggs and remaining milk together in a separate bowl, then pour into the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Grease and line a large cake tin and pour in two thirds of the mixture. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 170 degrees celcius. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. When it is cool, turn out onto a cooling rack and bake the other third of the mixture.
For the icing:
250g icing sugar
125g butter at room temperature
about a tablespoon of milk
Beat the butter and icing sugar together, then add the milk if needed to make it a more runny consistency.
200ml double cream
50g icing sugar
a selection of berries
Whisk the cream until it forms firm peaks, then add the icing sugar and mix in.
Cut the larger cake in half. Place one half on a cake stand. Spread half the icing over the cake, then place the other half on top. Spread the remaining icing over it, then place the last cake on top.
Spoon the whipped cream onto the top of the cake, and decorate with the berries.