It's been a long time…I apologise for not posting for a while.
I am knee deep in Christmas Cakes and Mince Pies, they are lovely and I love making them, I just didn't think you needed to see them all as they come out of the oven.
So today I take a little "break" from the production line to make my son his 13th birthday cake. I have always asked my kids what cake they want when it's their birthday. There have been some silly suggestions, some challenges and the betrayal I felt when my son asked for a "shop-bought" cake!
This year, I simply didn't ask. I was half thinking he would say he didn't want one or maybe he would ask for something ridiculous. So I just pottered away in the kitchen and came up with this little number.
It's from a book called Lucy's Food by Lucy Cufflin. It's a great book because she doesn't mess about with stuff. She was a chalet chef and now writes recipes for other chalet chefs to follow, so they need to be really easy but impressive. This cake is exactly that, it is her take on a Sachertorte, but simplified. Thanks Lucy, you have never let me down.
175g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g butter, cut into cubes
4 tbsp golden syrup
In a mixing bowl, start with the flour, sugar, almonds and cocoa. Add the butter and rub it in to the dry mix. This is a bit like making pastry. If you are scared of the rubbing method, you could blitz this in a processor for a min. But what you are trying to do it distribute the butter through the dry mix and end up with a breadcrumb texture. People say everything has to be really cold for this , but I prefer something a bit softer, else it's hard on the knuckles.
Now in a jug, measure out your milk, then add the eggs and the golden syrup to it. Whisk about a bit and then pour into your flour mix. This is really the most unappealing mix at this stage, you will have little lumps of butter, but don't worry.
The tin you need is a 25cm loose bottomed tin. If you are a few cm each way it won't matter, but remember a deeper cake will need more cooking and don't go too much bigger, else it will be like a big biscuit! Line with a big circle of greaseproof, so there is enough to go up the sides (it will ruffle up but just squash it all in).
Now put in an oven at 350˚F/180˚C (160 fan) for 30-40 mins. It should be springy in the middle when cooked. Get out and cool on a rack then take out of tin and wrap in cling film until you are ready to ice. This can be kept for a couple of day like this.
The icing now gets poured over the top. I prefer a more fluid mix so I cut out quite a lot of the icing sugar, but if you want it to cling more to the sides you will need the full amount.
3 tbsp milk
100g dark choc, chopped
250g icing sugar
In a pan melt the first 3 ingredients, then when smooth add the icing sugar (see above, I only used about 100g). Pour over the top and let set (I left overnight).
Now add a selection of candles (mine are ones I have saved from the last 12 years of cakes) and an excited boy!
I think this needs a good dollop of pouring cream and then everyone will be happy. Happy birthday Edd xx