20 Nov 2010

#12 The recipe for the best chocolate birthday cake

When my sisters and I were young, our birthday parties were epic adventures in which our living room and playroom were transformed into other worlds, and the games followed intricate plots. I had a Pirate Party, a Princess Party and a Puzzle Party (they didn't all have to begin with 'P'.  I had Egypt as well...).

The centrepiece of each party was the food, also carefully themed and labelled. And the centrepiece of the food was always the cake; the cake, always to the same recipe, and always delicious. No shop-bought Victoria Sponge for us, and no fondant icing either. The chocolate cake appeared in many forms - a pirate chest, a swimming pool, and once a magnificent dragon. But at its heart it was always the chocolate cake.

We still make in now - my sister is partial to making it as a gift for friends. The page of my mum's recipe book on which she has written the instructions is filthy.

I'm going decipher the smudges on the page and share it with you too (excuse old fashioned weights... deal with it, it's worth it):

To see the recipe click "read more"...


Milk Chocolate Cake
7oz Self-Raising flour                           2 eggs
8oz caster sugar                                   5 tbsp evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt                                  5 tbsp water
2 tbsp cocoa                                         1 tsp vanilla essence
4oz margarine

1) Grease 2 deep 7" baking tins (not loose bottomed)
2) Sift dry ingredients
3) Rub in margarine.
4) Mix together eggs, milk, water and vanilla. Stir in.
5) Beat very well until mixture is soft.
6) Bake in moderate oven (180C, 350F, Gas 4) for about 30 minutes. Do not overcook - cake should be springy.

Chocolate Fudge Icing

3oz margarine                                       8oz sieved icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa                                          3 tbsp evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

1) Melt margarine and cocoa together.
2) Stir in icing sugar and evaporated milk, with vanilla.
3) Beat very well until smooth.
(Covers and fills 7" sandwich cake)

YUM! Let me know if you make this. Photos of the original themed cakes are now up - click here!