Hold on to your hats! It’s time for birthday cake!
I know it’s not your birthday yet, Haddy. But I also know that you’ve got some special visitors tomorrow, and I’ve seen them eat. Odds are, you’ll be too full for cake tomorrow.
I was going to recreate the cake in that photo up there, but lighting Barbie’s crotch on fire just seemed soooo political. After considering a number of options, I settled on this instead:
I know what you’re thinking: it’s not a very fancy cake, especially given that it’s your 40th. I mean, you’d hardly know I went to baking school, would you?
You probably thought I’d make you a 10 layer genoise topped with French buttercream. Or a life-sized dog cake scultped to look exactly like Lucas J. McSnuggles. Perhaps you were expecting 3D replica of one of your book covers.
Alas, none of those options seemed right. A birthday cake, after all, must be carefully selected. For the look on someone’s face when you bring out the perfect cake, and set it before them on a table? Well, that photo at the top of this post does a pretty good job of summing it up. And when you light some candles for someone you love, and then give them a wish? A wish for anything they want? Priceless.
So, I made you a bundt cake. It’s rich and chocolatey. And I topped that bundt cake with a glossy frosting – made with unsweetened chocolate. The frosting is sweet, but not cloyingly so. Then I topped your cake with a few Smarties and lit two candles on your behalf.
I dunno. I took a chance.
Make a wish, Haddy!
. . .
The recipe for the frosting is below. It is rich and chocolatey, and has a lovely creamy texture.
Glossy Chocolate Frosting
Yields enough to frost a bundt cake or a two layer 8 inch cake (with no piping).
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (4 Baker’s squares)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (35% milk fat)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium sized saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat.
Add the icing sugar, salt, heavy cream and vanilla and beat with a hand-held electric mixer. Start on low speed and increase to medium speed as the ingredients begin to incorporate. (You could also use a stand mixer, or beat by hand – this will take much longer.) Beat until the frosting is smooth, glossy and of spreading consistency.
Use immediately, and don’t overwork – it will cut down on the gloss. Re-beating the frosting will bring it back to life and add luster should it be required.