As regular readers (or Readers) will know, it was recently M's birthday - but between the stresses and strains of moving house(s), the whirling dervish that was the Olympics, repeated trips to Ikea, and the Simple Summer Essentials I've been working my way through, poor M's birthday cake has taken rather a back seat. For which I'm truly sorry.
We have planned a picnic for tomorrow, a trip to the Heath to hopefully enjoy the sunshine, some relaxation and each other's company. We do seem to be afflicted by the 'ships that pass in the night' curse as I'm either working away, or M's leaving early/ working late and I'm asleep. So tomorrow will not only be just a pleasant way to spend a sunny summer's day, but also for us some much needed and much cherished time together. And what other justification do I need to bake a cake?
I had a look through my *cough*far too many*cough* cookbooks and oddly was uninspired by the creative and complicated recipes that abounded within their pages. I realised I wanted something simple, (quick and easy as I was making it before leaving for work) that M would love.
M can't eat dark chocolate - one of the first things I made him was chocolate truffles; amazing dark chocolate, spiked with amaretto, which he kindly accepted and then 'shared' (gave to) his parents. Dark chocolate makes him feel terribly poorly, much as white chocolate does me. So that leaves one sort of cake - milk chocolate. As tempting as Nigella's Chocolate cake for the broken hearted was, I couldn't help but feel it was, infact tempting fate to make it for this sort of occaision. So I opted for a simple cake that I invented to make at Uni as frequently as funds and ovens would allow. It's based around a basic chocolate sponge (so uses the 4:4:2 ratio with a small amount of the flour substituted for cocoa powder) but with added chopped up chocolate bar pieces and a rather decadent (or so it seemed at the time) icing! It uses chopped up chocolate bars because I could buy them from the union shop and they were shockingly a lot lot cheaper than a similar weight of chocolate chips.
By the way, would you be at all shocked if I said I made this in the K-mix? Didn't think so! I used to do it by hand easily, but was just too lazy at 8am this morning.
M's belated birthday Mars Bar Cake
Half a pack of butter - leave out on the countertop to soften
4oz soft, dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used to use essence when I was at uni)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder made up to 4oz with self raising flour
1 Mars bar, chopped up
2 Mars bars, melted
1 Mars bar, fridge cold
2oz soft, dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C, and grease a 7 inch cake tin. You can line it, but this cake doesn't seem to need it, alternatively dust the greased tin with cocoa powder as you would usually use flour. This prevents a white cast on the baked cake
Cream butter and sugar together until well mixed
Add both eggs and the vanilla and mix again
Sift in cocoa powder and flour mixture
Mix again until you have a thick batter - you're looking for dropping consistency
Chop a mars bar into small pieces (just bigger than chocolate chips) and gently stir into the cake batter
Bake in the prepeated oven for 25 - 30 minutes
Take your cake out and leave it to cool on a wire rack. Once it's cool, make the icing
Chop 2 of the mars bars into relatively small pieces, and melt with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Beat in the sugar until you get a smooth icing
Cover the cake with this and leave to cool
Once cooled top with slices of the final Mars bar
We'll be taking big slices of this on the picnic tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!