This is the first year since I’ve been blogging for serious, and this is the first year I’ve photographed my yearly ritual of creating a fun cake, just for me. I know, so many people reckon it’s sad to make your own birthday cake, but when you love cake baking as much as I do, you jump at the chance!
JUMP I tells ya!
So every year I bake myself a custom creation. I like to experiment, and make something with only myself in mind. Usually cake baking is a crowd-pleasing affair. Not this one! I want to try chocolate whipped cream, and vanilla poached cherries and a hot milk sponge. And I did! And I loved it! So here’s the recipe. Thank you so much to everyone who’s sent me a happy birthday on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. You guys are rad cool. So rad cool.
Birthday Black Forest Cake
The construction of this cake is by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit. The Hot Milk Sponge is adapted, very slightly from Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
For the Hot Milk Sponge
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
40g salted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
1 cup cream
100g 70% dark chocolate
For the Vanilla Poached Cherries
300g frozen cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
To make the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Grease and line one 8 inch cake tin. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Place the butter and milk in the a saucepan and heat until the butter melts, without boiling. Set aside. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whip until tripled in volume and very pale. Fold through half the flour, until well combined, followed by the remaining flour. Finally, pour in the warm milk and butter mixture and fold until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool in the tin.
For the chocolate whipped cream, place 50mls of the cream and the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave. Place in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, add the remaining cream, and whip until the mixture is well combined and reaches soft peaks. Refrigerate until use.
To poach the cherries, place all the ingredients in a medium pan along with a splash of water and bring to the boil. Once boiled, the cherries should be completely thawed, and slightly softened. Set aside to cool.
To assemble the cake slice the cooled sponge in two, and place on a stand. Spread with just under half the chilled cream, and half the cherries. Top with the next layer of cake, followed by the remaining cream and cherries. Serve! ENJOY YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!