I know its been a while since I updated this blog with any recipes so I suppose it's kind of fitting that this latest update is about my son's 11th Birthday! It was kinda fortunate that his birthday fell on a Public Holiday today so we were able to stay at home with him and also invited the family over for a Birthday Lunch. My parents were away in Melbourne while my brother and his daughters were in Gold Coast so that meant slightly fewer people. Still, there were about 15 odd people invited!
As per the tradition in this household, we woke my son up after hiding his presents under the bed. My little princess had 'camped' on the floor in his room the previous night too!
For his birthday this year, he got a replica Chelsea jersey and also a table football game - Subbuteo - something that Dads had always wanted when he was young as well! It didnt take long for both the kids to test out the game.
The Lovely Wife, together with help from her Mom, did their magic and whipped up the lunch spread. For lunch there was Stewed Pork (Tau Yew Bak) with Man Tau buns;
Fried Prawns, Chicken Curry,
Yoghurt Curry (Mohr Curry) Mixed Vegetables,
Vegetable Accar (Pickles) and Onion Rice.
Quite a fancy little spread if you ask me! My contribution as usual was dessert and the Birthday Cake.
My son had asked for a different cake, something that would be really nice but also chocolatey. He especially liked the Chocolate Truffle Torte that I had made for Christmas last year so I decided to adapt that recipe and make something completely new.
Actually, for this cake, I adapted various different recipes and components that I had made before to assemble this cake. I used the tried and tested Cake Boss Sponge recipe that I have grown to love as the base. I modified my Tiramisu soaking syrup to make it less coffee flavoured. I used the Praline Feulletine component of the Le Kit Kat cake inspired by Michel Richard and adapted the Truffle from the Chocolate Truffle Torte to assemble this cake.
Since the CakeBoss recipe yields two sponge cakes, I used on to make this cake while the other was used to make a Trifle for dessert. The Lovely Wife was extremely pleased as she really loves her trifle.
This is what I did for the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk
55g salted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Rum
1/2 Cup Creme Cacao
1 Tbsp Coffee
2/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
200g Milk Chocolate
1 1/4 Cups Crushed Corn Flakes
200g Good Quality Chocolate
200ml whipping cream
1 Tsp Gelatine Powder
1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with electric mixed for 4 minutes. Do not skip this step!
2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir on low until just combined.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to eggs and sugar on low speed until just combined.
4. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter on low heat just until butter is melted. Add to batter, beat just until combined.
5. Pour into two greased and floured (or lined) 8" round cake pans.
6. Bake at 160C for about 40mins until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely.
Hint: Cakes are close to being done when you start to smell them.
Whip peanut butter and vegetable oil on medium speed until combined and light in color, 2-3 minutes. Reduce to low, add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Stir in the crushed corn flakes. Pour over cake in springform.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Stir the gelatine powder and 1 Tbsp water over a pan of simmering water until dissolved. Melt honey in water and add to the gelatine mixture. Pour onto the melted chocolate mixing thoroughly. Mixture will become slightly thick and coarse. If mixture turns lumpy, heat very gently over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Let cool.
Whip the cream till soft peaks form and then fold into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Split one of the sponges into two layers and place first layer in springform. Soak with half the coffee syrup then cover with feullantine. Spread a thin layer of truffle over feullantine and then place second layer of sponge on top and soak with remaining syrup. Cover with truffle and place in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Decorate with whipped cream.
* See notes below for improvements *
The verdict? This cake was A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!! My son really loved it and he said that it was one of the nicest cakes I've ever made. I had a feeling as I was making the cake that it would turn out really well and I was very pleased with it. I would do a few things different though and the improvements would be as follows:
1. Reduce the cofee syrup especially for the bottom layer as the cake kind of stuck to the base. So definitely dont soak the bottom layer as much or even omit the soaking of the bottom layer
2. Perhaps reduce the amount of alcohol. It wasnt overly strong but it still left a bit of a kick and should perhaps be a bit more subtle.
3. Feullantine was a bit hard as I used 'cheap' milk chocolate. Perhaps try to add corn flakes to the truffle mix for a softer layer?
As for the name for this cake, well, the word awesome has become the word du jour in our house of late but it really kind of does this cake justice. As a matter of fact, I was struggling to find a name for this cake but my son decided to call it the Chocolate Awesomeness Cake!
The lunch was enjoyed by all and the Trifle as well as the Cake disappeared rather quickly. Fortunately there was still a little left over for later that night. My little princess made my day when after she had finished lunch, I asked her if she had had enough. Her reply was, "I'm only 50% full because I'm saving for the Trifle and Cake." Now how sweet was that!!
On Saturday, Michael is having some of his friends over for Futsal followed by lunch so he hasn't finished celebrating yet!
So another year older and another succesful birthday for my darling boy. Happy, Happy Birthday Michael!