It was my 25th birthday last weekend and thought I would make not one, but two birthday cakes. Becoming quite a collector of cookbooks, I initially found it quite difficult to chose a recipe to bake. I finally decided on baking a rocky road cake from Lorraine Pascale's home cooking made easy. Although Ms Pascale describes the cake as "a very naughty rocky road cake", there was actually no pictures on how this cake should look. However, I was aware most rocky road cakes/tray bakes would contain lots of naughty ingredients like marshmellows and chocolate drops. I did substitute some of the recommended ingredients such as digestive biscuits for a mars bar- very random but I forgot about the biscuits and had my eye on a mars bar so I used that instead.
Here is how my very naughty rocky road cake turned out:
It was very over the top, lots of excess of naughty ingredients and very rich - I loved this cake! I would strongly advise making this cake for children as it contains lots of sweet treats.
My second birthday cake I made myself was a coffee and walnut cake from the first series of the Great British bake off. The book for series one is called The Great British Book of Baking, and is currently available from WH Smith online for £6. Coffee and walnut cake is my second favourite cake after chocolate cake, and I decided to use another recipe besides my blueprint from Nigella's Kitchen book. I'm glad I took a chance as I prefer how the cake turned out, and have to admit it is slightly better than Nigella's version. I used my heart shape tins again and liked the way my coffee and walnut cake turned out.
Recipe for rocky road cake
Oil, for oiling
125g butter, sofetened
165g self-raising flour
40g coco powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g mini marshmallows, plus extra 10g to decorate
60g maltesers, plus extra 20g to deocrate
60g digestive biscuits or rich tea crushed
60g white chocolate chips, plus extra 20g to deocrate
2-3 tbsp milk or water
400g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate
60g creme fraiche
2*20 cm round sandwich tin.
Preheat the oven to 180c, Gas Mark 4. Oil the base of the tins with a little oil and line with grease proof paper or baking parchment.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and stir through a little, then add half the flour and beat well for a couple of minutes until well combined. Fold in the marshmallows, maltesers, crushed biscuits and chocolate chips. If the mixture looks a little stiff, add the milk or water and mix together.
Divide the cake mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are cooked and spongy to the touch when pressed lightly with a finger.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter in a large bowl and beat very well, then add the icing sugar and milk and mix well. Gradually add the melted chocolate, stirring all the time, then fold in the creme fraiche until well combined. Set aside.
Once the cakes are ready, take the tins out the oven and leave to cool. When completely cool, take them out of the tins. Put a blob of the icing onto a serving plate and place the cake on top of the icing. Now spread some icing over the cake and place the other sponge on top. Spread the rest of the icing over the whole cake to cover. Scatter the extra marshmallows, malted chocolate balls and chocolate chips over the top and sides of the cake and serve.