If I ever ask Ed what cake he wants for his birthday, the answer is a victoria sponge, with buttercream in the middle and icing, sprinkles and a cherry on top. Quite specific really.
This year though I had an ulterior motive as I wanted to enter a cake into the #nigellaforever challenge.
With a deadline fast approaching and a theme of ‘seduced by chocolate’ I wanted to kill two birds with one cake. After a quick flick through my Nigella books this ‘Best Birthday Cake’ seemed to cover all the bases, as not only is it a victoria sponge type affair, but it also has a goopy chocolate topping AND a custardy filling. Ed’s other favourite cake is, coincidentally, a custard doughnut.
I have to admit, this mornings first baking attempt was a total disaster.
I read Nigella’s instructions which noted that the cake comes out of the oven after 20 minutes ‘spookily puffed up’ due to the custard powder in it. It did too…and this led me to ignore my intuition that warned me that it was not cooked through. After removing the cakes from their tins they gradually oozed out their innards in a most disturbing manner. Even after chopping the centres out and thinking I could salvage them as some sort of bundt style cake I had to admit that they were a monumental cock up, see here.
V2 had far more than the allotted 20 minutes. I gave it more like 35 minutes to make sure that it was cooked. You need to wait until it has no wobble in the middle.
20 minutes my arse.
The filling is a custard enriched buttercream and the topping is a hot pouring mix of chocolate, molten sugar and golden syrup. Pour on until you are wobbly in the middle.
I am not enough of a kitchen slut (no really) to pour the topping on whilst it is still hot and runny, as Nigella suggests. I couldn’t bear to let it run all over the plate. I let it cool a little then poured it on, but be aware, it then creates an impervious coating that repels all sprinkles, so a little coaxing was required.
We have just enjoyed a slice of this with a cup of tea. Very nice it was too.
Happy Birthday Ed x
You can find the recipe here